Saturday, September 7, 2013

The 139th Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby is without a doubt one of the most unique and exciting annual traditions of any state in the Union. The beauty of the champion thoroughbreds, the elegance of Churchill Downs, and the pomp and circumstance of seersucker suited men and derby hatted women combine to make the first Saturday in May a truly timeless event. Few things give me goosebumps quite like hearing the entire grandstand sing the state anthem "My Old Kentucky Home." Nor does any sound quite spike my heart rate as the thunderous hoof beats of the pack rounding the first turn. Every Derby is different, and this one was no exception. A steady, soaking rain fell throughout most of the afternoon, creating a sloppy track for the big race. Crowd favorite Orb crossed the finish line in first to clinch the most prestigious single race title in racing: Kentucky Derby champion.














Race horses complete their morning workouts at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. on the morning of the 139th running of The Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 4, 2013. Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

Spectators watch as Derby horses complete their morning workouts at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. on the eve of the 139th Kentucky Derby on Friday, May 3, 2013. Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

Stable hand Julio Gondola of Panama grazes Orb in the stable yard following his morning workout at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. on the eve of the 139th Kentucky Derby on Friday, May 3, 2013. Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

Exercise rider Ashley Heco pets Churchill track pony Steve at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. on the morning of the 139th running of The Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 4, 2013. Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

Kentucky Army National Guard Military Police soldiers stand guard along the backstretch at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. after the eighth race on Kentucky Oaks Day on the eve of the 139th Kentucky Derby on Friday, May 3, 2013. Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

Jockey James Graham waits for his next race in the Jockeys Room at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. on the afternoon of the 139th running of The Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 4, 2013. Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

Racegoers seek shelter from the rain in the soggy infield of Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. on the afternoon of the 139th running of The Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 4, 2013. Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

Racegoer Todd Dulaney of Greensboro, N.C. walks through the soggy infield of Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. on the afternoon of the 139th running of The Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 4, 2013. Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

Racegoers seek shelter from the rain in an underground tunnel linking the infield and the grandstand at Churchill Downs on Derby day.

(L-R) Amanda Dorsan and her boyfriend Aaron Stanek, both of Milwaukee, Wisc., try to stay dry in the soggy infield of Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. on the afternoon of the 139th running of The Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 4, 2013. Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

Racegoers fought to keep dry at a rainy Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. on the afternoon of the 139th running of The Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 4, 2013. Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

A diverse group of racegoers make their way to Churchill Downs on Derby Day including socialites, hardcore racing fans, and tourists.

(L-R) Kentucky Army National Guard Soldiers Spc. Chris Barth and Sgt. Tyler Thurman of 617th Military Police Company stand guard along the backstretch at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. during the ninth race on Kentucky Oaks Day on the eve of the 139th Kentucky Derby on Friday, May 3, 2013. Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

Jockey Joel Rosario atop Orb celebrates alongside trainer Shug McGaughey after winning the 139th running of The Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. on Saturday, May 4, 2013. Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

 The Churchill Downs infield, before and after the big race.

A horse racing fan slides through the mud in the infield of Churchill Downs following the conclusion of the 139th Kentucky Derby.

 Jeremy Long of Chicago, Ill. smokes a pipe in the infield after watching the Kentucky Derby.












Gary Bowers of Greenville, Ohio hauls trash bags through the refuse-strewn infield after the 139th running of The Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 4, 2013. Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

Thanks for looking!

**Photos copyright Luke Sharrett and The New York Times**


1 comment:

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