Monday, October 24, 2016

Maryland Million Weekend 2016

 Bethann Dixon Drawing
My 2016 Maryland Million weekend actually started one year ago. I went by myself to Laurel Park for the 30th Annual  Jim McKay Maryland Million. It was my first time at Laurel Park, and only second time ever at a track. One of the first pictures I took that day was Bethann Dixon playing "Call to Post". 
Bathann and I at the 2015  30th Jim McKay Maryland Million Day
I introduced myself and got a picture with Bethann who was very pleasant. I came home and started doing research for a drawing. I found out that Bethann was the first woman bugler ever at the 139th Preakness Stakes Race (2014), and the first at the 146th Belmont Stakes Race (2013), in addition to the Maryland Million.
 Maryland Million Gala Program
Flash forward to a few months ago. Maryland Million Ltd., along with the Maryland Horse Breeders Association posted an art contest for the cover of the Maryland Million Gala program. The Gala is an industry event the Friday night before Maryland Million Day. The Gala is held at the Maryland Club in Baltimore.
 Bethann Dixon at the Gala
I entered my drawing "Call to Post" in the art contest, and by fan vote on social media won. Prizes included tickets to the Gala, and VIP tickets to Maryland Million Day. Bethann also attended the Gala, and we enjoyed seeing each other and posing for pictures.
 Dead Heat Drawing 18x24
 Silent Auction at the Gala
As long as I was going to the Gala, I donated a framed print of my Dead Heat drawing to the silent auction to benefit Maryland Thoroughbred Association..
 Eric and his son at the Gala
My friend and photographer Eric Kalet, shoots for the Paulick Report. He had taken the photo that I did the drawing from. He and his son also attended the Gala.
 Bens Cat Drawing
The 2015 Maryland Million Day was the first time I saw Bens Cat race. I had not heard of him, but he created quite a buzz, and I quickly found out he was a fan favorite and a legend in Maryland racing. I did my first drawing of him soon after that race.
Bens Cat Drawing No.2
During the last year, I followed Bens Cat, and saw him win on Black Eyed Susan Day at Pimlico on Preakness Weekend. That may turn out to be his last win.
King T. Leatherbury
At the Gala, I had the pleasure of meeting the Breeder, Owner, and Trainer of Bens Cat, King T. Leatherbury. King ranks third all time in wins amongst U.S. trainers. In 2015, King was inducted to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.
Irish Tenor Anthony Kearns 
The Gala entertainment for the evening was world renowned Irish Tenor Anthony Kearns. He was simply amazing, and when he sang Danny Boy, there were people in tears. 
 Lauren and I enjoying the evening entertainment
 Maryland Million Day
Saturday morning started out crisp and cool. a gorgeous although windy fall day. The track was firm and fast!
 Bethann Dixon
Between races, Bethann came down to the VIP tent area. I was finally able to give her a print of the Call to Post drawing that has brought both of us so much joy over the last few months.
Goshen Hounds
Bethann also rides for the Goshen Hounds who entertained the huge crowd between races. She quickly got off  her horse, grabbed her horn to play Call to Post for the next race.
 Irish Tenor Anthony Kearns
I was able to meet and speak to Irish Tenor Anthony Kearns in the VIP tent area. I told him that I have a son now studying music in college, and it is amazing that the power of music can move people to tears.
 Lauren with her first bet ticket
The biggest highlight of the entire weekend for me was having Lauren with me on Friday night, and both Lauren and Jacob on Saturday. Lauren had never been to the races ever. Of course her fist bet was a $1 Across the Board bet on a 60/1 horse Dancing with Maude that she picked because of the name. The two year old colt in his second race, lost by a head bob, so Lauren won the place and show money!
 Jacob with Terpratariate
Jacob has been to a lot of races with me, but always loves it. He also loves all the things that Laurel Park does for children at the track. Here he is with Terpratariat, named after Secretariat, and the Maryland Terps.
 Bens Cat with Trevor McCarthy up
Bens Cat was one of the favorites for the Maryland Million Sprint. Now a ten year old, Ben just didn't have his kick coming onto the home stretch, and finished last of the six horse field. This may have been his last race. I and many fans still love the dark bay gelding!!
 Admirals War Chest with Taylor Hole up
The big race of the day was the Maryland Million Classic. Admirals War Chest won last years race wiring the field. Once again he won this years race, wiring the field.
The Laurel Park Grandstand
It was very chilly and windy by the end of the 11 race card,  but I was very disappointed for the weekend to end. Since winning the art contest, I was so anxious for the day to get here. Now that it was over, my Wife and Son, the Gala, seeing Bethann and other friends, Food, Music, Weather, Horses, did not disappoint, and exceeded my expectations of how the weekend would go!

Thursday, October 13, 2016


Always B Miki Drawing 11x14
Everyone that knows me and my obsession with all sports, knows that I love an underdog, or good comeback story! The Last couple years of Always B Miki is just that kind of story.
Always B Miki is a 5 year old Standardbred Stallion. He competes in Harness Racing, and just came back from two major injuries. In Nov. of 2014 he had a broken left hind long pastern bone. It was surgically repaired with 4 screws by Equine Surgeon Dr. Patty Hogan. He returned only to have a break in the right hind long pastern bone in May of 2015. Dr. Hogan again repaired that with 4 screws. 
After 11 months off, he returned to the track, and on October 9th posted a 1:46 mile, the fastest ever in Standardbred history.
That race was at The Red Mile in Kentucky. Always B Miki will be retired from racing at the end of the 2016 season, and stand at stud at Diamond Creek farm in Pennsylvania.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

California Chrome: 2016 HOY

2016 HOY Drawing
This is my third drawing of California Chrome. Although he has not actually been named the Horse of the Year, with less than 30 days to the Breeders Cup, I think he will. 


 Dead Heat Drawing  18x24
DEAD HEAT is a 16x20 drawing showing the finish of the Spinaway Stakes in Saratoga on Sept.3, 2016. The race was a Grade 1 Stakes race, and was ruled a dead heat. The two winners were, Sweet Loretta (inside) trained by Todd Pletcher with Javier Castellano up, and Pretty City Dancer trained by Mark Casse with Irad Ortiz Jr. up. 
The photo I used was taken by my friend Eric Kalet, and used by permission.

Fasig-Tipton 2016 Midlantic Yearling Sale Timonium

 The Auction Ring
On Oct. 4, I went to the Midlantic Yearling Sale in Timonium Maryland. I had seen pictures of sales before, but had no idea what to expect. It was absolutely amazing! Over the course of about 8 hours, over 360 horses were sold by live auction. 
 Hip No. 94 Great Granddaughter of Seattle Slew
When I entered the Fasig-Tipton auction building, I picked up a catalog. In it was the bloodlines and information about every horse to be sold during the day. 
 After sitting inside watching the auction area, I went out back to see what was going on. There was a walking ring where horses were brought by numerical number out of the barns, and walked prior to being called into the auction ring. There were many potential horse owners, vets, and trainers standing and walking around observing the horses and how they moved. 

 Hip No. 114
 Hip No. 125
 Hip No. 232
 Hip No. 261
 Hip No. 273
 Hip No. 276
Hip No. 276, a dark bay colt, is the son of Friesan Fire, out of A.P.Indy, and Great Grandson of Seattle Slew
Hip No. 277

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Timonium Fairgrounds Sept. 5,2016

 Timonium Race Track at the State Fair
On Labor day, Sept.5, 2016, Jacob and his friend Devin and I went to the State Fair in Timonium. We had never been, and I really liked the 5/8 mile dirt track, small grandstand, and paddock.
 Svindahl in the Paddock
While we were there, a friend introduced us to trainer Ann Merryman. She had two horsed running on the 9 race card. One of those horsed was Svindahl, a Kentucky bred Bay Colt.
 Svindahl in the Paddock
 Devin and Jacob with Jockey Yomar Ortiz
Later in the day Ann had a horse ridden by Jockey Yomar Ortiz. I had taken Jacobs picture with Yomar at Pimlico on Preakness day.
Unknown Horse

Friday, September 2, 2016

The Torch Bearers Statue at Stevens Institute of Technology-2016

 The Torch Bearers Drawing (5.5x8 inches)
The Torch Bearers Statue at Stevens Institute of Technology
This fall, my son Joshua started college at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken NJ. He is a Music and Technology major in the College of Arts and Letters. 
While I was on the campus, I started looking at this statue. It is called The Torch Bearers. The statue was presented to the University in April of 1964 by American Sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington. It is cast in aluminum, and stands 16 feet high. 

Funny Cide 2016

Funny Cide Drawing
Funny Cide won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes in 2003. He was the first New York Bred Horse to win the Kentucky Derby. He was also the first Gelding to win that race since Clyde Van Dusen in 1929.
I saw this photograph on Twitter and loved it. It is by photographer Frances J. Karon. It is the second one of her photographs that she has given me image user permission for. 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Saratoga Travers Saturday Aug. 27-2016

 Entrance to Saratoga Race Track
A buddy of mine from work asked me this week if I wanted to do a day trip to Saratoga Race Track, nicknamed The Spa, for the 147th running of the Travers Stakes race on Saturday. Of course I said yes. 
 The Clubhouse end from the apron
Everyone that I know or have met in horse racing has told me that The Spa is the greatest. I certainly cant argue that after being there!
 The Grandstand end from the apron
The weather was just spectacular, and the track facilities themselves are just incredible!
 Flowers on the grandstand
 At the entrance fountain
 Myself with Bethann and Sam the Bugler
When I walked down to Winner Circle for the first race, I saw Bethann Dixon and Sam the Bugler ready to play the Call to Post. I have just recently won an art contest for the cover art for the Maryland Million Gala program with my drawing of Bethann. This was the first time we had spoken since the contest results were released.
 Bethann Dixon Drawing
 With Penelope Miller
During the day I saw Penelope Miller a couple times. Penelope is a photographer and Senior Manager for ABR Live (Americas Best Racing). She had taken the photograph that I did the drawing of Nyquist from. I met her during Preakness week at the ABR Preakness Party.
 Nyquist Drawing
 Starting gates getting set for the Travers
Race 11 of the 13 race card was the 147th running of the Travers, The race is a Grade 1, 1 1/4 mile two turn race on the dirt with a purse of $1,250,000. Called the "Mid Summer Derby", the Travers features many of the best three year olds in the country, Many of whom have been in the Triple Crown races over the Summer.
Ready for the Travers
Exaggerator coming onto the track
Exaggerator won the Preakness, the second leg of the Triple Crown. That was my first Triple Crown race.
My Exaggerator Drawing
 Gun Runner won the Louisiana Derby this Summer
Creator won the third leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stake, and the Arkansas Derby this year
 Arrogate at the wire
Arrogate, trained by Bob Baffert put on such an amazing performance! Arrogate with Mike Smith up, won the race by 12 lenghts, and smashed the track recond with a time of 1:59:36.
Arrogate heading to Winners Circle with Mike Smith up
 Miss Temple City coming onto the track
The 12th race of the card was the Ballston Spa, a Grade 2 Stake race for Fillies and Mare 3 years old and up. Two turns on the 1 1/16 mile turf course. I was excited to see Miss Temple City who I drew earlier this year. 
Miss Temple City Drawing
 Caton Breder from TVG
Eric Kalet shooting at Winners Circle
Eric is a photographer for the Paulick Report. He and I have become friends on Twitter, and we were able to meet at Black Eyed Susan Day this year at Pimlico.