Sunday, November 27, 2016

Calvin Borel at Laurel Park Nov.19,2016

 Me with Calvin Borel
On Nov.19,2016 The DeFrancis Dash Stakes race was run at Laurel Park. Calvin Borel had the mount on Ivan Fallunovalot for the race. Calvin is a three time Kentucky Derby winner (2007,09,10).
 Ivan Fallunovalot with Calvin Borel up winning the DeFrancis Dash at Laurel Park

 Calvin in Winners Circle

Ivan Fallunovalot with Calvin Borel up

Assateague Island Nov.12, 2016

 November 12th is my and Laurens Wedding Anniversary. This year, our 22nd, it fell on a Saturday. Lauren and I are forever connected by the ocean, so we decided to take a day trip to one of our favorite places, Assateague Island.
 We were lucky enough to find a couple of ponies out on the dunes.
 Jacob getting the close shot!
 His shot!
 The Chincoteague Pony was recognized as a breed in 1994
The Chincoteague Ponies live on Assateague Island which borders Maryland and Virginia. 
LOVE this place!!!

Empire Maker 2016

Empire Maker Drawing
Empire Maker currently stands at stud at Gainesway Farm in Lexington Kentucky. His best win was the Triple Crown Belmont in 2003. He is probably best know now for being the Sire of Pioneer of the Nile, and Grand Sire of Triple Crown Winner American Pharoah.
This drawing was done off photographs by Laurel Humbert, and used by permission. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Goshen Hounds Opening Meet- Nov.6,2016

With Bethann 
I have written about Triple Crown Bugler Bethann Dixon numerous times on this Blog. Most recently at this years Maryland Million. During that weekend, she invited my family to the Opening Meet of the Goshen Hounds. The Goshen Hounds is a Fox Hunting Club that she belongs to. 
Goshen Hounds Opening Meet Invitation
November 6th arrived and was an absolutely gorgeous fall day. Jacob and I made the drive to Montgomery County in Maryland, and had no idea what to expect.
 Bethann playing Call To Post
After a wonderful breakfast buffet, everyone gathered around. Bethann played Call To Post, and the riders went off to prepare and mount up on their horses. 
 Bethann mounted up
There were a wide variety of people and horse breeds in the hunt club. For this hunt, the Master of Hounds wore red jackets, while the Field Riders wore black. 

Riders mounting up and gathering for the releasing of the hounds
 After the riders had all gathered mounted up on their horses, the hounds were brought out. I was surprised how many there actually were. They are a very high strung breed, but quite beautiful.
 Jacob with one of the Hounds
The Master of Hounds prepares to start the Hunt
When all the hunters were gathered and the hounds were released, the Master of Hounds gathered the hounds by blowing a horn. The Chaplain blessed the Riders, Dogs and the Hunt season. 

The Field Riders following the Master of Hounds
The hunt began with the Master of Hounds leading the hounds. The Field riders were divided into Field 1,2 and 3 riders. Field 1 being the stronger and faster horses and riders. 
As the hounds got on the trail of a fox, there were riders positioned around the patch of woods to look for the fox. 
 Field 3 Riders
 Riders on the hilltop prepare for the chase
 The chase concludes when the fox gets caught, or the fox "Holes up." The Master of hounds then prepares the dogs and the field riders for the next chase.

 Master of Hounds leading the dogs
Taking a break between hunts
Bethann during the hunt
 The farm that the Opening Meet was held in Montgomery County Maryland was beautiful. In addition to some large sculpture installations, there was various farm animals around. Jacob got a kick out of the lamas!
Jacob with a Lama
Once the dogs get on a scent, most of the dogs and riders disappear into the woods. I was told that the hunts take around three hours, and there are time when you don't see the hunters or dogs for a very long time. When the second chase began, Jacob and I headed home. 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Arrogate 2016

 Arrogate Drawing 11x14
Arrogate is a three year old Gray Colt. This summer on August 27th, I went to Saratoga Race Course (The Spa) for the first time. The feature race that day was the Travers, sometimes referred to as the Mid Summer Derby. Saratoga  has also been called the "Graveyard of Champions." Last year after winning the Triple Crown, American Pharoah lost the Travers before capturing the first ever Grand Slam by winning the Breeders Cup Classic in November. 
 Arrogate headed to Winners Circle with Mike Smith up
Despite being moved up in class and racing in his first Stakes Race, Arrogate took the lead early with a very fast pace. 
Arrogate with Mike Smith up
When they crossed the wire, Arrogate with Mike Smith up had won by 13 1/2 lengths in 1:59:36. That time broke a 37 year old track and Travers record for the 1 1/4 mile race.
The original photograph that I did the drawing from way used by permission from Curt Larson.

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!