Friday, December 10, 2010

Ahhh Feels Like Home & Photographs in Black and White

On a beautiful sun filled Tuesday morning I made the pilgrimage back to my mecca, Santa Anita Racetrack and Clockers Corner to see the new dirt track installed during the summer and fall meets at other race tracks.

There was a distinct "buzz" and excitement in the air as horsemen gathered with owners and racing fans to see the new track. Gary Stevens, Jim Cassidy, Mel & Gary Stute among others were stationed throughout Clockers holding court and sharing their thoughts on the resurfaced track with each other. Jim Cassidy, trainer told me that there were about 350 horses on the grounds and most were jogging over the dirt, getting a feel for it with good reports. The mood was jovial, with everyone from the guard gate to the cafe saying hello and wishing each other well. There is a community at a race track that is unlike any other I have experienced and it was nice to be "home" again.

James Cassidy's Evening Jewel out for a morning look around.

I loved being back at my favorite track. There is nothing like the glorious foothills framing the horses as the work in the mornings. It's "my church" and it welcomed all of us in attendance, with a long exhale and a good to be home hug.

Speaking of morning works and the backside of a race track, there is a new coffee table book by photographer Juliet Harrison that is sure to be a hit with anyone on your gift giving list.
The book, Track Life, is a culmination of four years of trips to the track at Saratoga Springs, New York.

Juliet shared with us, "it is hard being a traditional B&W photographer in that setting. I spent the first two years trying to figure out what my vision, my imagery would be of the track. Standard track photography would not satisfy me. Taking distant photos of horses on the track during the race as they sped by did not work. Not in Black and White. Not having the flash of color to draw the viewer’s eye, made race photos in B&W basically boring". Ms. Harrison's inspiration came from what I too find inspiring and that is the life on the back side, the preparation of the race horse before and after their race. "These are the things that I found interesting to photograph. And they are what I have chosen to share. Track Life is my vision in film. And I see it as a thank you and homage to the experiences I have had there", says Juliet.

Ms. Harrison is generously donating a portion of the sale of her book to two organization's ours, The Second Race and LOPE, in Texas. We appreciate the beauty of the subject, the art of her images in black and white, and the support of ex-race horses.

To purchase a signed copy of Track Life, go to or purchase directly from Blurb (the book won't be signed). The link there is

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