Opening Day at Keeneland-Spring 2014

Horses battle for position coming off the Backstretch during the third race of Keeneland's opening day.  Cloudy skies and intermittent rain followed by a strong wind greeted everyone out to enjoy the races.  Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 600mm f/4 VRII.
Horses battle for position coming off the Backstretch during the third race of Keeneland’s opening day. Cloudy skies and intermittent rain followed by a strong wind greeted everyone out to enjoy the races. Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 600mm f/4 VRII.

 

I look forward to opening day of Keeneland’s spring and fall meets every year.  It is fascinating to me to watch these amazing animals roar by at full speed and enjoy watching the tactics of a race as it unfolds.  The opening of the Spring 2014 meet was begun  in less than ideal weather conditions.  Light rain and  mist early on gave way to clearing skies but increasingly strong winds.  The racing was great even if the crowd was not as large as it might have been.  These are a few of the pictures from my day enjoying the races.

 

Rain gave way to mostly cloudy skies by midway thru the race.  The forsythia was just starting to bloom on opening day.   Nikon D800e with AFS Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 G.
Rain gave way to mostly cloudy skies by midway thru the race. The forsythia was just starting to bloom on opening day. Nikon D800e with AFS Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 G.

 

Jockey Joel Rosario heads out on the track.  Rosario has become one of the leading jockies at Keeneland and managed to win the Kentucky Derby last spring.   Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 600mm f/4 VRII.
Jockey Joel Rosario heads out on the track. Rosario has become one of the leading jockies at Keeneland and managed to win the Kentucky Derby last spring. Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 600mm f/4 VRII.

 

Battle for position.   Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 600mm f/4 VRII.
Battle for position. Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 600mm f/4 VRII.

 

Outriders control the races at Keeneland.   Nikon D800e with AFS Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8 VRII.
Outriders control the races at Keeneland. Nikon D800e with AFS Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8 VRII.

 

Hot walkers warm the horses up before the races in the paddocks at Keeneland.  One of the great experiences of Keeneland is the ability to see the horses up close and personal.  Here is H Town Brown before finishing second in the day's sixth race.   Nikon D800e with AFS Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8VRII.
Hot walkers warm the horses up before the races in the paddocks at Keeneland. One of the great experiences of Keeneland is the ability to see the horses up close and personal. Here is H Town Brown before finishing second in the day’s sixth race. Nikon D800e with AFS Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8VRII.

 

Crowds were thinner than would be expected on opening day thanks to less than perfect weather.  Still, those who came had a great time.   Nikon D800e with AFS Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 G
Crowds were thinner than would be expected on opening day thanks to less than perfect weather. Still, those who came had a great time. Nikon D800e with AFS Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 G
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