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Belmont Stakes 2009: The Two Best Photos

June 8, 2009

The Triple Crown races were won by a gelding, a filly, and a colt. Two Birds and a chick.

Have you seen the Belmont yet? Check it out.

The blanket of carnations has been draped, worn, removed, and put away. Horses are on their way home.

Here it is, the best Belmont Stakes-related photo of 2009.

If you don’t have a free DRF account, why not?? It’s worth it to sign up, both for the photo and for the content on the website. Photographer: Barbara Livingston, whose Top Ten Albums of All Time were celebrated here at SKA-RNR-Blog a few months ago. The photo is sublime. It’s the ideal embodiment of the “hangover” (Chip Woolley’s words) after the hectic Triple Crown season. It’s peaceful. It’s an athlete in repose; a quiet moment after a colossal effort. Ears at half mast, powerful haunches at ease, tail soft and static.

And it’s executed as only a master can. Texture, shape, composition, color. Just when the rest of us racing photographers think we’re getting clever, Barbara takes us to school. I love it.

And then we have Best Belmont Photo Number Two. Rick Dutrow One Year Later, taken by Jason Moran. This photo takes your mind back 365 days, to Big Brown Mania, the loose shoe, the quarter cracks, the jockey, the owners, and of course, the trainer.

Rick Dutrow….One year later, originally uploaded by EASY GOER.

Why do I like these photos so much? By the title of the blog post, I bet you expected an action shot of the race, but they were taken nowhere near the finish line :^) It’s even better- the entire race replays in your head as you view these images. The viewer is engaged. A story is told. Editorial imagery at its finest.

As far as photos of the winners actually on track, I think Bud’s is my favorite so far:

Summer Bird Belmont Stakes Celebration, by Bud Morton

Summer Bird Belmont Stakes Celebration, by Bud Morton

And the best chain of events of photography would have to be this: moments before I shot this…

Gio Ponti wins the Manhattan

Bud shot this of Heckle and Jeckle.

Charles Pravata and Sarah Andrew

Charles Pravata and Sarah Andrew

And then Melissa shot this of Bud.

Budphoto! by Melissa Wirth

Budphoto! by Melissa Wirth

And Bud shot this of Jamie and Melissa. Got it? Good!

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 12, 2009 1:09 am

    Yay! Saturday was such a great day! Budphoto was probably my favorite picture that I took on Belmont Day! It’s one of those photos that you look at and no matter how sad or crappy you feel, you just smile. I think it shows what a great, fun guy Bud really is. A loveable goofball. 😀 Ya know, I kept saying to John, “I’m ready for this Triple Crown stuff to be over, it’s exhausting!” I was wrong…I’m sad it’s over!!! It was really fun traveling all over creation and now with the lesser stakes, I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself. No more 6 stakes races in a row for awhile…Aww man! 😦 C’mon Saratoga! I’m ready for ya!

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