I had no idea what to expect driving through the early morning fog on my hour and a half drive to the Saratoga Race Track last weekend. I had never been to the track, had never even watched a horse race on TV. Yet, the invitation from an owner of three horses and the chance to shoot some pictures on a beautiful Saturday morning was something I couldn’t pass up.
When my wife and I arrived, we were met at the Horseshoe – I thought it was some part of the track, but when I pulled up, I realized it was a restaurant. Kevin was standing in the parking lot and jumped into the back seat while we headed just down the street to the barn where his horses were stabled.
It is a beautiful facility – horses in their stalls, being taken out one at a time and walking around the edge of the barn so that they could get their routine started. One by one, Kevin introduced us to his ‘children’ and we got to pet them, take their picture, and feed them their favorite treats – peppermint candy no less.
Then the real tour was on. Through the barns, the backstretch, the facilities and the history of the Saratoga Race Track – Kevin was an encyclopedia of racing knowledge and track history. All the while he was giving the tour, I was taking pictures – in a three hour time-frame – about 475 of them.
Several years ago, I was doing a podcast where I was interviewing famous photographers and filmmakers – it was called LensFlare35. I asked one of them “of all the places you’ve been around the world, where is the one place you would like to return to?” He said Saratoga Springs and the Track. I asked him why? Heck, at that time, I didn’t even know it existed. He said that it was one of the most beautiful places to photograph – the early morning sun angles, the low hanging fog, the horses, landscape and facilities – an amazing place he said.
Well, now that I’ve been there, I agree and can’t wait to return. In the meantime, here are some of my favorite shots from that morning.