Derby weekend at Churchill Downs. Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire
Race fans traveled to racing events around the country this year to experience not only the fastest horses, but also to enjoy the one-of-a-kind views and scenes of each track. Unique to horse racing is the sentimental bond fans hold with a track, from the unforgettable memories of watching a thrilling race (I think you forgot to complete what you were going to say here). Remember this year’s prime racing events and scenes of your favorite racetracks through the images provided by Eclipse Sportswire below.
Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California kicked off its racing season with the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby. Goldencents prevailed in the field of nine to win the big race as the California racetrack showed off beautiful weather and mountain views. Enjoy the scenes of Santa Anita Park below.
SANTA ANITA DERBY
Heading east, Keeneland Race Course featured the Blue Grass Stakes. The blooming spring flowers complemented the already stunning views of the rolling bluegrass hills, creating a scene of natural beauty for the race meet. Java’s War made his way to the winner’s circle, defeating his opponents in the Blue Grass Stakes, while fans celebrated with Kentucky bourbon. Enjoy the Blue Grass below.
BLUE GRASS STAKES
Oaklawn Park provided a fun infield for fans to enjoy the track’s marquee event. Not only did fans celebrate the win of Overanalyze in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby, but they partied around Oaklawn’s infield Finish Line Bar. Join the excitement and tour the scene through the Arkansas Derby slideshow.
Early May brought one of the biggest racing events of the year, the Kentucky Derby. Never tiring of “My Old Kentucky Home,” fans gathered throughout the grandstand and infield of Churchill Downs to watch the big race. Orb found glory with a Kentucky Derby win and fans celebrated with Derby festivities including music, fashion, and unique dining. Capture the Kentucky Derby excitement through the slideshow.
To say the least, it was a party at the Preakness. The second leg of the Triple Crown featured an InfieldFest featuring top artists like Florida-Georgia Line and Pitbull. Horses weren’t the only ones running for a prize as beautiful women competed in their bikinis and fashion was seen throughout the event. The celebration continued throughout the day as Oxbow won the Preakness Stakes. The slideshow below brings some of the Pimlico Park festivities back to life.
Belmont Park brought nothing but more fun and tough competition to the racing year. The third leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes featured 14 of this year’s best horses. Palace Malice wore green and yellow as he crossed the finish line first to win the Belmont Stakes, bringing excitement to the event. Experience the enjoyment felt around beautiful Elmont, N.Y. displayed in the slideshow below.
Late summer was the optimal season for the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park. Summer dresses and barbeques was the way to tailgate before the big race. Top 3-year-old Verrazano pulled ahead to win the Haskell while racing fans enjoyed the day at the Oceanport, N.J. track. Check out the Monmouth Park scene in the slideshow below.
Sunny August days in New York were in store for the Travers Stakes. Saratoga Race Course featured sophisticated East Coast race day fashion along with fast racing. The historical setting of the track drew in race fans to cheer on Will Take Charge as he won the Travers Stakes. See the slideshow below to experience the splendor Saratoga provides.
Running the same weekend as the Travers, the West Coast featured the Pacific Classic. Del Mar provided warm California weather, while Game On Dude created his own heat with a Pacific Classic win. Check out the winning photos in the slideshow below.
The only racing event comparable to the festives of the Triple Crown season is the Breeders’ Cup. Held at Santa Anita Park, the most competitive racehorses gathered to compete at the event. Before the Classic, fans enjoyed live entertainment and elegant fashion. Mucho Macho Man won the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic this year and fulfilled his connections’ dreams. See the action in the slideshow below.
As 2013 comes to a close, the scenes and memories of the season continue to remind us of the special moments spent at racetracks across the United States. Pull out your calendar and travel with America’s Best Racing in 2014.