An autumn afternoon at the race track

Last week I drove to Santa Anita after work just to snap a few pictures of some of my favorite race horses.
On second thought, maybe I should have stayed home and watched on T.V.
Seeing as how, nearly every horse I photographed lost!
This is The Factor, named after Bill O Reilly’s popular T.V. show. Sounds like my type of horse, right? Actually I’m not a huge Bill O Reilly fan; I tried to read his book and only made it about half way through. He’s just so whiny.
Anyways, I was so looking forward to getting some pictures of The Factor, this horse who was said to be an amazing fast sprinter.
He is trained by my favorite trainer, Bob Baffert.
When the Factor broke his maiden last year at Santa Anita, he also broke a 21 year track record for six furlongs. The rumor was out, this horse was a fast, fast sprinter. He won the Rebel Stakes after this and was considered a favorite for the Kentucky Derby, even though everyone knew he was just a sprinter at heart. It turned out to not really matter as in the Spring The Factor scanned to have a stress fracture and was out of training for months, missing all the Triple Crown races.
He returned sprinting at Del Mar in August in the Pat O Brien Stakes, taking on older horses for the first time and soundly defeating ex Breeder’s Cup Champion Smiling Tiger. The Factor was back!

Although, as I checked him out before the race, he looked, well, kind of on the small side, and kind of sleepy looking. I was a little disappointed with his dull appearance.

The Factor
Luckily, I snapped a few pictures of this guy, Infurritable.
He looked like a behemoth!
For one thing, he was huge, towering over the other horses.
His grey coat was dappled and gorgeous in the autumn light. He came out looking ready to win!

This was Bob Baffert’s other horse in the race, and he was, unlike The Factor, not a favorite. I think he went off at something like 12-1.

I also snapped a few pictures of Amazombie, one of my favorite horses in training.
We like to call him Amberzombie.
He seems to always win when I’m at the track watching him.

Right after I snapped the last picture, just as I was taking another picture of Amazombie, his hall of fame jockey Mike Smith checked me out as I was checking out his horse! I was so distracted that I cut Mike out of the picture and just got Amazombie’s head! To bad, that picture would have been hilarious!

The Field for the Ancient Title Stakes

So, after leading the race the whole way, the Factor had nothing left in the stretch, and Amazombie came on late to win! And Infurritable was second! Why didn’t I bet that exacta?
I only watched one other race that day.
I wanted to watch John Sheriff’s Mr Commons in the feature race of the day, the Oak Tree Mile.
I had seen Mr Commons break his maiden.
I bet him that day at something like 10-1!
I also watched him win a stakes race at Del Mar over the summer.

Unfortunately this was not Mr Commons day, as he was just second in the Oak Tree Mile. He looked good before the race though. Okay, maybe grey horses always look good?

Saddling Mr Commons before the Oak Tree Mile