Coming off the turn

Coming off the turn, opening day, 2009 fall meet at Keeneland, Lexington, Ky.

The story: One shot saves the day

I really enjoy shooting horse racing and look forward to our trips to Keeneland in Lexington, Ky., each spring and fall. We eat some delicious Kentucky burgoo, lose a bit of money and have fun watching the horses run. And I get some new racing photos.

But during this trip in October 2009 for opening day of the fall meet we had rainy weather and dark skies. The combination made it difficult to get the shots I wanted. 

We left after the seventh race on the 10-race card so we could meet friends for dinner. On the way to the car we stopped at a spot next to the parking lot to watch the horses in the eighth race come off the turn.

I got this shot as the jockeys, in a tightly bunched field, urged their horses into position for the stretch run.  The shot captures the energy and beauty of horse racing, and it definitely provided a nice end to a damp, gray day at the track.

I used a Canon EOS 7D (the first day I had that camera) and a Canon EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L lens. Because of the heavy overcast, the shutter speed was a slow (for sports) 1/320th of a second, even with the ISO set at 1600.