JC / Railbird


A Dapper Man

Tod Sloan on his return from Europe

Tod Sloan, “great jockey, famed rounder, spender, one-time friend of millionaires and occasional toast of royalty,” on his return from Europe, 1898. The portrait is part of the Museum of the City of New York’s photography collection, much of which was recently published online. A quick search turns up approximately 150 photos of New York racing — including Sheepshead and Belmont racetracks — from the late 19th and early 20th century (via Kottke).

Déjà Vu Eclipse

The NTRA, DRF, and NTWA announced the 2009 Eclipse award for photography this afternoon, and there was something about the winner (below right), taken by Jeff Taylor at the Blue Ridge Hunt Point to Point Races for the Winchester Star, that felt familiar. But what?

2007, 2009 Eclipse award winning photos

Oh, that’s it — a similar photo by Douglas Lees (above left) won in 2007.

This year’s winner is also a bit reminiscent of Matt Goins’ winning 2006 shot:

2006 Eclipse award winning photo

Goins won again in 2008, with a picture of jockey Frankie Dettori leaping from Donativum in the Breeders’ Cup winner’s circle.

Curious, that the Eclipse judges change each year, but that their taste for jocks in air — falling or jumping, falling while jumping — does not.

Summer Beauty

The August issue of Vogue is now on newsstands and the magazine includes, as expected, a breezy feature on super filly Rachel Alexandra. The article offers little new information to racing fans (although I did enjoy reading this tidbit about the Preakness: “When Mike Smith, the jockey on Mine That Bird, rode up after the race to congratulate Borel, the highly competitive filly instinctively took off again”), but the accompanying photo is absolutely stunning. And possibly digitally altered? There’s no halter on her fine head:

Rachel Alexandra in August Vogue