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HRN Original Blog:
Portrait of a Thoroughbred

Illinois Derby Day at Hawthorne in Photos

Dynamic Impact Haw Heidi 615 X 400
Photo: Heidi E. Carpenter
It was beautiful day at Hawthorne Race Course on Saturday, Illinois Derby Day. Please enjoy my visual recap of the day, from the early races through the big one...
The Sears Tower (as Chicagoans still call it) backdrops the post parade for the Third Chance Hcp. at Hawthorne Race Course.
Local favorite C'Mon Feet (5) wins the Third Chance Hcp.
Piloted by Tim Thornton, the four-year-old filly is undefeated in three starts for the year.
James Graham after the Third Chance Hcp.
Another local favorite, nine-year-old River Bear, started in the Robert S. Molaro Hcp.
River Bear (far left, red blinkers) swung wide to take the race with a late closing kick.
It was the second stakes win in a row for Tim Thornton.

Shortly after the next race (an allowance), paragliders surprised most of us by swooping in to land on the turf course. The outriders' ponies--which are used to the non-stop jets from nearby Midway Airport--weren't too thrilled with these strange flying contraptions!
Flashy American in the post parade for the Sixty Sails Hcp. (Gr. III).
 Sonja's Angel, Martin Garcia up, sets the pace in the Sixty Sails.
 Flashy American duels Sonja's Angel for the lead in the Sixty Sails.
 Jockey Chris Emigh gives a fist pump as Flashy American crosses the wire first.
Sixty Sails winner's circle.
 Midnight Hawk makes his way over to the paddock for the Illinois Derby (Gr. III).
 I was expecting to get great photos of the beautiful gray colt in the post parade, but he had other ideas!
 Under Martin Garcia, Midnight Hawk seized the lead quickly out of the gate.
 Midnight Hawk gamely battled Dynamic Impact for the lead in the stretch.
Ultimately, Dynamic Impact won by a nose.
Midnight Hawk returns from his nose defeat in the Illinois Derby.
 Jockey Miguel Mena celebrates atop Dynamic Impact.
Illinois Derby winner's circle.
Dynamic Impact heads back to the barn for some well-deserved rest.


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Older Comments about Illinois Derby Day at Hawthorne in Photos...

havign said all that, the digital format is so much easire and one often gets surprisingly good results even with little Canon Sure shots
  • Portrait · Thank you for the comments, Vic. I've used SLRs and have an old one I might use for fun sometime. When I take these photos, I have the DSLR on a manual setting and enjoy the challenge of getting good photos that way. I use a Nikon DSLR, not a point and shoot, although those cameras can be fun, too.f · 250 days ago
You are very talented, Heidi ... I'm so happy that we have you on our team!
Old SLR's and real film required a bit of art to come out noticeable. Digital world changed all that: no need to dodge and burn prints, used to be stuck with the same ASA only alterable by neutral density filters.......The true tecnical photographers no longer have that plafrom to work with HOWEVER the world's best phtographs remain silver based black and white ones: cannot beat the texture and depth of filed they render.
Great pics, Heidi!


 Meet Heidi Carpenter


An equestrian since 1986, Heidi has loved horses for as long as she can remember. She fell in love with the sport and history of Thoroughbred racing as a young girl after reading about the great champions of yesteryear, including Man o' War, Lexington, Equipoise, and Citation.

Always very visual and imaginative--as well as a romantic at heart--Heidi has a great interest in the stories, connections and images abound in Thoroughbred racing. She also enjoys studying pedigrees and racing history.

The first Kentucky Derby Heidi watched was in 1991, and the first racehorse she fell in love with was Cigar. Her all-time favorites include Ruffian, Man o' War, Dr. Fager, John Henry and Winter Memories.

Heidi lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her husband (who is also a racing fan) and four cats, and has her beloved horse, Limerick, boarded nearby. Registered as Amanda Bry, Limerick is a 1991-model OTTB mare that Heidi has had since 1996. Heidi has a B.A. in creative writing from Columbia College Chicago and is a writer for a local laboratory. Heidi also has a blog at: http://deafequinefanatic.blogspot.com/