04/30/2011 10:12PM

Churchill Downs: Rainbows and dreams


Churchill Downs became an artist's palette Thursday evening when an unusually colorful storm resulted in not one, but two double-rainbows.  Such beauty inspires dreams...

Some felt the pot o' gold landed at Dale Romans' barn, the home of Shackleford.  And Mucho Macho Man's part-owner Patti Reeves could feel the rainbows were for their colt.  When Patti left Florida, there was a rainbow over the racetrack.  When she arrived at Churchill, she arrived to a double-rainbow.  

I'm sure other horses' connections, too, could find reason to feel the rainbows were intended just for them.  But whatever possible endings the colorful arcs foretold, they were indescribably beautiful.

Above and below:  The first double-rainbow arced over the twin spires.  Does it end at Dale Romans' barn?  

Below:  The second double-rainbow - at sunset.  It framed Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro's final resting place and the Kentucky Derby Museum/Churchill Downs entrance.  As the lighting changed, so did the mood of the resulting images.


A variety pack of various photographs from the past week: horses inspiring dreams....

Above:  Archarcharch (left) and Supreme Ruler working out.  Below (two photos):  Archarcharch, including with Jon Court up.

Above: Decisive Moment works out.  Below:  Joyful Victory and Cindy Jones.

Above: Joyful Victory.  Below, Kathmanblu and William Aldana.

Above:  Delightful Mary with Shaun Bridgmohan up.  Below:  Mucho Macho Man eyes the camera.

Above:  Mucho Macho Man with Mike Herra up.  Below: The sweet-faced Niji's Grand Girl.

Congratulations to Neil Howard on the Derby Trial victory of Machen (above).  Below:  Dana Barnes and Midnight Interlude.

Above:  R Heat Lightning with Hector Ramos up.  Michael McCarthy on pony.  Below:   The Factor.

Above and below:  Shackleford and Faustino Ramos.

Above:  Stay Thirsty.  Below: St. John's River with Anna Napravnik up.

Above:  Twice the Appeal with Julio Rodriguez.

Above and below:  Uncle Mo with his regular exercise rider Hector Ramos.

Above and below:  Smiling Tiger.

Sue R-CT More than 1 year ago
You NEVER disappoint! The next best thing to being at the Derby is looking at your photos! You make me feel like I am there. Hopespringseternal the week leading up to the Derby!!! Who will bring home the pot of gold under the rainbow!
dotcom More than 1 year ago
Thanks Barbara ~ as always your photos are amazing ! As a horseperson, I appreciate all the different angles you use when photographing horses ~ either in still shots or while they are running. You manage to capture the unusual poses that other photographers do NOT take the time to wait on. At any given time there is something different about each horse with their individual personalities and mannerisms, that is what makes horse watching so interesting. I see the Racing Form every day and find it so much more interesting to read when there is a photo to go along with the article ~ a horse IS a horse, of-course, but your photos of horses stand out from the rest ! Barbaro, R I P with that beautiful rainbow surrounding you ~ I honestly think you were suppose to be our Triple Crown that year !!!
Lady Slew More than 1 year ago
OMG, please tell me you'll sell posters of the shot of the rainbows over the Twin Spires! >
Sheri S. More than 1 year ago
Hello Barbara: Your pictures are always so wonderful. You have up close access to these beautiful horses and we enjoy seeing the end result. I always take my camera to Santa Anita and have gotten a few, what I call, "excellent" pictures that I have framed (and some signed) in our den. Looking forward to your photographs at the Derby. Take care, Sheri
sherpa More than 1 year ago
All of the rainbow pictures are awesome. I'm so glad you were there to capture those heavenly gifts on film. Niji's Grand Girl does have the sweetest face ever. My goodness, that Shackleford is a handsome fellow. I see AAA has that cute "dishy" face like cousin Blame, but Delightful Mary's must be the dishiest of all! Anna Rose defines "relaxed" on a horse's back. What a precious moment you caught with R Heat Lightning & Mike McCarthy. Thank you for the full-body shot of DM working, too. :-) The way your portraits always seem to capture each horse's unique personality is amazing to me. Every frame is perfection. I'm so grateful that you bring us along to backside and trackside with you.
Johnny G More than 1 year ago
Very nice work Barbara. The twin spires with the rainbow is very nice. Thanks for sharing.
Celeste More than 1 year ago
Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos! A rainbow is always beautiful, but a double rainbow is always exciting to me because I see them so seldom. Thank you for capturing these beauties as a backdrop to the horses we love.
Debbie Minnis More than 1 year ago
Beautiful pictures as always! Love the rainbows!
Alysse More than 1 year ago
The shot of the double rainbow framing a silhouetted Barbaro statue is sick. Really, a perfect rainbow. And I feel like this blog can't go without a mention of "double rainbow all the way across the sky...what does this mean?"
Stevie Wise More than 1 year ago
Great work,as always.....How can one purchase the "Rainbow over The Twin Spires" pictures???? Let me know. Regards,