Mike Smith gives Shared Belief a pat during the post parade for the San Antonio.
Regular exercise rider Willie Delgado and Chrome share a moment in the paddock before the San Antonio.
American Pharoah and Georgie Alvarez, first day back galloping at Santa Anita after the Triple Crown
American Pharoah, at the barn
Shared Belief, after the Santa Anita Handicap
Beholder, after winning the Adoration Stakes
Beholder, passing Zenyatta’s statue after winning the Zenyatta Stakes for the third consecutive year
Roy’s Cafe, Amboy, California
American Pharoah parades on Santa Anita Gold Cup Day
Beholder, winning the Zenyatta Stakes with Gary Stevens
American Pharoah and Martin Garcia, coming home after a work
Hoppertunity, before the Awesome Again Stakes
Shared Belief and groom Armando, after the Santa Anita Handicap
Songbird, after her Chandelier Stakes win
These are some of my favorite shots from this past year. Getting to have a Triple Crown winner training in your backyard is such a thrill. Add to that the best mare in training, and some up-and-coming two-year-olds. We said goodbye to the wonderfully gritty Shared Belief, who I was also lucky to see in person several times.
I’m looking forward to next year, with the return of California Chrome and Beholder, and getting to see horses like Songbird move into their three-year-old year. Happy Holidays to everyone!