24 Years and Counting!

The shiver of anticipation during the playing of "My Old Kentucky Home" as the horses parade onto the track at Churchill Downs, the roar of the cheering crowd, and the horses' pounding hooves as they turn into the homestretch are a few of the incredible moments in my annual Derby experience. Photographing the Kentucky Derby is an exhilarating experience that every photographer should put on their photographic "bucket" list.

 When I was younger, I would miss school to attend and observe the major races at Keeneland and Churchill Downs.  At the time I did  not equate how important attending races would be to my education and profession. An amateur photographer and filmmaker, my dad taught me how to shoot and edit stills and movies. (Remember the Derby Streaker climbing the Flagpole?-Dad got the shot!)

 While photographing for Blood-Horse Publications I've been fortunate to photograph some amazing animals and people through the years . Through this blog I'll share some of my Derby experiences with you and look forward to your memories of Derby day as we reminisce.  I will share some of the images I have captured through the years, as well as new images from Saturday's 136th Run for the Roses, my twenty-fifth year shooting the spectacular event!

 The 1985 Kentucky Derby was the first I photographed for The Blood-Horse. Angel Cordero Jr. and Spend a Buck took a commanding lead and led all the way and the race was for second place. The image below was taken after the race, Spend a Buck was ready to run some more! I would love to hear some of your thoughts from that great race (if you can still remember it; I know it has been a while). I will never forget it, and it has led to many other Derby memories that I will share with you in future posts.

 Spend A Buck - 1985 KY Derby Winner

 To purchase this photo from The Blood-Horse Photo Store, you can click here.



Leave a Comment:

tom hyland


Congratulations on 25 years photographing the Derby! I've enjoyed your work for many years now- it's first-rate.

I've been fortunate enough to get a few photo assignments at Arlington Park, so I know how difficult this job is. You capture the feel of the sport as well as anyone.

26 Apr 2010 6:31 PM

That horse was a legitimate triple crown threat...too bad he never had the shot...and a great race call from Mike Battaglia!!

26 Apr 2010 6:59 PM

This was the first derby that I remember in great detail.  Spend A Buck doesn't get the credit he deserves historically due to his skipping the rest of the triple crown.  He was in fact an awesome horse who could very well have won the triple crown!

26 Apr 2010 7:40 PM
Karen in Indiana

How wonderful! So do you follow families? Einstein, a son of Spend a Buck, had some wonderful races at Churchill Downs.

26 Apr 2010 9:12 PM


Congratulations on shooting your 25th Derby! Looking forward to another year of great shots and seeing more of your shots from years past. Always interesting hearing the story behind a particular shot. Great idea for a blog!

26 Apr 2010 9:25 PM
nobody beats the wiz

Anne I know that you have been taking great shots for many years, but 25 WOW! My memory of Spend A Buck's Derby win is a funny one. At our annual Derby party, a good friend decided to act as the bookie in residence.The women at the party thought that Spend A Buck was such a cute  name.  My friend's career as a " turf accountant" was over in a little over two minutes.

26 Apr 2010 10:27 PM
Lou in TX


Thanks for all the wonderful pictures you took of Barbaro. Those will always be a favorite of mine.  You've also made some good shots of the brothers, Nicanor, Lentenor and Margano. Also very grateful for those.

Good luck with your 25th Derby.  We will all be watching for your pictures.  Be sure and post them so we all can see.  Thanks again for your wonderful work.

26 Apr 2010 10:39 PM

The 85 Derby was my first and only derby that I ever attended. Started attending the races in the mid-seventies while a Marine out a Camp Pendleton. Went to both Del Mar & Santa Anita a number of times.

For the 85 Derby I took my wife to be, with me and it was her first time ever at a track. We sat in the infield and sadly we could see very little of the races. And of course back in those days there was no big screen to view the races on. It was a gorgeous day and we had a great time but would have loved to see Spend A Buck's wire to wire win.  We did go back to Churchill Downs the following Friday and sat up in the reserved seats and were able to enjoy the races and most importantly see them.  I did have $10 across on Spend A Buck so that did make the day a little brighter. My wife and I did make another trip back to Churchill Downs a few years ago and took our kids to the Museum and the races.

Good luck on your 25th Derby. Looking at a very good betting race this year so I would take pictures of them all. Because anyone of them can win!!

I still have a couple Derby glasses and my program from '85 which are my only connections to that great day!  And of course we all know that any day at the track is a Great Day!!

27 Apr 2010 12:57 AM

You are a great photographer.

27 Apr 2010 7:06 AM
Matt Goins


Not only are you a great photographer, but you have been a valued mentor to so many young photographers out there.

I remember Spend A Buck like it was yesterday. What a great race. Probably the most important lesson from 1985 is that was the year the Triple Crown fell apart because of the $2-million bonus that prompted his connections to bypass the Preakness & Belmont and run in the Jersey Derby at the now-defunct Garden State Park. The horse he defeated there, Creme Fraiche, would win the Belmont and leave us all wondering if Spend A Buck would have been our most recent TC winner.

I look forward to your humor and history in the coming blog posts, and wish you a enjoyable Derby experience!

27 Apr 2010 9:53 AM
Anne Eberhardt

Thanks for all the comments and well wishes. Lately it has been very wet trackside here at Churchill. The wind today made for nice flying mane shots. Tomorrow promises cold weather with sun which should accentuate the morning steam and horses' breath in photos. Looking forward to that.

27 Apr 2010 11:26 AM

Anne, I have enjoyed your work for years. You are a gifted artist with a tremendous ability to capture that which is unique and extraordinary. I appreciate the great work that comes from you and have come to recognize your style without looking for the credit!

Thank you for sharing your gift of photography as it's importance will continue on long after we are all gone!



27 Apr 2010 12:18 PM

You are too young to have taken 25 years of Derby photos. Wonderful memories for you and great pictures for us!!!

03 May 2010 10:55 AM
Elliott Hunter Diaz

thanks for the great pic of my dads horse as u my know he passed 07/2/07 i love racing because him i would love to see more

21 Jun 2010 9:33 PM

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