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Saturday, May 05, 2012

Kentucky Derby 2012: Famous (and Fast) Thoroughbred Feet from Churchill Downs

The biggest day of the year is here. What's going on behind the scenes at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky? The Hoof Blog has assembled a gallery of images for you that you probably won't see anywhere else. Thanks to Dan Burke of Farrier Product Distribution for his shots of horses being shod this morning. Place your bets, sip your julip and take an intimate look at a few hooves!
That's a long apron! I think horseshoer Steve Norman, who is quite tall, wears such a long one because he often has shorts on underneath! This could be an historic photo; Steve is shoeing Winstar Farms' undefeated Gemologist for trainer Todd Pletcher.

Dan stopped by the track kitchen and pointed out to me that the kitchen has been insured good luck always: a lone horseshoe hangs over the counter. Yes, the heels point upward because whoever nailed it there believes that they are holding the luck in that way.

Back in the shedrow, Churchill Downs horseshoer Todd Boston lays a new Kerckhaert raceplate on a hoof of Prospective, trained by Mark Casse.

Churchill Downs

Details, details: Churchill Downs knows the power of details.

Kentucky Derby!

Where are you celebrating the Derby today?

Churchill Downs

A vet's station wagon left open while he or she was working on the backside at Churchill. Tabitha Kaylee Hawk photo.

Stormy skies interrupted yesterday's races. The horses were cleared from the track when lightning threatened.

Steve Norman and his assistant work their way around El Padrino for Todd Pletcher. This horse has been below the radar the past few weeks.


Which horse's name will go up on the paddock sign next?

© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site,, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to  
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