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This poster commemorates one of the greatest Travers finishes I ever saw — 1998. Three incredible horses came within 6" of winning it all. Coronado’s Quest won with Mike Smith aboard, but Victory Gallup and Raffie’s Majesty were just a heartbeat away. With about 20 lengths to go, the cheers were deafening, and they got louder. This finish was so close, there were three times as many people thinking — and yelling — that they had the winning ticket. It was wonderful fun. Then came the announcement of the winner from the officials at the finish line — and it was pandemonium all over again. I just loved it. Thoroughbred racing has always been a beautiful pageant, but it’s the “stand on anything to get a better look,” heart-racing, flat-out adrenalin rush of finishes like these that keep me coming back.
I wanted a different perspective, and different background color for this poster. So I drew these horses as seen from the inside of the track, right at the finish line. The horses are running right to left, not the more usual, and comfortable, left to right — like we read. I used a high, down angle so that the horse closest to the viewer — the winning horse — would not obscure the other two. The left edge of the print is the finish line. I pulled many original prints of this image showing a texture to the track surface (tan background.) In the end, I decided that I liked the simplicity of the untextured track. So, that’s the way the poster appears. I used Adobe Photoshop to delete the tan background from the four-color separations and replace it with a solid tan ink.
Production Details:This is the 14th poster in The Colors of Racing poster series.17" x 33" (43.2 cm x 83.8 cm) Limited Edition (The Travers/Saratoga posters are never reprinted)Paper: Strobe 80 lb. dull coverInks: Four colors plus varnishTypeface: Adobe Garamond
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