Anthony’s Cross

Anthony’s Cross and Joel Rosario (outside) overtake 1/5 favorite Tapizar and Garrett Gomez on their way to winning the Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita Park. Tapizar finished fifth in the race, one that leaves the California three year old division wide open with the Kentucky Derby less than three months away. Who will win the West is anyone’s guess right now.

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Hunting the Hunter

I was out looking for birds that I could fill my view finder with when I saw some movement in a clearing beneath a group of trees. I saw a bird make a little hop from right to left and I immediately thought “crow.” To my delight, it turned out to be a juvenile Red Tailed Hawk. He was grabbing pieces of fallen bark with his talons, and overturning them by flapping his wings and lifting himself off the ground a few feet. I assume he was looking for food, but maybe he was just being a kid.

When he took flight, I lost focus on him in the foliage that was between us. He only flew twenty yards or so and perched in a nearby tree. I took photos of him in the tree, but, I was really just waiting for him to take off again so I could catch him in flight. 

After holding my position for about five minutes, my shoulders, eyes, and hands began to tire and I became very uncomfortable. I reached for my strap to wrap around my shutter hand for some support, and of course, he swooped out of the tree and left me in the dust. All I got was an overexposed picture of him soaring through the sky; leaving me, and an arsenal of obscenities, in his wake.

I was pissed. I know better than to give in to discomfort like that. More times than not, you miss the shot, and it hurts worse than whatever physical pain you may have been feeling.

I refused to be denied, so I took note of his flight pattern and set out to track him down. I found him in another tree about a hundred yards away a few minutes later. He was facing away from me, so I worked my way around to face him; this way, I could get a head-on shot of him taking flight when he decided to take off again.

He sees me hawking him, but, doesn’t seem to care…

 Ten minutes pass, and it looks like he is ready to take flight. He raises his head, his wings come up, and…

…he turns around and goes the other way.

This is the second time this has happened to me today. Earlier this morning, a mature Red Tailed Hawk pulled the same move.

I need to rethink my approach.

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Allen’s Hummingbird

Photographed my first Allen’s Hummingbird today. This is an adult male, right before flight.  This was shot at around 3:00 p.m. in Arcadia, CA.  He is definitely on my favorites list of birds; hope to see him again.

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Amazombie (in focus) and Mike Smith overtake Cost of Freedom (rail) in the stretch and hold off a late charging Apriority (outside) to win the Sunshine Millions Sprint at Santa Anita Park.

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Game On Dude…

Game On Dude made a successful return to the races in his four year old debut by winning an optional claimer under jockey Rafael Bejarano in the 7th race on Thursday at Santa Anita Park.  He completed the 1 mile and 1/16 distance in 1:40.77 and won by 1 1/4 lengths.  The race was his first start since finishing fourth in the Belmont Stakes last June.  Prior to the Belmont, Game One Dude highlighted his three year old campaign with a win in the Grade III Lone Star Derby at Lone Star Park in Texas.  His connections are pointing towards the Grade I  Santa Anita Handicap on March 5th, 2011 as his next possible start.

Times in 100ths:  :22.92  :46.19  1:09.74  1:34.48    1:40.77

Winning Trainer: Baffert Bob | Owner: Lanni Family Trust, Mercedes Stable, LLC and Schiappa, Bernard C.

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Nice Trophies

As I watched the Green Bay Packers’ post game press conference following their NFC Championship win over the Chicago Bears yesterday, I wondered why I didn’t see the George S. Halas Trophy. I soon realized that I was staring right at it; the new version of it, that is.

I must say, if ever there was a piece of sh** trophy, this is it. I don’t care if Tiffany made it (they should be embarrassed), if it took 1000 hours to produce, or costs $10,000; I consider myself violated for ever having to look upon it.  I’ve seen fecal art that I deem more appealing.

Three hours later, the Pittsburgh Steelers received the Lamar Hunt Trophy for winning the AFC. It wasn’t the traditional Lamar Hunt Trophy we’ve seen through the years, it was the new piece of sh**’s twin brother.

Here are photos of both the old, and the new:

When the old trophies were raised you could tell they were solid, and had weight to them. I watched presenter Terry Bradshaw wave this thing around as if it were made out of recycled beer cans.

Here are some reasons the innovators at the NFL had for the change:

“We felt there was room to improve how we represent this time period to our fans.” – a time period where respect of the history and tradition of the game obviously don’t mean anything. 

”Because the Vince Lombardi Trophy is all sterling silver and it shines when it’s on the field, it gets hoisted up a certain way and we felt those same materials, that same football aspect of it should be captured in the redesign.”

Because it shines? If you pee on a wall, it will shine too.

Here is what I expect the Vince Lombardi Super Bowl Trophy to read following this year’s game:

Super Bowl XLV

Steelers 27

Packers 24

Halftime Show by the Black Eyed Peas

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