Southern Focus

Churchill Downs, Louisville

Photographer Greg Keysar captures a Kentucky Derby moment

photo: Greg Keysar

The Kentucky Derby doesn’t do subtle. But the parade of plumage the day before, at the Kentucky Oaks, may give the flamboyant style at the Run for the Roses a run for its money. It’s then, when three-year-old Thoroughbred fillies make their dash for the finish line, that frills fill Churchill Downs for an annual fashion contest, and pink is the signature color. The Maryland photographer Greg Keysar captured the Oaks ballyhoo from a balcony overlooking the paddock using a tilt-shift lens, the effect of which renders the sea of hats in miniature. “You name it, you’ll most likely see it at the Derby,” Keysar says of the weekend of events, which this year take place May 4 and 5. “The energy is electric.”