Serio Photograph Honored with Eclipse Award

Posted Jan. 5, 2016

Scott Serio, who heads up Eclipse Sportwire, photographed Triple Crown winner American Pharoah galloping on the Keeneland training track before the Breeders' Cup, and the image is now an Eclipse Award winner.

The photograph appeared in the Cecil (Md.) Guardian on Nov. 4 and the Thoroughbred Daily News on Nov. 5, as well as in other outlets.

The award to Serio was announced today by the NTRA, Daily Racing Form and the NTWAB.

Serio, a native of Baltimore, is president of Eclipse Sportswire photography service and is a 20-year veteran of the Baltimore City police department. He retired as a Detective Lieutenant in 2013. Serio wanted to return full-time to photojournalism and started his company with Bob Mayberger, also a Photography Eclipse Award winner in 2011. Serio earned a photojournalism degree from the University of Missouri.

Serio, along with other honorees, will receive his award during a ceremony at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 16.

“It is great to see all the hard work covering race days and racing events pay off,” said Serio, who started taking photographs in 1987, and first shot the 1988 Preakness. “I’ve always loved horse racing, but I also love the scene. It’s always been about the people at the venues and the size and magnitude of the events. I want people to say, ‘I wish I was there,’ so if I have taken them to a place through my photographs that they haven’t been before, then I have succeeded.”

It was Thursday of Breeders’ Cup week 2015 at 8:15 a.m., and Serio positioned himself on the Keeneland training track as American Pharoah, under exercise rider Jorge Alvarez, galloped slowly over the Polytrack surface. Serio’s photo captured the majestic 3-year-old in in a classic Keeneland fall setting between two trees with leaves partially on the ground and a sun-dappled, brown barn in the background.

“I ended up shooting with a team of photographers, so I gambled a little bit and found the right place,” Serio recalled. “It had been raining for three days, and finally the sun came out and we were able to take some fall images, so all the forces cooperated.”

The winning photograph was taken with a NIKON D4S with a 300 MM Lens. A low-resolution file of the image is posted here and can be viewed on the TDN website here.

Honorable mention in the Photography category went to Ron Garrison for a photograph of American Pharoah crossing the finish line in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. The photo appeared in the Lexington Herald Leader on November 1, 2015. Wendy Wooley received honorable mention for her photo of American Pharoah in the stretch of the Breeders’ Cup Classic, which appeared on the Paulick Report on October 31, 2015. And another honorable mention was given to Skip Dickstein for a photo of Victor Espinoza spraying Champagne at American Pharoah’s owner, Ahmed Zayat, celebrating their victory in the Kentucky Derby, which was published in The Blood-Horse on May 9, 2015.

Judges in the Photography category were Rayetta Burr of Benoit Photo; Rob Carr of Getty Images, Bill Denver of Equi-Photo, Inc. and Dr. Glen Kleine, retired Photo/Journalism Professor and Dept. of Mass Communications Chairman at Eastern Kentucky University.

Edited NTRA release