HE SPOTTED it just before the first race of the day. Looking down from the press room above the track at Oaklawn Racing & Gaming’s 2017 Arkansas Derby, photographer David Yerby’s eye fell on a lone gray horse in a sea of brown and black. So he readied his camera, adjusted his lens and waited. He wasn’t exactly sure what he was after. But that didn’t matter. He was present and ready for anything. It was a lesson he’d learned from a sports photographer he’d assisted at the Kentucky Derby back in 2004. “I get there with an open mind and my eyes open,” the photographer had told him that day. “Try not to think too much about the picture that you want.”

As the starting gates flew open, David kept his focus trained on the gray horse, watching it grab an early lead. The sea of brown and black parted as the pale steed pushed its way to the front, the competition left trailing behind in a tight ‘V.’ As the moment presented itself, he knew this was what he’d been waiting for. Click.