They’re the individuals seen at a racetrack, alongside the rail or in the Winner’s Circle in all kinds of weather, running to capture that perfect image before it disappears in a cloud of track dust. They are the track photographers, an extremely vital part of a race day or night, and their images become part of history the minute the shutter clicks. At the three harness tracks in Pennsylvania, the photographers who create magic with their cameras are Chris Gooden; Curtis Salonick; and Grace Zimmers.
Chris Gooden, Track photographer at the Meadows Racetrack in Washington, PA

Securing that perfect finish line photo and commemorative Winner’s Circle group picture at The Meadows Racetrack in Washington, PA is the responsibility of the creative and animated Chris Gooden. Chris took over the position in 2002 after working for the original photographer, who then retired, and he jumped right in. A winner of numerous awards, including three U.S. Harness Writer’s George Smallsread Awards* for harness racing photography, Chris, a former wedding photographer, in addition to covering youth and college sports, is well-known for his unique style when it comes to getting that perfect photo. “I always try to think out-of-the-box and do things differently. I think shooting weddings helped me to watch for the emotion, paying more attention to what’s going on around the race, rather than the actual race.”

He’s had numerous memorable moments shooting the superstars of harness racing over the years, both at the Meadows and at various tracks hosting the Breeders Crown, but one special event stands out. “My greatest moment here was watching Mike Wilder, my good friend, win the Adios last August. That was really emotional and important to me,” he described.
Does weather throw a monkey wrench into shooting the races? Chris is quick to comment that he loves shooting in snow! “Snow is never a problem for me. I always say I would shoot 365 days in the snow if I never had to shoot in the rain again!” He added that he can shoot in any weather, juggling his multiple cameras and lenses to meet the situation. On a race day, Chris normally uses two cameras with accessories; on a big stakes day he uses up to eight cameras, between those he carries and those placed around the track for remote shooting. The more difficult the shot, the better, for this talented photographer!
Curtis Salonick, Track Photographer at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono’s

Traveling further north, the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono’s track photographer Curtis Salonick is equally creative and puts his own unique spin on his photos. An artistic photographer in his free time with numerous awards and gallery showings, and countless photos featured in publications, he started working for Race Horse Photos in 2006, branching out on his own in 2014.

Constantly in motion but always taking the time out to chat with a fan or a horseman, and sporting his trademark red cap, Curtis enjoys shooting all the races at Pocono and is happy when the Winner’s Circle is filled with happy owners and horsemen. He especially enjoys shooting the big stakes races, looking forward to the added excitement, fans, and additional freelance photographers. “It’s great to work with the photographers from the other tracks on the big race nights; they’re so generous and cooperative…and so talented!” The three Breeders Crown nights held at Pocono were especially exciting to him, giving him the chance to really stretch his talent.
Along with the standard finish line and Winner’s Circle photos, Curtis keeps his eye out for something different. “I’m always trying to find something fun during the races, a different angle or view of the drivers or the horses.” One example of that different view is the infield photo of the drivers taken in 2017. After Pocono racetrack marketing asked him to shoot something creative for print and media use, Curtis immediately enlisted a few drivers, walking them into the middle of the infield flowers. The photo was turned into a billboard; featured in the racing newsletter mailed to guests; and displayed on a banner on the road entering the property.
Grace Zimmers, Track Photographer at Harrah’s Philadelphia

At Harrah’s Philadelphia, 23-year-old Grace Zimmers took over the reigns of track photography from the late John Pantalone in 2020. Passionate about photography since the age of 13, she was inspired by her grandfather who had a camera business at Zern’s Farmer’s Market outside of Boyertown. A freelance photographer on the side, she keeps busy working in her family’s pet store; for a cleaning service; and at an auction company.

Grace is really enjoying photographing the horses, which is a change of pace for her. “It’s definitely a different atmosphere, very fast-paced.” For someone who had never done a finish line photo, there was some anxiety when she started halfway through the season, but she spent some time doing her homework by watching other track photographers and studying their work. Track personnel gave their input, too and she was grateful. “They’re very friendly at Harrah’s and helped me to relax and find my way”. Suggestions from horsemen have also helped. “Some like all hooves in the air, while some prefer all down on the ground, so I keep that in mind while shooting. It’s all timing. And in the Winner’s Circle, I like when everyone is smiling!” she said enthusiastically.
All three share a passion for harness racing and photography and are appreciative when excited owners look forward to receiving their commemorative photos cementing a moment in history. Through rain, snow, sleet, and extreme heat, they will continue to deliver the photos that will create memories for many years.


Follow our talented photographers on social media!

Facebook: Chris Gooden
Facebook: Curtis Salonick
Facebook: Grace Zimmers
Instagram: gracezimmers
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