Steeplechase 2009 slideshow

Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 8:59pm
Staff reports
Hitching a ride was one way to beat the mud. Jude Ferrara/The City Paper
Chivarly at its best. Jude Ferrara/The City Paper
No shoes became the look of Steeplechase. Jude Ferrara/The City Paper
These ladies didn't let the mud put a damper on their fun. Jude Ferrara/The City Paper
Braving the mud. Jude Ferrara/The City Paper
A crawfish boil in the infield. Jude Ferrara/The City Paper
These Steeplechasers take a break from the mud. Jude Ferrara/The City Paper
Jude Ferrara/The City Paper
The Iroquois Steeplechase has been running continuously at Percy Warner Park on the beautiful race course inspired by Marcellus Frost and designed by William duPont. Jude Ferrara/The City Paper
A peacock-inspired hat. Jude Ferrara/The City Paper
Pretty in yellow and untouched by the mud. Jude Ferrara/The City Paper
Jude Ferrara/The City Paper
Jude Ferrara/The City Paper
Jude Ferrara/The City Paper
A peek inside one the Lexus corporate tent. Jude Ferrara/The City Paper
Jude Ferrara/The City Paper
A view of the infield after the end of the day. Jude Ferrara/The City Paper
Jude Ferrara/The City Paper
The Iroquios race. Jude Ferrara/The City Paper
Jockey Chip Miller and his horse Pierrot Lunaire would go on to upset two-time steeplechase winner Good Night Shirt.
Jude Ferrara/The City Paper
Jockey Chip Miller accepts the highest honors after his horse, Pierrot Lunaire, won the The Iroquois race. Jude Ferrara/The City Paper

Race revelers at this year's 68th annual Running of the Iroquois Steeplechase were not daunted by the deep mud that oozed through most of the Percy Warner Park grounds. In fact, spirits stayed high and it was party as usual Saturday as women donned brilliant hats adorned with peacock feathers, flowers, ribbons and over-sized bows as well as sundresses in bright yellows, blues, pinks and every imaginable print and men looked dapper in seersucker suits, linen pants and the occasional slacks with festive prints of crawfish, sailboats or four-leaf clovers.

The rain brought a heightened level of chivalry as many were quick to give a hand or arm to anyone slipping in the mud, but it also meant the introduction of an impromptu fashion: the rain boot. Many eschewed heels and flip flops for knee-high rubber boots in pink, beige or black-and-white plaids, pastel hues or plain ol' fisherman-style navy, black or charcoal colors. Some even did away with shoes all together and tramped around barefoot.

While the rain may not have been a major upset, the outcome of the $150,000 prize-winning Iroquois race sure proved to be one. At a little past 5 p.m., underdog competitor Pierrot Lunaire, ridden by jockey Chip Miller, took the win by three horse lengths, beating Good Night Shirt, who, after two consecutive wins of the Steeplechase in 2007 and 2008, was going for a hat trick.