Racing Bloggers Take Collective Approach

A group of horse racing bloggers has launched “TURF,” a home page of sorts for their work. Many of the members have had industry-related blogs for several years.

Founding members of TURF are Valerie Gash, Dana Byerly, Jessica Chapel, Teresa Genaro, Ted Grevelis, and Kevin Martin.

“Our purpose in organizing this group is to gather the best the blogosphere has to offer in regards to the coverage of horse racing, providing one site where readers can easily find select and thought-provoking writing by individuals invested in sharing their love for the sport,” said Gash said, who authors Foolish Pleasure and Fillies First. “Our members include horse owners, trainers, pedigree and bloodstock analysts, medical professionals, handicappers, fans, and even professional Turf writers from three continents. With such diversity, readers are guaranteed to enjoy a wide array of opinion and news from all over the racing world.”

TURF can be accessed at www.turfbloggers.blogspot.com. It also has a presence on Facebook at Turf Bloggers.

Some of their work is showcased through the Thoroughbred Bloogers Alliancee at www.tbablogs.com

Genaro, who writes Brooklyn Backstretch, believes blogs help fill a void given the reduction in racing coverage by mainstream media.

“They can also focus on stories that big media outlets might not spend the money cover: small circuits, hidden stories, features about horses and trainers, and other elements of the business, like charities and retirement and grass-roots organizations, that newspapers and magazines are no longer—if they ever did—allocating resources to cover,” said Genaro, who is known for participating in lively industry-related debates via Twitter.

“TURF as an entity gives readers one place to go to get a variety of perspectives,” Genaro said. “By going to the home page, liking on Facebook, or following on Twitter, you have immediate access to stories literally from around the world, without having to go hunt for them. In the case of Twitter and Facebook, the stories come to you.”

Members of TURF will also do some theme-related posts, such as those centered on the upcoming Breeders’ Cup World Championships Nov. 4-5 at Churchill Downs.

“By exploring a common theme over the course of our first week, we hope to illustrate the benefits of visiting one ‘go-to’ website as a launch point for readers to further explore the provocative ideas found in our members’ blogs,” Grevelis said. “Certainly another goal is to engage readers in stimulating dialogue about our sport—the kind of open discussion that is sorely needed.”

TURF also is encouraging racetracks and media outlets to link to its home page to offer customers and readers more content.

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