Bittersweet is probably the best way to express my feelings
on the following news: I will be leaving The Blood-Horse on May 22, just after
my coverage of the Preakness.
As LeBron would say, I’m taking my talents down to South
Florida to begin a new business and a new chapter in my life. After 11 years of
sports writing—six at a Philadelphia area newspaper and five at The
Blood-Horse, I have decided to move on. This plan has been in the works for
more than a year, but has just recently come to fruition, and so I am on one
hand very excited about beginning what will hopefully be a lucrative and
rewarding new business, but also a bit sad to be leaving a career that has been
a passion for me for more than a decade.
I have worn many hats at Blood-Horse—racing writer, news and features contributor for the magazine, creator and co-host of
the video That Handicapping Show with Tom LaMarra, helped manage bloodhorse.com, covered the Triple Crown and
Breeders’ Cup—as well as many other duties. But hosting the Triple Crown Talk
and Breeders’ Cup Chat blogs have been among my favorite parts of the job, no
doubt. Though I’ve only met a few of you in person, I feel like I’ve really gotten
to know many of the loyal bloggers on here, and want to thank you for making
this the most popular blog in the industry. In the less than five years that
the blog has been running, there have been more than 3 million pageviews and
75,000 comments. I appreciate all of your contributions and the banter that we
had over the years.
As you know, I was never afraid to give my opinions on here;
I told it like I saw it and I don’t apologize for that, and I think that is what
helped make the blog so successful. The formula was simple: Passionate
opinions, good back-and forth comments from bloggers, and a lot of fun along
the way. The Rachel/Zenyatta chapters were probably the highlights (and
sometimes the lowlights), I think most would agree.
I hope I’ve also been a good source of information for many
of you and that the blog has been a nice outlet for those who wished to express
their feelings freely. A small percentage of you are probably saying “good
riddance” right now, and that’s OK. I never wanted or needed to be liked by
everyone; that’s not what this blog was all about. For the majority of the
others who have been loyal readers and enjoyed this blog and my coverage of
racing and industry news, I thank you and wish you nothing but the best in the
future. I’ve truly enjoyed it.
also very much enjoyed meeting the many owners and
trainers in the industry, and appreciate their willingness to share information
in a forthcoming manner so that I could in return pass it on to the readers. This
industry is filled with good, hard-working people whose livelihoods come from
this great sport. There are too many people to mention, but I wish everyone who
I’ve had a relationship with—no matter how large or small—the best of luck.
This sport could use some major reform, and I won’t use this
forum as an outlet for my opinions on how things can improve. Suffice it to say
that banning Lasix is not the answer and having an improved marketing plan is
the most important component to future success. A governing body that holds real decision-making power is easier
said than done, but the sport needs it. Either way, I’m hopeful that horse
racing can improve over the next few years and I’m sure the sport will always
play a part in our society, even if it is unlikely to ever return to the glory days.
Finally, I’d like to thank my colleagues at The Blood-Horse.
It’s been great working with such a knowledgeable and talented group, and I’m
sure you’ll continue to make the website and magazine the No. 1 source for
racing, breeding, sales, and news in the industry. It’s been enjoyable playing
a part in putting a large gap between us and our (bi-) weekly competitor.
I look forward to running into many of you in Baltimore and
saying goodbye. I’ll have one final Preakness blog later this week.
Best to all,