Saturday, June 20, 2009

Return from across the Pond

I'm back from a several weeks across the pond. It is always difficult to get caught up with the industry results and news after a trip. So even though I was hoping to put up handicapping post for Saturday I won't as I'm just not yet up to speed.

It never fails that I feel woefully distraught over the state of racing in the U.S. upon my return. Returning from this trip I feel this emotion perhaps more poignantly than ever. The reasons are manifold and each deserves to be considered on it's own and I hope to address each in this space in the future. However, the main intention of this post is to let those few that read my blog know that I am back.

I had decided not to post a notice that I would be away because I was considering ending the blog and wanted the three weeks to mull over that decision. When I started this blog it was a way of keeping in contact with a sport/business that I am passionate about. Having gone from a very late blooming fan to working in several aspects of the industry (breeding/breaking-training center/track) and now out of the industry again I felt I could offer a unique perspective. I thought, perhaps, my words/opinions when added to others that also care deeply for the sport would have some power to move the industry in a better direction. But as time goes by the awareness that this was a flawed hope became more and more evident. This realization left me with a sense of ennui and sapped my appetite to continue. It seems even in the blogosphere fans are more self-interested than bent on effecting positive change. My conclusion is that I had started this blog just for the satisfaction of expressing my ideas with the hopes I already expressed. And that has to be enough to continue and it is. I am also grateful for the contacts and friendships that have resulted from interaction with fellow bloggers and I find them payment enough.

In the last 8-9 months I had cut back to basically just handicapping posts and usually only once a week. That has been a result of an increased workload, the blogging ennui I mentioned and that I had agreed to do the weekly handicapping piece for Thorofan. While I was away there has been a huge shakeup at TF and I am no longer associated with them. I will be posting more about this as soon as I learn more and sort out the facts. Lamentable but not unexpected occurrences. More so because they did not put up my final post in which I picked Summer Bird in the Belmont. In any event I think I will continue to do some handicapping posts as I have grown to enjoy them. But that aspect was not the genesis of my blog. In fact I don't think I did a handicapping post until I agreed to do so for TF.I am hoping to recoup some of fire in the belly that I had started with. This trip was good fodder for that hope. Nothing makes vision clearer than comparison.

Before ending I'd like to say what a wonderful job the BBC does with racing telecasts! We in the U.S. can learn a lot from watching. Sure the entire telecast wasn't "all" about the racing but it doesn't have to be. In their Royal Ascot coverage thay had a lot of fashion spots. That's not my cup of tea but I'm sure it kept it interesting enough for some that weren't just race fans to continue watching, my wife for one. She enjoys the races and will often watch them with me but it made the overall experience more fun for her. And it is another aspect that belongs to racing. Unfortunately with the easing of dress codes at the big meets like Saratoga, it is another custom/aspect of racing that is being lost. Nonetheless, their plethora of interviews with jocks, owners, trainers etc. was both interesting, informative and fun. The commentary was also usually informative and insightful. Their entire handicapping system doesn't make a whole lot of sense to a "Yank" but it's fun trying to figure the whole thing out. The entire event is treated as an event that belongs to everyone and should be seen and digestible for everyone; not just 'hard-core' race fans.

Upon my return we have the NYRA / Nassau County OTB fiasco. I'm quickly reminded that I can't watch racing on network TV let alone get to to see many of the races I would like watch on my cable system. I remember way back to the beginning of my blog I wrote a post entitled "Greed." And that is still what this all come down to: Greed, on all sides. While that post was more specifically about ADW's it needn't have been.

In any case it's nice to be back. Now that I have a little less on my plate I hope to be able to up my contribution when compared to the past several months and hope you will come back and visit.


Gene Kershner said...

Welcome back. Great call on Summer Bird. Looking forward to hearing what's going on at TF.

Anonymous said...

I Appreciate what you do & thanks.

G. Rarick said...

Don't lose hope! I agree that U.S. racing is a mess, and it seems hopeless to change. Still, I continue to shout into the wilderness, wondering if I could ever come back and train a horse in my native country without having to shoot it full of stuff like everyone else is doing. Keep up the good fight, and welcome back. At least you know you can always find racing not powered by chemicals here across the pond.