07/24/2007 11:01PM

Crashing the Blogosphere

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The format that evolved over the years, where I felt compelled to comment on every single race at the meeting, even if it was just a staccato recap of a thoroughly interesting maiden claimer, had grown confining and was turning what once was a joy into something of a chore. Also, I removed the preview and predictive elements of the diary last summer in favor of a "Play of the Day" feature designed to promote a book, a bad idea that won't be revisited.

In the meantime, I was beginning to read the numerous racing blogs that have emerged in recent years. They're no substitute for actual journalism and some of them are simply dreadful, but the good ones like Left At The Gate have become required and enjoyable daily reads for me. Maybe turning Saratoga Journal into a blog could make it fun again.

I will appreciate your patience as I figure out exactly what will be filling this space. I guess I'm supposed to do some of that welcome-to-my-world bloggery stuff about the music I'm listening to or computer game I'm playing these days, but not very often.

What I won't be doing is trying to report on or react to every development in the racing game -- we have a whole editorial operation here at DRF for that -- or every one of those 336 or so races at Saratoga 2007. What I have in mind is pretty regular posts on whatever strikes my fancy, most of it of course related to handicapping and playing those 336 races. I'l still be writing my usual columns for the Saturday and Sunday paper, but unlike those theoretically reasoned and researched 800-word polemics, the entries here will range from intemperate reactions to the events of the day to annoying whines about parimutuel misfortunes to esoteric handicapping nuggets. We'll figure it out as we go along.

Apparently you'll also be able to talk back by posting comments telling me what a nitwit I am and sometimes I'll reply, politely or otherwise, when warranted.

But for now, I have to look over the opening-day card a little more before returning with some late-night thoughts. It looks like a skullbuster, but what fun would it be if it were easy?