07/24/2007 10:01PM

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?

OaktownABQ More than 1 year ago
Steve, loved your analysis of the opening-day races at Siro's...I'm a California boy born and raised, but if the weather isn't wacky, Saratoga beats Del Mar hands down...also, don't forget the 4-percent takeout Pick-4 at Ellis Park...we horseplayers need to support that, or else other track managers won't have an incentive to lower their takeouts.
alan More than 1 year ago
Steve - Welcome to the blogosphere and thanks much for the mention and link!!
Kevin Sullivan More than 1 year ago
Steven, the funk you find yourself in is just the nether world of pre-Saratoga racing. Once the horses start running and stories unfold, you might just catch onto this year's storyline and extrapolate it for those of us too distant, too unconnected and too unempathetic to do so.
Green Mtn Punter More than 1 year ago
Steve, welcome to the blogosphere! You're right about Left At The Gate, Alan is always an interesting and worthwhile read as he covers the entire gamut of racing topics. Am looking forward to your always insightful comments on the Saratoga scene and the blog approach is absolutely the best format! See you at Siro's on Saturday- suggest you have Alan as a guest handicapper on Travers Day.
Kaufer More than 1 year ago
Hi Steve, In addition to helping my poor handicapping skills, can you also impart some advice as to how I can cure my bad skin over at the Big Red Spring? Kaufer
CHARLIE GRIMM More than 1 year ago
STEVE WE GO BACK SEABROOK PARK CIRCA 1977 when you bet on the dogs in my greyhound kennel.HOW FAR YOUVE COME I PIS LEASE CONTINUE THE SPA JNL IT IS ALWAYS FUN AND INFORMATIVETHE BEST TO YOU ALWAYS HOPE TO SEE U AT ONE OF THE SEMINARS CHARLIE
Jen Morrison More than 1 year ago
Hi Steve, Thanks for the mention about racing blogs and your entertaining writing, as always. I didn't really know what to do, why I was doing it, when I started my blog in March 2006 but I have enjoyed it and get a lot of comments about it. I want to get people talking about the game in Ontario and we don't have much press coverage here in the papers - the DRF is THE source of course! Jen Morrison
Floppydog More than 1 year ago
How can Floppydog obtain a a Steve Crist bobblehead doll? Great blog already! Rock on, Flop
charlie grimm More than 1 year ago
steve we go back to my kennel SeabrookNH CIRCA 1977READ ALL YOUR BOOKS AND MOST OF YOUR ARTICLES THE SPA JOURNAL IS ALWAYS GOOD AND NEVER BORING TO YOUR LOYAL FANS AND FOLLOWERS SINCERELY CHARLIE GRIMM
Patrick More than 1 year ago
"They're no substitute for actual journalism and some of them are simply dreadful" - Thanks for the shout out to one of the Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance's Members, it is appreciated. And while you may find some horse blogs dreadful you should know better than anyone that to write about the sport one has to be truly passionate about this game, and that's a good thing