04/17/2014 12:39PM

Fornatale: Contests a tremendous growth area for the sport

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Before I was ever a racing fan, I knew about the Daily Racing Form. When I started writing about racing in 1999 for The Saratoga Special, I was in awe of the DRF guys I’d see around at the Spa. Not only were guys like Steven Crist, Dave Grening, and Dave Litfin great writers, but they got to write about horse racing for a living. I’d see them and think to myself, “How cool is that?”

A few years later on, I did a bunch of freelance work for the Form. Back in 2003, Frank Scatoni and I wrote a book for DRF Press called “Six Secrets of Successful Bettors” – my first significant freelance project when I left the world of full-time employment in book publishing. The following summer I got to work closely with the DRF luminaries mentioned above, along with Andy Serling and Harvey Pack, at the DRF seminars from Siro’s. To this day around Saratoga, people will flag me down and recognize me as the guy who sat at the corner of the stage during the shows and they’ll invariably ask, “Hey, how’s Harvey?” (He’s great, by the way).

After 10 years as a full-time freelancer, I am joining the work force proper once again. And as great as it has been to have DRF as a freelance client over the years, there’s something special for me about joining Daily Racing Form as a full-time employee. I know it’s a cliché to describe it as a “dream come true,” but, hey, if the cliché fits . . .

I’m particularly happy that I’ll be expanding my coverage of the handicapping contest world. This is an area of the sport that continues to grow at a rapid rate – and I know there are a lot of players out there who are curious about contests but don’t know where to start. That’s something I’m eager to help with. At the same time, I want to be writing articles that tournament veterans will want to read as well. 

:: Click here to purchase a copy of “The Winning Contest Player” by Peter Thomas Fornatale

If you’ve been enjoying the work I’ve been doing in this space since the Breeders’ Cup, that’s good – because there’s going to be more of it. I’m envisioning posting at least one piece a day during the week. The content will be a blend of recaps, strategy pieces, interviews, question-and-answer pieces with readers, handicapping specific previews and whatever else I can think of along the way.

I also look forward to participating in some new media ventures with Daily Racing Form, whether that means webchats, webinars, video previews, or even some live contest coverage throughout the year.

As ever, I encourage readers to participate in the conversation and ask questions via the comments section of the blog or Twitter (where I can be found @loomsboldly). As I’ve said many times before, one of the great things about handicapping, whether you’re talking about day-to-day play or contests, is that you never stop learning. I believe that have as much to learn from all of you as you do from me, and I hope you join me for the ride.