Updated on 06/08/2013 11:19PM

New York Post lays off racing staff a day before Belmont Stakes

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The New York Post, one of three major dailies in the New York area, fired its racing reporters effective immediately on Friday, one day prior to the state’s biggest race, the Belmont Stakes, and the paper will no longer cover racing in-house, its lead racing reporter said.

Ed Fountaine, the Post’s lead racing reporter since 1998 and a former Daily Racing Form reporter, said he was informed in a letter on Friday that he was being fired immediately along with analysts John DaSilva and Anthony Affrunti. Fountaine, 60, said the letter cited a “transition period” for the Post because of the planned spin-off of the newspaper properties of the Post’s parent company, News Corp.

The paper will not have any in-house coverage of the Belmont Stakes, Fountaine said.

Fountaine, a racing reporter his entire life, said he was relieved to be let go, citing the daily grind of the job. “I’ve got a screenplay I’ve been wanting to finish, and a couple of books I want to write, projects I couldn’t do because of my job,” he said. “Now I have the time. I’m not doing handstands, but I’m close.”

Earlier this year, the Post’s tabloid competitor, the New York Daily News, also scaled back its coverage of racing. Both papers had previously provided at least two pages of racing analysis and news, including harness racing.

Major newspapers have been eliminating daily racing coverage over the past two decades as the sport’s popularity has waned. In addition, the advent of the internet has provided racetracks with an outlet to provide entries and results to racing fans, and numerous blogs and racing-news sites have sprung up in the ebb of daily newspaper coverage.

A previous version of the article misstated Ed Fountaine's age. He is 60, not 68.

Joey Botz More than 1 year ago
Why do I need a newspaper if they don't have the racing handicappers?
Joe Molinelli More than 1 year ago
Lets report on Derek Jeter and being 39 and maybe, not maybe, maybe, not maybe and or Alex on PED's every SINGLE DAY>>>>>>>>>>>>>> get a life. No Horses to Watch at Saratoga........what a mistake.
Stephen Andreala More than 1 year ago
I'm calling for a boycott, can't find stock quotes in the Post anymore either!
John Lowe More than 1 year ago
Cancelled my home delivery of NY Post this morning. I have no reason to read this piece of crap newspaper without Horse racing.
Bobby Lillis More than 1 year ago
This is happening all across the country!!! Now, more than ever, it's up to, we the people, and any grass roots efforts to promote horse racing. On or off the internet, inside or outside of facebook, let's all spread the word that horse racing is alive. It will however take all of us just to get it back on the map and keep it there...
john More than 1 year ago
Do what I did....Washington Post dropped racing coverage years ago....and I just dropped the Washington Post after 40 years. They're right...you don't need newspapers anymore.
Jim More than 1 year ago
I have read the New York News since the early 50's, when the horse racing section carried " Joe and Asbestos" a horse racing comic. I have read it ever since now on the web. My subscription is paid thru August, I will call tomorrow and tell them not to renew it. They even moved the " A day at the Races" column to a blog.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No reason to buy the post or the other rag (nyd)either. Saves me $10 a week.
Nick Derito More than 1 year ago
right results they don`t even give you also ran cheapskates it is a RAG.
slim pickens More than 1 year ago
I will no longer get the post
tyc More than 1 year ago
I bet you more people read the racing section than the regular news.