"Lately it occurs to me: What a long, strange trip it's been." - Grateful Dead (Truckin')
2016 has been a busy year so far, not that 2015 was any kind of walk in the park either! I recently cracked the big 4-0, work has been busy (a good thing), and as the kids are getting older so we have more activities with them that have been great bonding experiences (soccer, scouts, more scouts, more soccer, football, and did I mention scouts, etc.) So to add to my normal insanity, I took an offer to once again have a more regular online racing presence again. If anyone here follows my Facebook or Twitter feeds, by now you have noticed that I have been picked up by US Racing to provide weekly articles on different handicapping subjects that will appear on their site every Wednesday.
Realizing that I had not blogged since my botched bid to go against history last year and play against American Pharoah in the Belmont Stakes (we all know well that turned out for me - damn you Frosted!), I started to think about how I have been blogging on and (mostly) off over the last five years and how I have been involved in horse racing online over the last 16 years or so.
I started do weekly picks to be included in a newsletter for a site call C-Star Sports back in early 2000. It was to be a "race of the week" feature to be included in the site owner's weekly freebie report. That was a short-lived tenure since the owner never really wanted to focus on racing, but led me down the path to another seemingly more exciting website by late 2000.
Trotworld was focused solely on harness racing and since I could put speed figures on two squirrels running up a tree in the backyard, I started covering Cal Expo full time (mostly because I could get free PPs) and pinch-hit as needed covering the Meadowlands. Trotworld fell apart after some internal politics played out with the founders, so another astute harness handicapper from that site (Scott Quinn) and I started formulating our own website ideas.
Equineinvestor was born in late 2001 and had a fairly successful run for about 5 years. At one point, there were ten regularly contributing handicappers covering both thoroughbred and harness racing. During this stretch, we had brokered deals for advertising with off-shore sportsbooks and I was even able to get my first article printed in a racing magazine that one of them published. I was providing daily analysis for Monmouth, the Fair Grounds, and Philadelphia Park while helping out part time with the Meadowlands. That pace was too much to handle and with growing demands of increased traveling for my day job and starting a family, we finally shut the site down in 2006. (It is now being run by one of the former handicappers of the site, Don Tiger, who is an excellent handicapper of both thoroughbred and harness racing - be sure to check in for his analysis of the Triple Crown and Breeder's Cup).
In 2011, I had envisioned my blog being a great avenue to talk about racing topics, which was what had been lacking in my previous three online handicapping stints, but found that it has lent itself more to my experiences at NHC events and qualifiers as well as some occasional race analysis for major stakes. My new role at US Racing is exciting since it gives me a platform to talk about the data I have collected for over a decade, methodology, angles, and approaches to handicapping (and forces me to hit a deadline so I will actually do it regularly!)
While there will be no appearances for me at the Monmouth SSC Qualifiers again this year (the finals are when I will be camping with the Cub Scouts), I will take my blind shots in the NHC freebies against 3,000 or so of my fiercest competitors and hopefully try to enter a NHC event at Monmouth this summer!
Go over and check out my articles, as well as the other great handicapping content that is posted daily on both sports and racing at US Racing. I am looking forward to sharing some of what I have learned over the years and still being (a little more) active with this blog. After all, the Kentucky Derby is less than two months away and I am still looking for my first Derby winner since Smarty Jones!