Where we find our racing news

Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance colleague Patrick Patten at Handride reminded us once again this week that he’s not a big fan of Equidaily. He argued that it makes no sense for readers to rely on one site for racing news, and he pointed out that the site has included links to a variety of Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance sites in recent days.

Agree or disagree with Patrick’s perspective, his posts on Equidaily frequently invite spirited conversation in the comments, and this latest prompted me to think about why I am a fan of Seth Merrow’s link-aggregating website.

To get the obvious out of the way, and to perhaps pre-empt any lobs that might be directed towards me that suggest that self-interest guides my opinion: Equidaily regularly links to Brooklyn Backstretch, and for that I am grateful. More than a few readers have told me that they first became aware of this site through Equidaily, and that free publicity is invaluable.

And I know Seth and like him; his site is a reflection of the way he thinks about racing, writing, and media, and our conversations on those topics are one of many bright spots in a Saratoga summer.

However: I checked Equidaily before I met Seth and before Brooklyn Backstretch even existed, so my appreciation for the site pre-dates both my friendship with him and any benefits this site derived from Equidaily’s recognition.

I’m a fan of Equidaily because it does a lot of work so that I don’t have to. I don’t have to set up Google alerts on racing and wade through a lot of irrelevant or uninteresting links; I can go to one website, check headlines, and nearly always discover an article or a post that I would likely otherwise have missed.

I’m a fan of Equidaily because it draws from a wide variety of sources–the big trades; tiny local papers in far-off locales; blogs—and highlights a wide variety of racing topics, from gambling to breeding to marketing to media to news.

I’m a fan of Equidaily because as far as I can tell, it was the first site to grant widespread recognition and credibility to blogs. Links to writing by bloggers is mixed in with links to writing by professionals, and Equidaily regularly raises the profile of both new and established bloggers. I can’t speak for any of the other writers, but the traffic at Brooklyn Backstretch gets a healthy spike when Seth posts a link to it.

Of course Patrick is right: nobody should rely on any one source for news for any kind. The good news is that nobody has to. For one person’s view of what’s out there and interesting, you can check Equidaily. For a more open collection of blogs and other writing, you’ve got Raceday 360, over which Jessica Chapel exercises little editorial control. For original content, links to mainstream media and a few blogs, and a regular dose of titillation, you’ve got the Paulick Report. For the latest from the writers of the Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance, you can get its feed, which exclusively lists our writing.

In the last few days, links to nearly twenty posts by Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance writers have appeared on Equidaily; we benefit directly from the site. In the spirit of looking back as we approach the end of the year, Equidaily would certainly make my list of the best in racing 2008.

15 thoughts on “Where we find our racing news

  1. “For original content, links … and a regular dose of titillation …” I think that’s the best description of the Paulick Report I’ve read anywhere! I’m an Equidaily fan too, and for all the reasons you mention. Seth has a distinct editorial sensibility and always, a thorough list of the day’s top racing-related headlines. I do have multiple Google alerts and RSS feeds set up and I still find the site useful, either because there’s something posted there I didn’t see in those alerts and feeds or because the way he’s posted a link makes me see it a new light. Thanks for the Raceday 360 mention — people who want to see the little editorial control I do exert over the Wire should check out the editor’s picks tab, where I try to highlight interesting, contrarian, or funny posts and photos from various sources.

  2. I’m a fan of the Backstretch and many of the other blogs about the industry and I give Equidaily credit for opening my eyes to many of these sites. However, I think Paulick does a better job, having improved on his format in way that is much easier to read. Also, it seems Seth has some vendetta against Paulick since he hasn’t linked a Paulick Report or Paulick ESPN article since his launch. Strange that he wouldn’t feature the biggest name to hit the blogosphere in a while.

  3. Hey, thanks for the great reference for the Paulick Report … just curious, but which of the three definitions for titillation best fits?titillating adj 1: pleasantly and superficially exciting 2: giving sexual pleasure; sexually arousing [syn: erotic] 3: exciting by touching lightly so as to cause laughter or twitching movements [syn: tickling, tingling]I’ve heard the two-part series I wrote on the evolution of Keeneland was a real turn-on to people because of the references to the hundreds of millions of dollars Keeneland has in cash reserves (money is an aphrodisiac for some folks). The exclusive story on the Philadelphia Park past-posting incident actually caused several male horseplayers to, shall we say, do something prematurely. The article on the Jockey Club’s attempts to control organizations across the industry caused some heavy breathing within some offices in New York on 52nd Street. And the recent Fred Pope speech sent a tingle down the leg of Chris Matthews (sorry, but you’ll have to be a political junkie to understand this reference).Apparently, sex sells. Traffic has gone beyond our expectations. I’ve always been a fan of Equidaily, too, but think Seth could use a little titillation on the site to liven things up.Happy holidays everyone!

  4. Ray: while I have enjoyed the Paulick Report, it has not thus far brought me any sexual pleasure, nor have I been physically touched by it, so I guess I’m going to have to go for “pleasantly and superficially exciting”!Thanks for reading and commenting, everyone, and Jessica, thank you for the tip to the editor’s picks.

  5. I just did an Alexa comparison and for the last week, Paulick is actually beating the Thoroughbred Times online. Not that they are the most successful site in the world, but going from nothing to beating one of the three top trade pubs in about 6 months is pretty damn impressive.

  6. Well, this has certainly been a titillating (def. #1) exchange of comments. I enjoyed reading them (and your original blog post, Teresa.franwho likes Seth and Equidaily, too

  7. Anon No. 2,Alexa comparison? Alexa rankings are based on searches done by users of the Alexa Toolbar. Do you know anyone who uses the Alexa Toolbar? Alexa rankings are also well known to be subject to manipulation.

  8. You are so right, Ray! In the great tradition of Cinderella, Dorothy, Nikita and Imelda, I suffer my fetish gladly!George Bush is lucky it was Muntader al-Zaidi throwing that shoe and not Fran Jurga. He’d be saying, “I am pretty sure it was a #7 Victory Queen’s Plate with a low-toe and mud calks…” Congrats on eclipsing TTimes according to Alexa! Their BowTie horse pubs and site just cleaned up in USEF’s Pegasus Awards…

  9. I rely on The Paulick Report, The TBA homepage,Equidaily and Raceday 360 as a quick way to find the stories that interest me. Specifically with reference to Equidaily I have been lucky enough to have him link to my stories and every time he mentions my site I see a very significant spike in reader traffic.

  10. Equidaily.com should be the first stop for anyone in search of daily news. A quick glance through the headlines and you’ve got your finger on the pulse of the international Thoroughbred industry… dive deeper via the organized links and you’re brought up to speed on any number of breaking news stories, features, and commentary. Void of slant or bias, simple, straightforward, a true asset to the racing industry – this site gets a ringing endorsement from a turf writer who uses it often!

  11. Gosh, I hope these comments don’t go to Seth’s head!Just curious: is there any way to read Equidaily’s above-the-fold bits without physically going to the site? There doesn’t seem to be any feed or email service, is that right?I’m trying to streamline my morning routine, but it’s tough. Like SaratogaSpa, I check multiple sources but I do it by the feed system, not going to sites.I have been using iGoogle as a home page with all my feeds but now am migrating over to Google Reader so I can tell what is new. And I hope that speeds things up!I would probably use Equidaily more often if I could somehow check it without having to go there. It is really interesting to see how the different sites write headlines for different stories!I also like http://www.racingpost.com from the UK, although most of the time I have no idea what they are talking about and the videos don’t play on my Mac but the home page is set up really efficiently and I like the way the standings are laid out. And I can easily find information about the few trainers and horses that interest me. They don’t seem to have a feed either.I guess the resistance to a feed is that direct traffic fuels more ad clicks and that fuels blog income? Makes sense. I’m happy to support everyone but I guess I can delete the feed from the Baltimore Sun and Washington Post and LA Times…

  12. Equidaily is fantastic, as is Brooklyn Backstretch. Seth does a terrific job gathering what I think is the most interesting/compelling material into one site. I often wonder how he pulls it all together. Recently, I sent the link to a friend and he responded with “Wow!”And to Brooklyn Backstretch, well done all you have written about Allen Jerkens. He is a true treasure in our sport. I’m sure your visits to see Allen while he was recovering were greatly appreciated.Karen M. Johnson

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