Yes, it did happen to me sometime in 2009; I spent more time reading on the internet than from print media. I predict that in 2010 my own proportions of new media reading will increase vs. print media, and with that in mind I’m listing here the best of the medium in racing and breeding in 2009, IMHO.
Best Racing News: Top 5, straight up!
1. Racingpost.com British-based site covers Europe + world; has free pps for European horses; bloodstock news section; results; news updated as it happens; by far, the best racing site around.
2. Thoroughbreddailynews.com Daily newsletter; old fashioned pdf-formatted delivery by email; good news coverage; good results; nice stats; chock full of ads.
3. Thoroughbredtimes.com Daily newsletter called Thoroughbred Times Today; best feature is the weekly pedigree profile by either John Sparkman or Rommy Faversham
4. Elturf.com Excellent coverage of Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil. Photos, charts, news.
5. Turfdiario.com News from Argentina in a daily newsletter, pdf style. Must download the newsletter daily; front-page links to stories.
Best Racing + Breeding Blogs: Top 10, shaken, on the rocks!
1. Montjeu.com Irish-based blogger Victor Sheahan, an accountant by trade, is not prolific with posts, but his stuff is of the highest quality. Updates the site daily with news links from around the world, too, in between bouts of number crunching.
2. bloodstock in the bluegrass Frank Mitchell’s blog has shot up the charts with critical acclaim since he started it in early 2009 (on my advice, I keep reminding his fans!). Outstanding writer who knows his subject and has the journalistic skills to make it readable, topical, and oh-so interesting. And the DRF let this guy go? Whose head is gonna roll, Irwin?
3. The Pedigree Curmudgeon Like Frank Mitchell, John Sparkman is a writer of the highest class. With his personal experiences as manager at Pillar Stud + bloodstock editor of Thoroughbred Times, his knowledge of pedigrees, and his curmudgeonly demeanor, Sparkman weaves a really mean post.
4. Futeki This Japanese blogger has a South American fetish, and that’s all he posts about — in Japanese! Frequently, he scoops even the South Americans, and I predict he’ll one day live in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
5. Jessica Chapel / Railbird v2 Jessica Chapel, longtime blogger, curates Raceday360, an aggregator. She has a distinct conceptual aesthetic that’s at the vanguard of racing’s new media. Now everyone just needs to catch up to her.
6. Ray Paulick Ray gets double-dipped here because the Paulick Report also got props in the section above. But, let’s face it, Paulick’s double-fisted posting on PR — Does this guy have a life? — gives the PR the nod over Seth Merrow’s Equidaily — Does he have a life, too? — a more prolific aggregator than PR. Paulick, by the way, was right in the middle of many happening stories in 2009, which makes him one hep cat.
7. R2 Collective You can see Jessica Chapel’s thumb print on this site, which is a collaboration between her + the very game Dana Byerly (Green but Game) + the very sharp Dean Towers (Pull the Pocket). It’s all about marketing + new media + racing + technology + new dimensions at R2 = innovative thinking. Anyone who’s interested in the future of racing needs to take a ride into the new world with these three. And that includes you and your buds, Mr. Knight Sky.
8. The Race is Not to the Swift The blogger’s name is John — that’s all I know! And he’s plenty swift, too. He’s the guy who wrote the priceless line that’s now legend in the Twitterverse: “In 2009 more and more bloggers became Twitterers and disappeared faster than cupcakes at Dinny Phipps house.” In the same post, he also wrote this about Paul Moran’s quitting the blogging game: “Paul Moran announced, in that self important way of his, that he was abandoning the blogosphere to pursue more monetarily rewarding pursuits. They pay him to write? I didn’t notice, did you? ” There’s nothing more to say, except read him — and hope he’s not writing ’bout you next!
9. Gathering the Wind This blog is not active now, but do yourself a favor and go read it and then tell me it isn’t the most virtuoso, angst-ridden tapestry of literate posts ever put together on a racing blog. This guy — and I chatted via comments with him while he was active — was the Kurt Cobain of racing bloggers. RIP.
10. Who’s Hot, Who’s Not Jack Werk, the author and pedigree authority, consistently put out some of the best and most timely profiles of stallions in 2009. And he did it without pandering to farms and stallion owners. That’s why he gets quoted in ads more than anyone else. Who’s hot, he asks? You are, J-dub!