Monday, April 30, 2012

Derby Week 2012

For American horse racing fans, it doesn’t get more exciting than Kentucky Derby week—when all eyes turn towards Churchill Downs and even non-racing fans feign interest in the sport. Everywhere you turn online there is a plethora of information, as a horse’s every little nuance is studied, analyzed and debated. Everyone it seems has an opinion, so how do you wade through it all? The easy answer: just jump in and enjoy this word orgy!

As always, Twitter is the best place to find breaking news, observations and handicapping tips—not just from bloggers and other turf journalists, but even owners, trainers and jockeys. If you haven’t joined, this is the time to do so.

A number of TURF members will also be on-site in Louisville this week, including Teresa Genaro (Brooklyn Backstretch), Gene Kershner (EquiSpace), and Keith McCalmont (Triple Dead Heat). Others are content to handicap from home, like Valerie Grash (Fillies First) who takes a look at the important role dams play in Derby winners and Kevin Martin (Colin’s Ghost) who recalled 1882 Derby winner Apollo, the last runner to win the Kentucky Derby without a start at two. These are but two examples of the kinds of posts you can look forward to this week; we’ll update you on all their postings as Oaks and Derby days grow near.

Beyond our blogs, don’t miss Kentucky Confidential, co-founded by Jessica Chapel (Railbird) and John Scheinman, for high-quality original writing, not to mention on-the-ground observations and interviews from Churchill Downs. Their site is being presented this year by Ray Paulick’s Paulick Report.

Even seasoned horseplayers can find value in the original writings of Dana Byerly (Green But Game), Valerie Grash (Foolish Pleasure/Fillies First), Kevin Martin (Colin’s Ghost), and Jessica Chapel (Railbird) at Hello Race Fans! Watch for Valerie’s annual “Getting the Derby Distance” post later this week, evaluating the stamina pedigrees of this year’s Derby contenders. Already available are Kevin’s post “The Major Prep Factor” and Jessica’s piece “Geek Out: Mining Derby Data.”

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