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At Large & The Bird

Turf writing might not be a long lost art - we see several talented scribes plying their trade for us to read. But as we spoke about before here on the blog, opinion with teeth is hard to come by from some quarters. After all, ad revenue comes from breeders and horse suppliers among others, so the trade press must at times tread lightly. In the last piece I mentioned that I did not visit the Bloodhorse too often for my daily reads, because of my perception of that very thing. However, I have changed my opinion. The editors at the magazine seem to be using the talents of Tom Lamarra, by allowing him to be who he is (as we all know, a must for blog writing. If you are not being who you are, your blog will be worthless). Almost each time he writes he has something interesting to say.

For example, in his last piece "It's time for a horse racing tea party" he says this on conferences:

Conference after conference, it’s the same old thing: No answers and no hope for solutions, topped with the usual political correctness and lame jokes. During the recent equine conference, a moderator asked audience members to watch their language.

and this on passion:

In reality, what this industry needs is for people to stand up and tell other people where to go. They wouldn’t admit it, but some folks like it when Satish Sanan gets fired up and drops F-bombs. Heaven forbid we should offend anyone while the industry spirals out of control.

on some horseman groups:

Horsemen are to blame as much as racetracks. They want days, days, and more days, and are perfectly content to race for less money to get them. Earlier this week, a $5,000 claiming race at River Downs filled with four horses. Horsemen love that, but fail to realize they’re killing their product in the marketplace.

He is practicing what he preaches. This game is falling and falling fast. Incremental change is as bad as no change at all. Writing opinion worried about who you will offend, makes you part of the problem, not the solution.

Anyway, hat tip to Tom, for writing a damn fine blog.

Another hat tip, this time to one of our "own". We all know Jessica Chapel has some writing talent, to go along with some racing smarts. Her Railbird blog is a good read and has been for some time. She was recently invited by a New York Times columnist to accompany her to the New York City OTB for a story she was doing. After the visit, Jessica answered questions that readers had of the main piece, and had it published in the City section of the Times, right here. Good questions, and better answers. Bravo.

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