|Cub Reporter, File Photo|
For those who read the blog - especially those who enjoy breaking news - you've certainly come to know "Cub Reporter". Cub (not his real name) has graciously offered me stories to publish here that he cannot publish anywhere else; those that will get him kicked out of the turf club, or banished to covering one of those tracks in Chile where the horses all race like six miles. He knows very few people read my blog. I offer a cloak of safety.
I often let Cub know (through secret backchannels) that he has a following. People are interested in him. Finally, this Holiday season, he agreed to a sit down. I share this exclusive interview with you now.
PTP: I guess the big question on everyone's mind this week was the positive and brouhaha surrounding the Ellis test for the Breeders' Cup. Why haven't you touched this story?
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PTP: Why didn't we see it?
CR: I submitted it for review but no one wanted it. One editor told me the press were saying picograms were no big deal and the trainer in question loves baby kittens. Keeping the industry narrative and editing out everything else made my article only 200 words, so I buried it. Plus, I have no idea if he likes or dislikes baby kittens.
PTP: In general, what do you think the state of racing journalism is?
PTP: Do people in this industry like you, or because you are writing hard-hitting stories, you are shunned?
CR: Good question. Sometimes I am liked, sometimes not. I wrote a story awhile back on a CHRB meeting and it was - I thought - fair and incisive, but maybe not everyone thought so. I got home one evening, showered, and was getting ready for some shut eye. I drew the covers and found a Bob Baffert bobblehead in my bed. I have no evidence who sent it, but even if there's a small chance the CHRB went Godfather Part I on me, it shakes you.
PTP: Frightening. And signs you are liked?
CR: Well, last week I received a nice Christmas card from horse sex expert Sid Fernando. It was a form-card that he sends out to everyone, but to me it showed he likes my stuff, and I appreciated him sending it. I sent a note back telling him I felt for him when he lost all of his Kentucky twitter followers during the recent federal election.
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PTP: So, you have no trouble getting sources?
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PTP:You don't twitter. How about a New Year's resolution that you'll join the twitter? There are lots of journalists there.
CR: I am on twitter, but I keep my account quiet and have never tweeted. I guess you could call me a lurker, like that PETA person who exposed Scott Blasi for swearing a lot. I follow a lot of people and keep track of what they're eating, who is on the ABR Party Bus, and who won a Beemie Award. I follow my DRF friends like Hersh, Hogan, other H people. Some of the horse accounts crack me up. Remember Palace Malice? Whoa, tighten that tongue tie pardner.
PTP: Do you follow any horseplayers?
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PTP: Have you received any horse-themed Christmas gifts in the past? Anything horse-related you send to your friends in the industry?
CR: Last week I received a "bet a hundred get a hundred" deal from TVG for Christmas, which was personalized in an email to me. It's gotten a lot better for customers, because when I covered a TOC meeting in California many years ago as Junior Cub Reporter, they were debating offering a 'bet a hundred thousand get a toaster' promotion. I actually think that one is still running for California residents who use Xpressbet.
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On the giving side, I'll probably re-gift that Baffert bobblehead I found in my bed. Maybe I'll give it to Sid Fernando since he sent me that nice card.
PTP: Any parting thoughts this Holiday season?
CR: Horse racing is a wonderful game, and even more so during the holiday season. I am lucky to write about it, follow it, bet it, and read about it. We're all very lucky, despite all the problems.
PTP: Merry Christmas Cub.
CR: Merry Christmas Pull.
For those of you celebrating, from my family to yours, have a very Merry Christmas.