Welcome to And Down The Stretch They Come, the first site at SB Nation dedicated to the Sport of Kings, horse racing. We welcome interaction by hard core fans of the sport, as well as those that are only casual observers. If you want to talk horse racing, this is the place.
The majority of the content here at ADTSTC will be handicapping-specific, in other words, analyzing races, making bets and (hopefully) picking winners. This site will not attempt to cover every single race on every single day - that's just not a realistic situation. What this site will do is cover a wide range of handicapping topics and situations. Most of the posts will be geared towards the types of races and tracks that I generally play but the discussion is intended to be open and free flowing. I may have a post up discussing the Friday Late Pick Four at Keeneland but the resulting discussion can be geared towards that topic, or it can be about any other race or handicapping situation.
If you're a regular visitor to the SB Nation network you know that this system is the best around at stimulating fan participation. Whether it's through Comments, FanPosts, or FanShots, the content on these sites are as much a product of the readers as the writers. Opinions and ideas from the readers are highly encouraged.
The Horse Racing Links sidebar to the left on the main page provides links to a variety of handicapping and horse racing industry websites. Handicapping Information contains quick links to information that a majority of handicappers use on a daily basis: daily programs, results charts, race replays, and other. National Sites provides a list of links to national and international horse racing organizations such as the NTRA, the Daily Racing Form, the Breeders' Cup, and many, many more. And finally there is the Special Content section. This section contains links to a listing of domestic and international stakes races (with results data), a glossary of commonly used horse racing terms, and a series of posts on the basics of handicapping. Part 1 of the series, Speed, is currently active. The other parts will be added in the coming days. If you are new to handicapping, this is a good place to get a primer on the elements of playing the horses.
Further down the left sidebar are links to the Scratch/Changes page of major tracks accross North America. I didn't include every track so if there's a track you'd like to see added to the list, send me an email and I'll make sure to get it linked up.
The final item on the left sidebar is the Recommended Reading list. Simply put, this is a list of some of my favorite handicapping and horse racing books. If you're looking to really get some in-depth information then you'll want to check out some of these books.
The Big Picture
My goal for And Down The Stretch They Come is simple: interaction between people that enjoy the sport of horse racing. I don't profess to be an expert handicapper, nor am I attempting to sell strategy or selections to the public. If I had the secrets to winning millions at the track I wouldn't be sitting here at my computer.
I love the process of breaking down a horse race, of trying to decipher the seemingly undecipherable. When all the analysis is done and I walk to the window to make my wager (or click on my laptop), I always feel great anticipation at finding out whether my conclusions were accurate. I am constantly reminded of the words of noted horse racing handicapper and author, Andrew Beyer:
"A man who writes a book may have to wait a lifetime for the judgment of history; a man who studies the stock market may have to wait for months or even years to learn if a particular investment was a good one. A horseplayer can see his opinion validated – or contradicted – in a matter of seconds."
That is the thrill of horse racing for me: the time from when the gate opens till they come down the stretch when I find out if I'm a winner or a loser. And if in that particular race I'm a loser? Well, I'm only minutes away from another race where I once again attempt to solve the puzzle.