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An Uphill Climb

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It's hard enough for horse racing to get a foothold with the common sports fan without the print media making the task more difficult.

Darrell Ingham

I'm heading out of town for the weekend for a little R&R before the beginning of Royal Ascot next week, so this post will be short and sweet. I wanted to highlight a couple of stories/incidents that came out during Belmont week, both of which were reported on by the excellent Claire Novak at the Blood-Horse.

First, check out the sports page cover for the Troy Record in Troy, New York on the Friday prior to the Belmont Stakes, the biggest race in New York and one of the biggest in the country. Warning: this might make you cry.

Here were my questions to the Sports Editor of the Troy Record:

1) Who the hell is Bob Belber?

2) Oh, did you mean Bob Baffert? Hmm. That seems like a possibility.

3) Bob Baffert didn't have five horses running in the Belmont Stakes. That would be Todd Pletcher. Did you mean "Todd Pletcher" instead of Bob Baffert/Bob Belber?

4) I realize mistakes get through the editing process all the time, (heck, I make plenty of mistakes) but come on. Bob Belber?

Bob Flippin' Belber?

On Belmont eve?

Seriously, Troy Record, Google is your friend.

Okay, from the absurd editing failure of the Troy Record, we then go to a truly sad and all too common development within print media today:

The elimination of an entire staff of turf writers at a paper in largest media market in the country is nothing but bad for our sport. And according to the story by Claire Novak at the Blood-Horse, they eliminated the turf writers the day before the Belmont. Lovely.

Between the complete elimination of turf writers at major metropolitan newspapers, and papers that can't/won't spend a small amount of time to research the sport, is it any wonder why it's such an uphill climb for racing to regain a foothold with the casual sports fan?