Friday, July 17, 2009

OMG, Blood-Horse, are you effing kidding?

Nicanor is out of the Virginia Derby with a leg injury. And that's a big deal. But should that prompt racing journalists to behave like 16-year-old girls updating their Facebook status?

The headline on the brief blog posting at announcing Nicanor's scratch from the race was -- I kid you not -- "OMG! Nicanor Scratched Due to Leg Injury."

OMG? ...OMG!?!

You're The Blood-Horse, for heaven's sake. Not LOLcats.



  1. I don't know if you caught the irony that the Blood-Horse is well aware of what a joke these nutty people are to the industry -- certainly not to themselves, as they are too obsessed to realize they are embarrassing. They do bring hits to the site, however, so Blood-Horse is very happy to feed the fire, all the while joining in the snickering at these fools.

  2. I guess it *is* the blog stable. ... And maybe I'm mistaken about who is writing what.

    The Blood-Horse does also link to the TBA's blogs, which are horses of (many) different colors, written by fans and such. People like me. And those TBAers blogs then end up embedded at BH, albeit with the TBA logo next to them.

    (Some might notice the TBA logo added to my page; I am not a TBA member but I'm linking to them so they get some visits from my readers as they have started including my blog in their scroll of all racing blogs.)

    But this particular blog, "Tracking Barbaro's Brothers," I thought was more of an in-house operation, as are the "Five-Cross Files," "Hammer Time," "Hangin' with Haskn," etc. All of those are written by staff or quasi-journalistic contributors.

    So I presumed some slightly greater level of journalistic demeanor would be maintained -- a level I don't even care to always exercise here. Because this is just MY blog.

    This post of mine is proving popular, though. Must be the headline.

    And isn't the picture a hoot?

  3. P.S. What really stirred me to act was the fact that the "Tracking Barbaro's Brothers" links appear on the front page of So this was really kind of an ACTUAL headline, and from what I saw was the first "reporting" BH offered on the Nicanor scratch.

    Headlined "OMG!" ...

    I just, you know, HAD to ...

  4. BH= The "Boring Horsenews" Magazine.

    Read it for @ ten years.

    No more. In the "repsych-oling" heap it now goes, when it arrives.


    You know, that pile of mags that, if read, indicates the reader needs head examined.

  5. My very smart wife (Ph.D. smart) asked whether I should attribute the photo. A good and fair question.

    I found it via Google, and it was being used in a non-professional fashion. However, with some tracking, I did determine that the story was originally published by The Telegraph in the U.K.

    Professionalism! Attribution! ... Serenity now!

  6. P.S. The Telegraph attributes WENN. ... My research into the chain of evidence stops here.

  7. Before I let out a huge LOL....

    Just what is the age of the author of the Nicanor blog? I can't seem to find it anywhere.

    But it's understandable if the target audience is composed of a majority of teenyboppers.
    They seem to be enamored of the "shock 'n awe" approach. ;-)

  8. "Traffic was building already," for your site? lol...You have 7 comments, 5 of them written by yourself. By "building", do you mean it went from 20 hits to 50?
    The Nicanor blog that had "OMG" in the headline was an attempt at sarcasm. The people who follow that blog are pretty obsessed with anything Barbaro related, so it was an attempt at humor. It was a blog, not a news story. I guess you failed to take notice of the hundreds of other racing, breeding and news stories on the site. Here's a hint, if you're trying to get more people to follow your blog, write something creative and thought-provoking instead of trying to belittle the industry's most reputable publication just so Ray Paulick can use it on his tabloid, aka web site.

  9. I dunno. I might be the poster child for "mean people suck" with this post, if it's a kid or something. And it could be.

    I just presumed "Tracking Barbaro's Brothers" was the work of someone of the age of majority, as are "Hammer Time," etc.

  10. Ya notice, the post that states the Bloodhorse is the "the industry's most reputable publication" is anonymous, coincidence, I think not.

  11. Anonymous dude (or dudette), you can't measure traffic by comments.

    I tend to have around 70 user sessions per day. At this writing, I have 141.

    Try reading more of what I post -- and get an identity -- then come back and snipe.

    The Blood-Horse is not a disreputable publication. But the MOST reputable?

    It's run by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders of America. It has a tendency to be a house organ for the racing industry. That doesn't make it "bad" or "good," but that ownership statement is valuable information for readers to know when deciding whether they're getting the best or the fullest coverage from The Blood-Horse.

    And, Ray Paulick is one of the more reputable turf journalists. ... Although clearly you have an ax being sharpened with his name on it.

    But not your name. You're "Anonymous."

    Although your post did come in at essentially the same time as my blog's Visit No. 3,551 ... a hit from Lexington, Ky., IP address 63.168.210.# (THE BLOOD-HORSE) ... and a hit that came to me via

    So now I'm REALLY amused.

  12. Well, I'll tell you saying "Oh, my god" (and things that are much worse) -- all the folks in the racing and breeding industry in VA and, of course, Colonial Downs. Seems like ever since QR popped that quarter crack, we've had a cloud hanging over the boys and big races. Luckily, Cat Moves and Light Green finished 1-2 in the Grade 1 Prioress at Belmont and that made us feel better...

  13. The Bloodhorse recently sent out a survey to ascertain I assume, where they could improve...One of my comments dealt with the blog issue - it seems that they're pandering to 13 yr. old horse-crazy girls. Good grief.

  14. Glenn Craven wrote:

    ... and a hit that came to me via


    ROFL. Good stuff.

    Just what is preventing these anonymous posters from realizing that they're not all that anonymous.

  15. Yep, the Barbaro blog is an 'in-house' you mentioned, the majority of them are.

    The Barbaro blog keeps getting passed around because they keep laying people off over there. So, the person that's stuck with it now is most definitely the 'age of majority'. LOL
    And, no, it's not me. I was one of the many let go. ;)

  16. I'm with you, Crave.

    As for the soap-opera temp script-writers crashing the party:

    One has a writing style so instantly identifiable, I can't imagine how it is possible that E.B. White's famous admonition - " no writer long remains incognito" - has been forgotten by that eminently well-educated detractor.

    As for the "anonymous" sneak whose indelible computer trail betrayed his physical location - the BH office! How's that for a dispassionate opinion? - a copy of Strunk & White's "The Elements of Style" is recommended to prevent - or at least to anticipate - future self-inflicted embarrassments.

    (I did try to post my own name to the earlier post above. But the "post comment" malfunctioned & "anonymous" was the alternative to sending nothing at all. If at the bottom, it again states "Anonymous," it happened again. It is not intentional, but it is remarkable; I've never seen that occur before.)

    Well, we started out with the horse with his head stuck in a tree and now a blogger's war has broken out.

    I think the horse is trying to shield his ears from the cacophony.

    And the well-educated. And the sneaks.

    (It DID happen again. My name is Don Reed.)

  17. I can haz cheezburger? We're glad to have you on the TBA all sources section [and we're working on how we let in more members], but be warned another post with purposely misspelled wordz and or picz of cats will only get you in that much sooner.

  18. Thanks, Don, for your insightful comments about the first post particularly.

  19. You should also be aware that the blog moderator is omiting ANYTHING that could be deemed remotely "negative" about the legendary *ahem* Nicanor. Two people I know tried to post over there today, trying to bring a little voice of reason to the absolute juvenile nonsense rantings that these seemingly 12 year old "FOBs" members spew, and there posts never made it.

    As I understand it, one was questioning why Matz was being put on a pedastal while other trainers have been thoroughly bashed over break downs, when Matz has had Barbaro, Chelokee and now Nicanor break down and/or suffer injuries. The post never appeared.

    Then another one actually did manage to slip through, but it upset the crazies over there, and was removed within, literally, minutes. The post was merely questioning the soundness of the bloodlines in general, and the fact that it was ironic both Barbaro and Nicanor both suffered injuries to the same leg. I read it before it was yanked, and there was absolutely nothing in there that was negative or harsh. I believe it also included a general observation/opinion (I swear, I read NOTHING negative or personal or offensive) that people there were taking this too far.

    It's amusing to see the replies that were made TO the post, and yet, the post itself no longer exists.

    IF you like the Nicanor saga (zzzz), this was actually a two-sided blog before a new moderator took over; it allowed opposing viewpoints, and people to question, wonder, and provide RATIONAL racing insights. Not any longer. Now it's but hearts and flowers with NO racing interest, or knowledge.

    While it's not the be all, end all of the BH publication, anyone stumbling across it who is a racing fan, will think they've come across a children's website. It's ruining BH's credibility to some degree (IMHO), and those "hits" they're getting are nothing more than the same 10-15 regular posters over there who refresh it 100 times a day. Take a look, you'll see the same user names over and over again. Anyone else is merely glancing at the train wreck now and again.

    It's a joke, and real race fans know it.

    Sorry for the long-winded .02 here, but Glenn, KUDOS!!!, at least someone called out BH and Liebman on the "journalism" being offered in this utter waste of space blog.

  20. Don't apologize for the length. I appreciate the interest and insight.

    I'm a follower of Nicanor, as are some friends of mine, in a more adult sense, I suppose. And if Nicanor and the Barbaro legacy are what gets some new people (including new young people) to care about racing, to a degree that's great.

    I was interested in driving to New Kent tomorrow, though my schedule absolutely cannot accommodate it, just to see him run. Partly because he's Barbaro's brother and I was a Barbaro fan, yeah, but if he was a donkey his bloodlines wouldn't matter. Mostly it's because I think he has the ability to be a really dadgum good racehorse.

  21. I have to admit I was never a Barbaro fan...I love a good turf horse, and when they got infected with the dreaded Derby Fever, it knocked him right off my radar. Of course, that does not mean I was happy about what happened to him, not my ANY stretch. It was awful.
    But due to the incessant hype this horse has received by the "FOBs", it was a turn off from the day he was born. JMO, not speakin g for anyone else.
    If you read Alex Brown's site, these people have actually created a mock wedding between LVR and Dynaformer, complete with Curlin officiating and Rags To Riches as a flower girl or some such s**t. There are also people who post AS Nicanor, in "his voice".

    IF they were all of the "tween" set, I could probably not feel so nauseous, LOL, but many of them are not. SO many have posted on the BH blog that they don't watch racing, don't LIKE racing, this is only about "The Barbaro Family" to them. It makes me seriously question their motives, and IMO, not the kind of "new fans" racing needs. They don't care to learn a thing, or broaden their racing scopes beyond Matz's barn.
    Don't get me wrong, I LIKE Matz, but when these posters over there bash every other trainer, owner, and often jockeys because they are not "in the circle", it goes to far. THOSE are the posts that should be "censored", IMO. They've declared their disdain and dislike of Prado as well, because he "abandoned" Nicanor, down to calling him a poor rider on the downslope of his career. Quick, someone notify the Hall Of Fame!!
    On it goes....and whether BH likes it or not, it does make what is supposed to be a respected piece of racing journalism, appear far less than.

    I will remain "Annonymous", so as not to get any former employees in hot water (no, I am not a former employee myself, but it's best to not let them be associated while I am taking their former bosses to task here, LOL)

  22. For what it is worth, that blog is now overseen by Ron Mitchell, the Blood-Horse's online managing editor. Scary, huh?

  23. Hey, ripping a dumb headline doesn't make you mean. Just means someone sucks at writing headlines (as do I).

    I must say, though, that racing needs all kinds. Even annoying kinds. We have to take them wherever we can get them and if that means we get the Barbaro-obsessed types, then fine.

    I'm of the opinion that (part) of our job in the press (I'm non racing) is to find out what people are interested in, what they want to read, and (within reason) give it to them.

    If they want to read a gushy blog, then give them their gushy blog.

    That said, you have to post comments from both sides. Someone accused me of yellow journalism the other day and, although I didn't have to post it and it REALLY bugged me, I did.

    Because that's also our job in the press. If we DON't do that, we're in public relations.

  24. I'm very much in agreement with this last post, particularly the part about we as journalists giving people their say, even when they don't like us or what we did. I'd say ESPECIALLY when they don't like us.

  25. While I find that blog incredibily silly and more like a soap opera - There is an very good blog at Blood Horse. It is their Maiden Blog.
    Whoever writes the blog works very hard and presents work outs, races, and results for offspring of selected Stallions. And it now has 2 years of data. The blog author does a write up of all the horses entered in a maiden race - not just offspring of the featured Stallions - and the Stallions have been chosen well. I look at this blog everyday and gain alot from it.

  26. Vulgar Jerk here, but I'm inclined not to knock anyone interested in horse racing in any way at his point in our sport. Puruse those Blood Horse blogs and B's brothers dominate cyberspace. Be thankful he has a SISTER now and for the 400 or so fans who actually care enough to blog about the La Ville Rouge babies. How about a La Ville Rouge blog? At least Blood Horse put up a great video of her. Over and out you..........

  27. That maiden blog stinks, as do most of the blogs on BloodHorse. A horse will win a 10k maiden claimer and the author of the maiden blog does not differentiate between a MSW!

    And recently Jason Shandler did a "talking horses" blog that was one of the stupidest pieces of journalism I've seen in years. The "talking horse" blog, in which the author writes dialogue for a horse, is so dumb and played out.

  28. Yesterday's hilarity is still warm, but we can do better.

    After locating E.B. White's "incognito" quote - and a good thing too, because I didn't remember it the way he wrote it - his "An Approach to Style" was read one more time.

    How does the current writing of reporters and readers, found on the internet, affirm or insult White's "List of Reminders"? Here's an entirely unscientific answer, addressing some but not all of White's gems.

    1. "Place yourself in the background":

    "Anonymous" - who as it turned out was mailing it in from the BH office - realized the wisdom of this adage (unfortunately, he/she simultaneously lost "style points" for not realizing that messages can generally be traced back to their point of origin).

    2. "Write in a way that comes naturally":

    If this means anything goes, White is being taken very seriously these days.

    5,6 & 7. "Revise and rewrite," "Do not overwrite," & "Do not overstate":

    No egregious examples of going the wrong way on these hints appear above - but then again, Glenn might have axed what was sent in by the incomprehensible vulgar jerks.

    Looking elsewhere, we'll wander over to Steve Crist's excellent DRF blog - where it will not be difficult to find writers who hit "submit" after compacting 1,379 words into one big dense paragraph.

    These people actually think that others will take the time to figure it all out.

    But given these messages bear a striking similarity to what is found on the bottom of your shoe after an ill-advised walk in a dark park, this is not likely to happen.

    8. "Avoid the use of qualifiers":

    Skip this one. It has more to do with the 1,379 words in each sentence heard on ESPN (please explain again why their coverage of racing events is an asset).

    9. "Do not affect a breezy manner":

    With all the heavy breathing on the blogs - Does your screen fog up? Mine does - there is no chance this will ever become a problem.

    10. "Use orthodox spelling":

    Fortunately for EBW, he passed away before The Era of OMG.

    11. "Do not explain too much":

    We will comply with this by not listing all of White's suggestions.

    13. "Make sure the reader knows who's speaking":

    This has something to do with placing "yourself in the background," above. But since the sneaks still think they're living in the era of untraceable calls made from phone booths (seen one of those lately?), they'll just have to find out the hard way that anonymity is a lost cause.

    (This means you, Blog Visit No. 3,551, IP 63.168.210.)

    14. "Avoid fancy words": OK.

    17. "Do not inject opinion":

    The internet would fold in twenty-four hours if this insane suggestion were to be taken seriously. Disregard.

    16 & 19. "Be not take shortcuts at the cost of clarity:

    This pertains to another "Anonymous" who said, "You should also be aware that the blog moderator is omiting [sic]..."

    Unfortunately - I hesitate to criticize because the writer's good will is appreciated - the absence of the word "Bloodhorse" - in what should have been "You should also be aware that the [Bloodhorse] moderator is omiting [sic]" - led to ambiguity.

    Which moderator? Glenn? The Bloodhorse? The host of Meet The Press?


    21. "Prefer the standard to the offbeat":

    "Right-O, Daddy-O! OMG & Out."

    (Sent in by Don Reed, who is again having loads of trouble with the temperamental "Select Profile" option.)

  29. Really enjoyed the discussion here in the comments.

    I've got to confess, Glenn, I'm one who is prone to a few "OMG" style statements, although I tend to focus them in quick comments or in Facebook/Twitter status updates rather than actual posts. Then again, we are but quasi-journalists, and I try not to take even my more serious posts all that, well, seriously. :-)

    Great read. My initial reply was going to be "OMFG, No you dih'int" (that last word being the popularized way folks around here pronounce "didn't" by ommitting the "d" sound). :-)


I welcome comments, including criticism and debate. But jerks and the vulgar will not be tolerated.