Jessica Chapel / Railbird

Elsewhere

Forgive the self-promotion; it’s not every day I can say that you can find me twice on the New York Times web site …

On the City Room blog, I reply to comments left regarding Sunday’s OTB story. Overall, I’m pretty pleased with the exchange, except for one mistake on my part — I realized this morning that commenter El Barto was referring to the amount retained by OTB, not the surcharge on winning bets. Oops! It’s still a fine reply, just to another question.

On the Rail, I write about history and preps, how the races have changed, how tradition may still matter. After I’d already sent this piece off, I read Jay Hovdey’s post on Derby defections, in which he refers to Eskendereya’s “porcelain handling.” I suppose there’s some truth to that, but consider: Last year’s field averaged 6.4 lifetime starts, down a bit from the 7.05 of the 2004 field (the first of the 20-horse Derby era). A light record is just the way of things these days — this year’s likely field averages 6.5 starts — making the 3YO prep season all the more important.