JC / Railbird

Keeneland Library

In the Archives

Sometimes Eliza McGraw just has to go to the library:

I love to turn the flapping, oversized pages of actual turf papers. For me, reading about a horse like the 1920s-era racing giant Exterminator in the same way his fans would have makes the writing that much more vivid …

Tangentially related: Among the assets of the bankrupt Thoroughbred Times are the rights to the Thoroughbred Record, which began publishing in 1895 and continued, in some form, until 1991. Bundled with the TT archives, that would make a rich trove of turf journalism for some library to acquire.

Catching Up

It’s been a light week of posting, all due to another site on which I work. Breeders’ Cup 360 returned on Wednesday for another season of Breeders’ Cup handicapping and chat, and the editors have lined up a solid set of contributors, including returning international correspondents Nick Luck and Fanny Salmon, and new feature writers John Scheinman and Amanda Duckworth. Best of all, we have Ernie Munick, tanned and pampered, driving the E Train. Over the next few days, more features and links will be added to the pages; over the next 12 weeks, a terrific range of content will be published. There’s a widget, and of course, we’re on Twitter.

Not one, but two articles this week on the Keeneland Library DRF archive project, one of the neatest things going in the industry these days. “We’re building a ‘Cadillac version’ of an online database,” archivist Becky Ryder tells the Saratogian. They’re also ramping up fundraising efforts, reports the Daily Racing Form, as the project will take about $10 million (or approximately $1.25 a page) to complete. Consider giving.

John Pricci tosses off a few fine phrases in this column, and several excellent points. “The connections promised they would share Zenyatta with all her fans. I wasn’t aware that all of them lived in California.” It’s 2009 all over again.

Only a Game visits Suffolk Downs. “My own pick in the first race, a $12,500-claimer, is the lightly regarded Why O My. I like him for finishing second in his last test at 135-1. Why shouldn’t he win this time at 8-1? I ask the studious Mr. Greenbaum what he thinks of my reasoning.” Not much, says Greenbaum.