About a week ago my Horse
Racing Nation Managing Editor, Brian Zipse, sent me an e-mail that said that I would become a voter in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred polls.
Of course I had seen the
polls quite often on the NTRA website, in the Daily Racing Form, and in mainstream newspapers. The NTRA polls are
racing’s equivalent to the Top 25 polls for college sports. There is the Top 10 Thoroughbred Poll,
which includes horses from all racing divisions, and the Top Three Year-old
poll. The Top 10 Thoroughbred Poll
is essentially a horse of the year poll.
My first thought was how
many people actually vote in these polls and who are they? A few clicks later on my laptop and I
was at NTRA.com/polls looking at a list of 50 people, a veritable Who’s Who of racing. These are
people who I have seen on television and even in the movies and they are
writers whose work I have been reading my whole life. I couldn’t help but hear Wayne and Garth whispering in my
ear, “You’re not worthy, you’re not worthy.” On the other hand in the past year
I have been able to meet several of them at the track and interact with many of
them on a regular basis on Twitter.
What an honor to be part
of a group that includes Steven Crist, the chairman and publisher of the Daily Racing Form and the author of two
books that I have read more than once. Exotic Betting is
about handicapping and his memoir Betting
on Myself: Adventures of a Horseplayer and Publisher. There too was Steve
Haskin, whose insightful writing has been filling the pages of the Blood-Horse for so many years.
that are voters include Donna Barton Brothers, Bob Neumeier, Jeannine Edwards,
and on air talent from TVG and HRTV.
Hall of Fame jockey and excellent actor Gary Stevens of Luck and Seabiscuit is on the list. Radio personalities Steve Byk and Bill
Finley are voters and I listen to their shows all the time. And now I was going to be part of that
group, Wayne and Garth really need to be quiet.
Veteran racing writers
Mike Watchmaker, Marty McGee, Marcus Hersh, Brad Free, and Jennie Rees were on
the list. Ed DeRosa, director of
marketing for BrisNet, who we all know as the king of Twitter discussions with
his 50,000 tweets, is a voter.
Now add Matt Shifman, aka AndyScoggin, to the list of NTRA Top 10 voters. How much fun will it be to compile my list of horses for
these polls? I hope I succeeded in sharing how excited and privileged I feel to
be representing Horse Racing Nation on NTRA. Be sure to go to NTRA.com/polls where you cannot only view the Top 10’s, but you
can see detailed analyses of each poll with voting for every horse and the
ballots of every voter.