Raceday 360



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Not long after launching Hello Race Fans we purchased this site from talented friend and collaborator Jessica Chapel. Chapel launched it as an aggregator and original content site in 2007. I’ve managed to not screw it up, and have built on the success of The Wire by adding Tout Wire for aggregated racing picks and tips.

I had hoped to make it into a much needed independent content site in a sea of trade publications, but couldn’t get the traction. There were certainly successes though, the biggest among them was the The Outrider column by Eliza McGraw, author of Here Comes Exterminator.

The column focused on racing history and spanned 25 articles. I loved them all but my favorites were the five written on early women jockeys…

The Story of Joan Pratt was a highlight because Pratt’s daughter had contacted us after reading Early Women Jockeys, which included a bit about Pratt. A similar thing happened when we published The hardest working exercise boy at Pimlico is a girl and we learned More About Joyce Goldschmidt Bachner from her granddaughter. These interactions allowed McGraw to tell two incredible stories that would’ve otherwise never been known.

A few other notable original content moments are three posts spanning different topics relevant to the industry. Jennifer Montfort’s Abandoned Treasure: Losing Racing’s Past on the closure of Hollywood Park and what was to become of its archive; Teresa Genaro’s On the Record: Trainers speak candidly about PETA investigation and Chris Rossi’s September Blues on the problem of oversaturated Graded Stakes relative to the overall number of races and declining foal crops.

Notable original content aside, the biggest draw of Raceday 360 has always been the aggregated content. The original Wire was backed by an open source project called Sweetcron. It had a lot of nice features, like the ability manually add entries as well as tag entries, but it required more database upkeep than I wanted to do and it was no longer an active open source project. I eventually found WP-RSS which doesn’t have the flexibility of Sweetcron, but most importantly it doesn’t require any database maintenance.

The Wire has always featured commentary, and when we took over the site was, in retrospect, the tail end of racing blogs and non-trade publication commentary. While a few independent blogs still exist, it’s a trickle in comparison to 10 years ago. In 2016 we introduced Tout Wire for posts that include picks, tips and touts.

For now this site is stable and chugging along without much intervention, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

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