RSS Feed for this Blog

Thursday, February 05, 2009

A Bloodhorse-y Mess

I've often praised Bloodhorse.com for the quality of their reporting, particularly their in depth stories on off-track and political issues; a prime example being the excellent job by Tom Precious covering the goings-on in Albany over the past few years. Whatsmore, in the past, the main page was always one of the first places I'd go for a quick one-stop, comprehensive peek at the current headlines. With a clean, concise look and the stories neatly grouped, just a brief glance was sufficient to bring me up to speed.

So, what the hell happened? Now, one has to first navigate down through a morass of self-promotion at the very top - is a 'featured video' on Jerry Lambert, Rider of Native Dancer Diver, the first thing one sees today, really a way to entice readers to explore further? And then you must pick your way through obstacles such as a long list of links to its various stallion lists, the Inside Track (snore), ads for its own stallion directories, the "Blog" Stable (quotation marks added with purpose, and, with all due respect, give me the TBA stable anyday), an ad for TOBA seminars, and photo galleries (are Curlin and Big Brown really relevant right now?) - all just to get to the stories. And even then, the type faces of the headlines are dull and somehow unappealing. Funny how the visual appearance of a website can make it seem worthwhile, or not, no matter what the quality of the content is behind it.

And I imagine that the content is still fine. But this website now drives me away rather than pulls me in. It's just a big mess in my opinion. Ray Paulick has gotta be laughing...and probably picking up some hits too. I know I've been heading to sites like his, and to the Form for my quickie news doses these days. Whoever they've been paying to fix their site has done a fine job causing mayhem on a site which didn't really need fixing at all.

17 Comments:

Erin said...

Yes, agreed, the Blood-Horse has been slowing sliding down the slippery slope toward http://www.dokimos.org/ajff/ and could take a lesson in simple - http://goingtorain.com/

I agree that PR is a great simple interface for racing news, and DRF manages to combine efficiency and practicality with an attractive, classic look.
Equidaily is a little crude but I'll take it any day over the BH site.
I've never been a big Thoroughbred Times reader, and looking at their site, now I know why. At least much less scrolling than the BH.

Overall, Paulick Report is the site I visit the most times each day.

Anonymous said...

Blood Horse fact checking should know that Jerry Lambert was the regular rider of Native Diver, not Native Dancer./S/greenmtnpunter

alan said...

>>Blood Horse fact checking should know that Jerry Lambert was the regular rider of Native Diver, not Native Dancer.

Yikes, that's MY mistake!! I don't have a freaking fact checker!!

Jessica said...

> ... and DRF manages to combine efficiency and practicality with an attractive, classic look. <

Two years after the site's current design first went live, it is so nice to see the DRF look still merits a compliment. Thanks!

G. Rarick said...

The Thoroughbred Times is an unholy mess, too, with almost no news on it. And the Racing Post, one of my standbys, has made it much more difficult just to read the news stories. I just hate it when they try to make things "better" by committee...

Anonymous said...

Maybe the BH should make this post a part of their TBA blog stable...

Erin said...

It's also amazing what a difference Adblock Plus makes!

Anonymous said...

Of the two, I prefer the BH website, only because I can actually bet to what I'm looking for, most of the time. In a lot of ways, I prefer reading my hard copy of TTimes, but the latest incarnation of the website SUCKS. Whoever sold them on this layout is an awesome sales person! I'd read the DRF, but my company blocks it - evil gambling, you know.

Anonymous said...

CORRECTED:
Of the two, I prefer the BH website, only because I can actually find what I'm looking for, most of the time. In a lot of ways, I prefer reading my hard copy of TTimes, but the latest incarnation of the website SUCKS. Whoever sold them on this layout is an awesome sales person! I'd read the DRF, but my company blocks it - evil gambling, you know.

Sid Fernando said...

The Blood-Horse is all about self promotion these days, and I have to agree with the consensus...too bad, I grew up reading that green mag.

DiscreetPicks said...

Fair Grounds - Race 10

#3 True Gentleman (9/2 ml)

First-timer for Asmussen represents the longer half of an uncoupled entry here, as barnmate Omniscient (given out here in his debut) figures to be a heavy favorite. True Gentleman really looks set to run however, as he exits a couple of heads-up drills with Soul Warrior, a good-looking winner for Asmussen who's scheduled to run in the Risen Star this weekend. Going a bit further back, True Gentleman had worked in company with Fierce Thunder, a similar Asmussen firster who also debuted around two turns as the longer half of an uncoupled entry. Fierce Thunder came out of those drills to run a strong second behind Captain Cherokee, a very fine colt who i feel is probably better than Soul Warrior. Also of note here is the fact that Asmussen's go-to rider Bridgmohan gets off Omniscient in order to ride True Gentleman. That may say a heckuva lot. I do respect Omniscient quite a bit, and it's worth noting that Montecore (whom Omniscient beat in that maiden race) came back to win by 10 lengths last week, but i really feel there's good value on True Gentleman here. Could well be an all-Asmussen exacta, just as it was in the Captain Cherokee-Fierce Thunder race.

DiscreetPicks said...

Total Gentleman (off @ 4/1) ran second behind Omniscient. The all-Asmussen exacta paid a very nice $22.80

Anonymous said...

The operative word is "MESS."

Take a look at everything related to racing......

Racing news related sites:
Paulick Report, Equidaily, Bloodhorse, Thoroughbred Times, TDN.
The first two compete against each other in the "free" category. They look almost the same, don't they? As for the BH, TT and TDN, they also compete against each other, at least in terms of ad dollars. The TT and TDN offer a terrific PDF. Are PDFs "old school thinking?"

Account deposit wagering sites:
Paid -- Xpressbet, TVG, Youbet, Twinspires, NYRA and many others.

Free -- TVGfree, Youbet.net, and throw in calracing.com.

Who is the best for paid, as in where you have to pony up money and put it in an account to -- A). wager and B). watch races online? Each has different requirements. Some charge just to put money in an account and some charge per wager fees.

The free are all good except....it has to be TVG. They have very little quality tracks offering free video. Calracing.com's offering a gem. They offer video in the Flash player, so you can watch on a PC or Mac.

Major League Baseball recently announced the new enhancements to its APP on the iPhone. MLB fans will get audio of games (play-by-play). It must be cost prohibitive for video of each game, plus that would impact the In Demand package for television and the MLB video on the MLB Web site. However, the APP is terrific!

When is horse racing going to quit this fractured competition that alienates any potential new fan?

Here is what racing needs to do:

Offer an all-inclusive package for fans. You get a subscription to one of those publications and its online product, say Thoroughbred Times' PDF and its weekly print publication. Plus, you get free online video of every track, especially the bigger ones and their prime meets (Keeneland, Saratoga, etc). People will stay tuned in!

Racing needs to get one of these networks, be it TVG or HRTV on EVERY CABLE SYSTEM! The NFL Network continues to squabble with Comcast and Time Warner, but didn't the NFL just record its Super Bowl as THE MOST WATCHED GAME -- EVER!!??!!

Let's put it this way, too, there are way too many blogs in the TBA. I don't read more than 5 of them. Some people haven't posted in months, some post drivel, and some need to learn design.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps at first you could make the case that Paulick and Equidaily are on the same footing, despite original pieces by Ray. But just one look at the advertising stable he has put together of late (WinStar, Airdrie, BetAmerica, Stonestreet, etc) and the rate at which it has grown and I would imagine he is on an island on his own. Not quite BH and TT but much higher on the list than any other web only publications.

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm in the minority but I still prefer bloodhorse.com and drf.com to everything else. I completely gave up on TTimes.com after their latest redesign. BH has the best collection of video, by far, and that's a big draw for me. News is news. I can get it anywhere. The BH homepage definitely needs some work, but I think they're headed in the right direction. I enjoyed their Breeders Cup site and I love their new Triple Crown section.

DRF is the best site for data and analysis, but I only go there when I'm heading out to the track.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone at the BH look at the TBA site before asking for its help? That homepage a cluttered disaster that looks bad and is confusing to navigate. Does that mean that we can look forward to more of the same at the BH?

Handride said...

I love TBA site bashing it's my favorite thing to read especially when I get the IP address. So lets see we have our standings, we have a blog roll and tweet roll out in the open w/ our feed out there (that's our most important commodity). Basically we have 3 things out in the open. That's clutter? everything else is on a tabbed widget, is it really hard to use? you click a tab and up comes the info you're looking for. duh. I'd say the TBA has more information 1-2 clicks away than any other site.