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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wonk Attack

I was on the NTRA site, checking out the Breeders Cup posts by fellow members of the Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance (I'm doing the Sprint, but can't yet think of anything to say), and I stumbled upon a post by Jeremy Plonk, who I seem be seeing more and more of lately. "Ever wondered how a well-known public handicapper attacks a race card?" he opens.

Hmmm...well, no, not really to be honest, but OK, that might be interesting, who is it? Andy Beyer? Hank Goldberg? Steve Davidowitz?

Beginning tonight and every Monday night through December, you'll get your chance to ride shotgun alongside me as I dissect the live racing action from Remington Park. It's part of an exciting new venture between Remington Park and the handicapping-based website, of which I founded and am managing partner.
Oh. I should have known; after all, we've seen that he's not shy about using his paid gigs to promote himself and his various other ventures.

As you might recall, Plonk earned himself a permanent spot in the LATG Hall of Shame last year when, while live blogging his live blogging of Filly Friday, I caught him taking down a favorable pre-race comment on a horse after it ran poorly, an egregious violation of blogging ethics which calls the veracity of the transcripts of his live blogs and chats into serious question.

Shortly after reading this post, I got an email from the Breeders Cup publicity folks about a new "Wagering Microsite." The Breeders’ Cup announced today the launch of BreedersCup360, a specialized website focused on all aspects related to wagering on the Breeders’ Cup, it announced rather clumsily. For a moment, and for whatever reason, I thought that this was going to be a site tailored to wagering novices, something to help make it understandable and engaging and get them involved.

But instead, it's another wonkfest, and a biggie. Or maybe I should say, Plonkfest, because there he was again!
In the weekly “Breeders’ Cup Lessons Learned” blog, I’ll be discussing the personal bull’s eyes and misfires that have gone with playing every Breeders’ Cup since the 1984 inaugural.
I'll be waiting with baited breath for that.


El Angelo said...

I commented on Plonk's article on Digiturf on, basically calling out that the article was nothing more than a full-length advertisement for a site that was a sponsor for ESPN. Five days later, my comment was gone. Seriously.

o_crunk said...

He hasn't given out any winners on twitter. HaHaHa. That would seem the most appropriate place for what he's aiming for. Sill, I expect that account to stay dry. (Is LATG rolling his eyes?)

And anyway, who would trust anyone who claims to be a "HorseplayerPRO"?

Plonk is one of the few people writing for high visibility racing media who are complete "throw outs".

I don't want to bang on him too hard but the no-shame shilling reached a saturation point with this one awhile ago.

McCarron said...

Since Plonk is running his own "tout site" he will inevitably get into these situations which blur journalistic objectivity (ESPN pieces, etc.) with self promotion. We can't begrudge a guy for trying to make a living off of the game; we can begrudge him for taking down unsuccessful selections and/or not being forthright.

I will never understand paid tout sites. Isn't the fun, skill, and ultimate aim of the game to pick your own winners/have your own opinion? Why pay someone else to tell you what to think?

If they are so good, they would not be selling their picks-especially to their direct competition...this is a pari-mutuel game. If you were involved in a poker game, would you buy the opinion of your fellow player sitting at the table next to you who is your competition to take down that pot? "Hey Slim, what do you think...should I fold?"

If they truly felt so strongly about their opinions, they would not sell those thoughts to others thereby degrading their own odds.