Feel like there is nothing going on right now? Good, it means you're paying attention. Nothing is going on. The good news is that this is driest period of the entire racing year.
Although racing action itself doesn't really pick up until after the Sunshine Millions at least January is full of Triple Crown and Eclipse Award talk. We'll have our third annual TCR Awards in this space. I look forward to seeing how the results will pan out. The TCR Awards are one of my favorite institutions of Kennedy's Corridor. They mean nothing to anyone but me and perhaps to a few of the handful who vote on them but I still feel they're the most accurate thing out there and it provides a model for how the Eclipse Awards ought to be decided.
In two years there have only been a few differences between the TCR Awards and the Eclipse Awards but I feel that the differences highlight the need for change. In 2007 the only discrepancies between the two were River's Prayer being selected over Maryfield for the Female Sprinter Award and Precious Kitten instead of Lahudood. In 2006 The Tin Man was the TCR Turf Male Award winner instead of the Eclipse choice Miesque's Approval. Circular Quay and Street Sense were also co-champions.
If you take an honest look at the records of those horses you may find cause to be slightly disgruntled with the Eclipse Award selections.
During the dog days of winter I also take some time to reflect on the year that was and more specifically my interaction with it. As with any pursuit in my life my goal is to get better and/or learn more with each passing period.
I feel like my handicapping results have been more or less the same but I have refined my approach. I get more inside the available data and virtually no information provided in the PP's is not used. I've been working on multi-race exotic betting and I've even hit a few, too bad I was only playing them virtually.
What I'm most proud of this year though is the development of the Thoroughbred Championship Power Rankings. There is nothing like them anywhere, certainly not for free anyway. Perhaps they do exist elsewhere behind the wall of some paid subscription but these are the only ratings I'm aware of. It's something I've been trying to create for years and this year I finally made the breakthrough. Even if I'm the only one who cares (which is quite likely) it makes me feel good to have accomplished something this year that I had been trying for a while.
I'm a projects kind of guy, I actually took the time to count and I've currently got 14 different racing related statistical projects on the go. I hadn't realized it was so many. I'm amazed that I find the time to work at my day job.
I also finally updated my blog into the new format. Only two years later than everyone else!
I'm not sure if anyone else out there sets goals for themselves, specifically goals related to racing but I'd encourage the practice. It gives you something to work towards and reflect upon when racing itself is not providing much stimulus.