By Joe Clancy, Sean Clancy & Tom Law
The Special in May? Yeah, The Special in May. We’re almost as surprised as you are, but add another entry in the column of “Stuff I Never Thought I’d See” for 2020.
Looking ahead, no one in Thoroughbred racing knows exactly what the second half of 2020 will look like or what it will bring. Not in the midst of a public health crisis expanding in unknown directions all over the world.
As a racehorse owner told us a week ago, “It’s the complete unknown right now. Complete. Nobody understands it.” And that means our flagship publication, The Saratoga Special daily newspaper, gets saddled with that uncertainty. Will there be Saratoga racing in 2020? We’re convinced there will be. Will it look the same as it did in 2019? We have no idea. It’s also way too early to predict much. If you were ever going to take things one day at a time, and only be sure of what you can see/feel/touch/hear, now is the time.
With that in mind, and with a pep talk from an ally, we’re getting proactive. We’ll publish The 2020 Special May 1 as a preview to the Arkansas Derby May 2 and the other major races going on that day. Call it the “Day formerly known as Kentucky Derby Day” – at least for a year.
It’s a digital newspaper, meaning PDF only and no print copy (though you’re free to print it and carry it around your house while watching racing). The publication will include everything you’re used to from us including a Fasig-Tipton Stable Tour, a Here and There section of quotes, numbers and other bits and bobs, an Arkansas Derby preview package, a look at some other major races around the country, check-ins with a few people and horses, columns from Sean, Tom and Joe and – surely – some surprises.
So keep an eye out. If you’re on our email list, you’ll get a copy. If you follow us on social media, you’ll see a post and a link. If you come to our website, you’ll see an article with a link. If you want to make sure, fill out this form. Just as importantly, spread the word. Forward The Special to your friends, tell them it’s worth reading. Help us expand the audience.
Our goal is to follow whatever the spring/summer racing calendar holds. The 2020 Special won’t be weekly, but there will be more than one edition as long as the horses keep running. Looking ahead, hopefully racing returns in New York, Kentucky, Maryland, California and so on. There will be plenty to write about. The horses don’t know there’s a pandemic.
If you’re an advertiser, or want to be one, sign up. See info below. In short, we’d love to have you and we guarantee you’ll get more than you pay for. We’ll also donate 15 percent of all ad revenue to New York backstretch charities.
This is the 20th season of The Saratoga Special season – yeah, we know, crazy. We’ve got some anniversary plans and we’ll keep you posted. Also, the Readers Club is coming back and we’ll have an announcement about that soon, too.
Stay safe and keep reading.
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