Effective August 15th (thus making Arlington Million week my final assignment), I will be moving to a role as a Contributor to Picks & Ponderings on an ad hoc basis While I will still be involved, I will be involved on a smaller and more sporadic scale. Picks & Ponderings shall not cease publication, nor shall Nicolle Neulist cease her involvement. In fact, Nicolle will be taking on more of the duties (as appropriate) that I did in the past.
Picks & Ponderings often chooses its races on a month-to-month or week-to-week basis, and going forward I want the ability to choose when I want to write about a race more spontaneously. This isn’t meant to say that reader feedback and desires are not important; reader feedback has always been of high regard. One reason Picks & Ponderings became a two-person operation was to handle handicapping of stakes beyond the Chicagoland area while still keeping in tune to the local scene - something reader feedback and traffic dictated.
Instead, I want to exercise a higher degree of artistic freedom as I’m moving in a drastically new direction. Such direction is away from the racing world, placing me not in the press box but rather in the classroom. It places me as student and not as writer and reporter. It is also the type of direction that requires a great deal of time. It could be seen as a bit of a jolt to swap Brisnet past performances for textbooks and a race program for a full-time graduate student schedule, but that’s what happening. Taken in total, I don’t want the obligation of coursework to conflict with looking at a race. Having myself as a Contributor allows me to still be active - but freed from an advance commitment. Yet it allows me to step away from Picks & Ponderings to focus on graduate studies while also not fully pulling the plug.
To all the readers and commenters, I thank you for the interest and feedback. I thank you for the support and growth to make Picks & Ponderings what it is. To those at Arlington and Hawthorne and beyond that opened the doors in the media, I thank you for letting me inside. I thank you for giving this writer space to aid you and greatly accept the aid you’ve given. To those who pop in to the racing world once a year, I thank you for allowing me to pop into your world as well. To those on social media I’ve never met and wished to meet (whether to me or to you), I hope the conversation was as fruitful for me as it was for you. I’ll just be doing a lot less of it.
To Nicolle, I hope that you can take charge and take this further than I ever could, beyond wildest dreams and beyond highest expectations.
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