Welcome to the new Paulick Report

by | 11.17.2010 | 12:25pm

It's been nearly two and a half years since Brad Cummings and I started this little website called the Paulick Report and neither one of us really knew what kind of reception we would get from readers and the racing and breeding industry's advertising community. We had a low budget but high hopes that we could become a destination where a cross-section of Thoroughbred industry professionals, investors, and enthusiasts would come to get the latest news, analysis and opinion from around the racing world and share their point of view with others.

We didn't anticipate the world economic crisis that exploded less than three months after our launch or the serious downturn that has seen foal crops decline, racing dates cut, and pari-mutuel handle plummet to its lowest point in more than a decade. But lo and behold, we're still alive and kickin'. In fact, we have sustained steady growth since our June 2008 debut and are the fastest-growing website in the Thoroughbred business. We thank our readers and advertisers for their support and encouragement to cover the industry with clarity, independence, and a critical eye.

One thing that has not changed – at least until now — is our basic design. Your loyalty has shown us that good content can overcome mundane web architecture. We have been contemplating a site upgrade for some time, but it was not until we teamed up with Nashville-based Digome that we found the right partner to help take us to the next level and better serve you.

For your ease, we are organizing our news in the following sections: The Biz, People, Racing, and Bloodstock. My articles and opinion pieces will be found a section called “Ray's Paddock.” And anyone that has a question about the industry or wants my perspective on a subject can go to the “Ask Ray” page and … well … Ask Ray,.

We also encourage you to sign up for a Paulick Report account at the top of the new page. We won't ask too many personal details, we promise! This will allow you to be able to take part in the previously mentioned Ask Ray section as well as participate in contests and other offerings we will be bringing to the Paulick Report community.

One of the things we've done since our inception was feature the voices of independent bloggers covering racing or breeding from a different perspective, and we are going to continue to do so with our “Best of the Blogs” in the Blogs section. In the same section, we will be featuring Inside The Paulick Report which will keep you up to date on the latest happenings and new developments in the world of the Paulick Report.

And your favorite weekly features (The Weekender Pedigree, The Paulick Report Forum, American Graded Stakes Standings, Good News Friday and Weekend Stakes: Where to Watch) will now have a permanent home in our Features tab, where you can easily find archived articles as well as the latest offerings.

Additionally, we will soon be introducing Graded Stakes videos along with independently produced videos and interviews from around the world. And every story on the Paulick Report can now be sent to your friends and colleagues by email, Facebook and Twitter. Look for the tabs towards the top of each story.

I'm sure we'll have some hiccups along the way. That happens with nearly any redesign, so please bear with us. And of course we want to hear from you. Please send any feedback on how we might improve the new site or those features you really enjoy by sending an email to [email protected].

Again, thanks for being part of our community.  We got this far with you and we'll continue to get better because of you. So perhaps better put, thanks for BEING our community.

  • Looks Great! Keep up the good work!!!

  • Ken Heppermann

    I like the new look. Tried to submit a response from your 5 suggestions but got error message.

  • andy

    Certainly a major improvement over the first site, but my main comment would be that I shouldn’t have to scroll down to see the news just because of the large banner ads. Doesn’t the reader come first?
    Secondarily, I think the look would be cleaner with a slightly smaller typeface on the stories which would also let you get more news on the front page. (Though I understand why you want people to have to click through to get inside.) Best of luck as always.

  • ah, the seduction of the new. I REALLY liked the old look, with everything on one page. This looks much more programmed and managed, which is, I suppose, the point. Much prefer the old anarchy, though.

  • Michael Cusortelli

    I like the new layout. Better organized and much easier to find things.

  • Marshall Cassidy

    Egads, Ray. I didn’t know your site could get better, but now I think it can’t. Sorry for the gut reaction, but this is my first take.

    Better organization is welcome and total E-mail-ability is a plus, of course; even the larger typeface is good for those of us who sometimes put on the cheaters when nobody is looking. But, simply listed links in the previous rendition proved very usable even without rhyme or reason.

    I wish you the very best, though I may need some time to adapt.

  • Jesse Livermore

    Was this change funded by Stimulus money

  • Narthex Farms

    LOVE THE NEW SITE! Looking forward to more features, especially the Community section. Love the videos, keep them coming – the new comedy team of Brad & Ray! I always thought Ray had a big head, and now I know, ha. He is a natural bobble-head.

  • Lost In The Fog


    There is no doubt that the old design was in need of a facelift but the new Beta site is fatally flawed and if you make the switch without significant further reflection and major tweaking you will be shooting yourself in the foot. The Paulick Report gained traction because it was the best horse racing news aggregation site with an additional dose of provocative opinion and commentary. People don’t visit the Paulick Report because they crave flashy graphics, they visit the Paulick Report because they want to easily find the latest news and opinion related to horse racing without needing to scan multiple sites to feel like they’re up-to-date on what’s happening.

    The way the Beta site is arranged now, even with my web browser window taking up my full screen, I need to scroll down before I get to the first news item on the site. This is a major faux pas in web design for an informational or news-related website.

    The basic structure of the Beta site is simply wrong. The home page should be dominated by the latest news, regardless of category, listed in order of importance and recency. That’s what your editorial judgement is for. Each news item can be tagged with a category or even multiple categories and then also be listed in an archive or sub-section for each individual category. Breaking the main news section up on the home page into four sections – “The Biz, Racing, People, Bloodstock” is a mistake. There should instead be a single running list of the top news stories regardless of category. If I’m a reader who is particularly interested in (for instance) Bloodstock stories then I can go to the Bloodstock archive or sub-section to see those stories that either didn’t “make the cut” for inclusion in the main news section or are older than the stories appearing in the main news section .

    While I’m no fan of the graphical look of the Huffington Post (one of the most successful news aggregation sites) they do have the home page and navigation approach right. The main body of the home page always features the latest news stories. Those same stories are also available in the appropriate sub-sections for those that have a more specialized interest.

    Simply put, the web design firm you are working with has delivered a design that is appropriate for a commercial business or corporate site – no white space and very graphics oriented – but you have completely lost the feel of a news and opinion site. That will not serve you well in the long run.

  • Andrew A

    The appeal of the old format was that it was easy to scan and click. The new format looks good but is like a lot of other sites. This is a big mistake. Keep the old format for the people that like it.

  • Hunter H

    I truly can’t imagine anyone preferring the old site to the new. With the jumble that was the old site, I had found my rhythm in knowing where things were, but only because I use the site a lot. For anyone who hadn’t been to the old site, or anyone with web knowledge, you HAVE to love this new site. Much easier to navigate and find what I am looking for!

    Thank you guys for making the update, no matter what others say, it was MUCH NEEDED.

  • I have a friend who is in the horse industry who explained his involvement to me at brunch this morning. He referred to the Paulick Report several times, and mentioned that he loved the new design for the site. I had not visited this site before now, and I have to say that I can’t imagine that the old design could have been preferable in any way to the new one. I have clicked on every tab, read the blogs, watched the videos, etc., and must say that this is one of the most attractive, readable and maneuverable sites I have ever visited. I will keep coming back – because of the content – and more importantly – the user-friendly design. Good luck as you move forward.

  • Nice site! As with anything new, we will carry some nostalgia, but will appreciate and be comfortable here in no time! I imagine a lot of work went into the new site. Let’s jump in and enjoy, and give feedback to help them make it even better!

  • Jason C.

    Great new look! Much easier to find what you are looking for. For a newer visitor, this site is much easier to navigate and find the interesting content. I suppose that some long-time visitors of the old site might have to spend a few extra moments to find what they are looking for the first few times they visit. I think its a small and temporary price to pay in exchange for the richer content presentation and experience. Keep it up!

  • Gentleman Jack

    I like it. Nice & clean!

  • Ahorseisahorse

    Amazing site . . . so much easier to find what I’m looking for. I’m into much more than just the most recent post, so the tabs make everything organized. I think you’re in for a webby. Congrats on your success. I’ll be around to see much more I’m sure. Great job!!

  • loren

    Glad you attempted to change the new site, but there is still too much scrolling and wasted time/space/effort. Count me out!

  • Kathleen Cahill Belmonte

    Would you explain to us, what happened
    to WILL TAKE CHARGE? I missed the
    televised race and just saw the results and
    I’m shocked…..and sad.

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