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John Scheinman, who has covered horse racing for the Washington Post since 2000, has been told that as of the new year his beat will be as dead as Barbaro.
In all likelihood, that means that regular horse racing coverage is over at the Post. For good.
Racing sold more newspapers than any other sport, and maybe any other topic, for a huge, early chunk of the 20th century.
But journalism has been turning its back on the track for years. The Post’s Andy Beyer, the most important turf writer this region and maybe any region has ever known, took a buyout a couple years ago and wasn’t replaced.
Look for the Post to use wire copy come next year’s Kentucky Derby.
Scheinman, as hardworking a freelancer as the Post has, says he’ll try to pick up track work from other media outlets, and hopes the addition of slot machine revenue in Maryland will spark new interest in racing.
He’s not expecting the Post to reconsider, however.
“It just hit me,” Scheinman said, just before leaving to cover today’s Maryland Racing Commission meeting, “I’m the last Post horse racing writer.”