LOUISVILLE (May 4, 2017) – An innovative website, dedicated to covering the world of Thoroughbred racing and breeding, launched Thursday. The Pressbox is a locally produced media suite, which will feature live podcasts, webcasts, news, features, interviews, call-in shows, handicapping tips and wagering advice from a list of prominent handicappers and horsemen.
Additionally, the site will highlight breeding analysis, fashion advice, farm snapshots and other information pertaining to the Thoroughbred industry.
“I am tremendously excited to announce and produce this new informational site that is dedicated to bringing the most comprehensive, accurate, fair and newsworthy segments in an exciting, fresh, modern format that viewers and listeners can access through a variety of ways,” said Gene McLean, the media mind behind The Pressbox.
“We will have video segments. We will offer interviews in audio. We will preview major stakes races; forecast potential scenarios; and then analyze the results in in-depth analysis that is unmatched in the industry today. But, in the end, the things that will set us apart, are the following: one, the depth and talent of our team of writers, broadcasters, handicappers, breeding analysts and experts – which include some of the most noted professionals in the industry; two, our total commitment to accuracy, in-depth reporting; and three, our daily pledge to treat everyone in the industry with a sense of fairness and professionalism,” said McLean.
The Team’s depth chart will include the following:
Gene McLean, President and Publisher. McLean won numerous writing awards as a sportswriter and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader from 1977 to 1988. He covered nearly every major racing event during that time, winning the coveted Kentucky Sportswriter of the Year in 1985. Later, McLean served as the Executive Vice President of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, before becoming the first President of Kentucky Off-Track Betting, Inc. In 1995, McLean established McLean Communications and built one of the most respected lobbying firms in Frankfort, KY.
In addition, McLean is an active owner and breeder in the Thoroughbred industry. He co-bred, with Rob Murphy (listed below), Platinum Tiara, who ran second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies stakes at Churchill Downs in 2000. In addition, McLean was a co-owner of Purim’s Dancer, who was Graded Stakes Placed and won the listed Wishing Well Stakes at Santa Anita. McLean currently is a co-owner of a 3-year-old filly, and has four horses on the farm – including two yearling colts.
Cecil Watts, a lifelong friend of McLean, will serve as Vice President and General Manager, and will oversee all day-to-day operations. Quin Welch will join the entity as the Managing Editor.
Nationally-recognized handicapper Toby Callet, will serve as the site’s top handicapping analyst. Dave Welch will be a regular contributing handicapper, and McLean will also serve as a third handicapping analyst.
Dan Liebman, who spent 15 years at Blood-Horse Publications as director of research, Executive Editor, and, ultimately, Editor in Chief, will be a regular contributing columnist and features writer. Before joining the Blood-Horse, Liebman worked for The Daily Racing Form.
Rob Murphy, a former major league pitcher for 10 years with the Cincinnati Reds, Boston Red Sox, Seattle Mariners, Houston Astros, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees and others, will be the new site’s breeding expert and provide regular commentary and in-depth pedigree analysis. Murphy is deep-rooted in the Thoroughbred industry on both sides of his family tree and has both bred and raced top Thoroughbreds in the past – including Platinum Tiara, Golden Spikes, Duchess Grace, Swing and Miss among others.
Dave Baker, an award-winning sports broadcaster on both radio and television, will act as the site’s top talent on locally produced podcasts, webcasts and other broadcast features. Baker collaborated with McLean on major TV productions centered on and around the Thoroughbred industry in the past, and will provide a first-class broadcast journalist background.
Alex McLean Sharp, who has worked in the fashion industry in both New York and now in Nashville, will provide expertise in fashion. The younger McLean has owned and operated her own fashion blog, LexWhatWear, for over five years and has been recognized for both her talent as a designer and commentator.
Kelly Sears, an amateur photographer based in western Kentucky, is a horse lover dating back to her youth and still has had a pleasure horse that she has owned now for nearly 30 years. Sears has produced a deep portfolio of equine pictures from the Kentucky Derby to the Breeders’ Cup.
Paul Blodget, a graphic design expert in Lexington, has helped developed the logos of both The Louisville Thoroughbred Society and The Pressbox. Blodget has worked in this field of study for years and now owns his own firm that includes several equine clients.
“I will match our team with anyone in the industry,” said McLean. “We have the contacts, the knowledge, the experience and the ability to communicate about and with the industry accurately, fairly, and with a sense of passion and excitement. All of us are dedicated to doing the right thing, and having fun in an industry that we love.”
Currently “The Pressbox™” is being produced from a temporary space inside The Ice House building. It will eventually be located in a state of the art Thoroughbred development that will be announced this week. The site has already contracted with several major sponsors and advertisers, including Churchill Downs, Inc.