I'm not sure what percentage of horseplayers view horse racing forums on the internet. One thing is for sure, horse racing forums have now become a legitimate place for one to voice their opinion. With racing declining, more and more horsemen and racing execs are beginning to take notice, and believe it or not, some are even listening.
So here are the main horse racing forums:
Easily the number one horse racing forum on the internet. Pace Advantage has over 13000 members, and is viewed by hundreds of people at any given time. It attracts a vast array of posters from computer program handicappers to trainers to racing execs to ADW owners.
HANA (Horseplayers Association of North America) was started by Pace Advantage Forum members who joined together to try to give horseplayers a seat at the table.
The handicappers on Pace Advantage are the most sophisticated anywhere on the internet collectively. A newbie might get intimidated when viewing some of the systems and statistics that are mentioned in quite a few of the threads.
Sometimes, the commenters at each others throats. But a little drama makes it more entertaining.
Kind of Pace Advantage lite. Again, a pretty sophisticated group of members who are pretty inquisitive and knowledgeable. The crowd is less contentious to one another over there than at Pace Advantage.
The forum has interesting threads, but there just doesn't seem to be enough active commenters. They do seem to get current horse racing news stories as quickly as anyone else if not faster in some cases.
Kind of a clique crowd that is often on each others cases, a little too much in some instances.
The Paulick Report
Not a forum by definition. The Paulick Report has tremendous readership, and attracts some big names in horse racing to comment on in house stories. The fact that comments can be made quickly without being subject to moderation, gives it the feel of a high quality horse racing forum (though some comments are later deleted if they are too offensive).
Del Mar Forum
The least respected horse racing forum on the internet, though the moderators there have tried to fix that recently. It is a breeding ground for California horsemen and simple fans. It is hard to learn anything of substance from that forum whatsoever, and if you are pro horseplayer, posting there will only lead to frustration.
Doesn't have much of a following either.
Barn To Wire Forum
Finally, a forum that I'm not a member of. This one is regional, based in Chicago. The commenters seem to be well mannered and bright. But there is a definite lack of activity on that board that might have to do with their focus.
I just recently became a member there (though they rejected me three times as Cangamble). This is the Wild West of horse racing forums. Mainly focused on harness racing, the crowd there is a cross between Andrew Dice Clay and Don Rickles.
Some of the crudest smilies I've seen on the internet, and swear words don't seem to get deleted either.
This is a genuine harness racing forum. Pretty respectful bunch. You can see the frustrations faced by the members, who seem to be a mix of horsemen and players, as their game struggles to survive.
It isn't very active, so it is easy to miss a few days there and catch up.
Definitely more fan based with a focus on upcoming major Stake races.
From what I've seen so far, they are more fans there than handicappers/insiders/horsemen. The level of sophistication there is pale in comparison to Pace Advantage for example. Not the place for me.