Brooklyn Boro

A trip into the Brooklyn Bunker

December 5, 2022 Andy Furman, Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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He calls it The Brooklyn Bunker.

In reality, it’s the racing capital of the world, and it’s located right here in Brooklyn. In Park Slope, to be exact… in Peter Fornatale’s basement.

And from here on, Mr. Fornatale will be referred to as PTF.

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PTF realized that people are hungry for horse racing content.

“After I graduated NYU,” the 50-year-old PTF told the Eagle, “I went into book publishing. I was an editorial assistant for Simon and Schuster.”

One of his clients – you must’ve guessed by now – was the Daily Racing Form. In fact, PTF wrote a book on the subject: “Six Secrets of Successful Bettors.”

“After the book was published,” he said, “The Racing Form wanted a follow-up. They wanted a book on contest players similar to poker players and the World Series of Poker.”

The creative Fornatale suggested not a book, but an actual contest.

The Racing Form bought in – named PTF their Contest Editor – and low and behold a new career was on the horizon.

“We started a podcast,” PTF said, “As an outgrowth.”

There were no racing podcasts, and PTF aired his first of many in the Fall of 2014.

The In the Money Media Network, founded by Jonathan Kinchen and PTF, is a collection of horse racing podcasts and other content about horse racing and gambling.

The In the Money Players Podcast made its debut in 2018.

“It was simply content for horse players,” PTF said, “We did the Week in Review podcast; and now we have shows for new horse players, breeders, owners, Spanish Language, harness racing and international racing.”

Every piece of the racing world is covered in the Brooklyn Bunker.

The In the Money Media Network is an outgrowth of the In the Money Players’ Podcast – originally the Daily Racing Form Players’ Podcast – the longest continuously running horse racing podcast.

It has charted in iTunes and been nominated for awards, but most importantly, it has brought together a diverse community of horseplayers from all walks of life, and counts amongst its fans some of the biggest names in the racing industry.

As for PTF, he’s the only full-time employee and has about 10 people hosting shows.

“The entire company has about 15 people total,” he said, “In one capacity or another.”

The podcasts: they’re done via e-mail, and PTF says he does one show per-day. “I try not to overdo it.”

As for the Brooklyn Bunker, PTF says it has a camera, spot lights, three monitors and two computers.

PTF has two business partners, Jonathan Kinchen and Drew Coatney.

“Drew is a real interesting story,” PTF says, “we brought him in and he didn’t know much about thoroughbred racing. Well, he got really involved in our contests, and he was a $500,000 winner at the recent Breeders Cup.”

Peter Thomas Fornatale is the host of the podcast and he’s been at for close to four years.

He’s truly a pioneer in the racing/podcast world.

Yet, PTF is not the only pioneer on the family tree.

Peter Salvatore Fornatale – his dad – was a New York City disc jockey on WNEW FM Radio (102.7 FM) and author or numerous books on rock and roll.

He is considered “The Pioneer of FM Rock,” who played an important role in the progressive rock era of FM broadcasting. He was the first person to host a rock and roll music show on New York City’s FM band, commencing November 21, 1964, on WFUV.

By broadcasting progressive rock and long album tracks, he was noted for introducing a musical alternative to Top 40 AM radio in New York in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

He gave early exposure to country-rock bands like Buffalo Springfield and Poco, and did one of the first American interviews with Elton John. In 1991 he was co-host of “Paul Simon Live in Central Park” and was often called to be an expert guest commentator on PBS specials, including those featuring Bob Dylan, John Fogerty, The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Roy Orbison, Peter, Paul and Mary, Simon & Garfunkel, James Taylor and others.

The Fornatale’s seem to have something in common – firsts.

Peter in radio – and PTF at the race track.

Andy Furman is a Fox Sports Radio national talk show host. Previously, he was a scholastic sports columnist for the Brooklyn Eagle. He may be reached at: [email protected] Twitter: @AndyFurmanFSR

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