Letter to the Editor: C'mon, Bill

Years ago, a dear friend, Joe Spadaro, a veteran turf writer who coined the phrase “get with the program!”, and I were at a bar one evening up on Jericho Turnpike after the races at beautiful Belmont Park. We were commiserating with the Eclipse Award-winning writer Paul Moran about racing. I was always a pretty opinionated guy (still am) and Joe could hear my tone of voice elevating to rebut something that Paul said. Joe turned to me and said “Tom, never get into it with somebody who buys ink by the barrel”. I've always listened to that advice so I'm not going to get into it but: Come on, Bill.

In reference to yesterday's article about the Metropolitan Handicap not being on Memorial Day, when it was traditionally held, yes, I totally agree with you. I am very much a traditionalist also. However, you know what the trend is, right? The bean counters think that apparently big championship racing days generate the most handle. I guess that might be a trend for the future.

But that's not my issue with the article. You referred to this Memorial Day as “it will be just another day at the track”. Come on Bill!!

It's New York-bred Showcase Day, the biggest day of racing for New York-breds in the spring at beautiful Belmont Park. We showcase the best New York-breds in stake race after stake race. New York breeders spend a ton of money all over the country including Kentucky. We just passed a rule whereby you can buy a mare at any auction in Kentucky and other states, ship the mare back within 15 days and take advantage of everything the program has to offer. New York-breds race with up to a 30% advantage over non-New York-breds at New York tracks for some of the biggest purses in the country.

Times are tough. We went from an annual 50,000 foal crop nationally when I got into the business back in the 70s to around an 18,000 foal crop presently. Let's go easy on each other and try and be supportive of all the state programs, including New York's.
And go easy on me with all that ink in your barrel!

Tom Gallo
President, New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc.

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