Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor: CAW 'Activity Stinks to High Heaven'

by Walter Toner Rainy afternoon on Cape Cod and I had a few minutes to kill, so flipped the channel to TVG for a quick flutter. I selected the filly Just Like Magic, approaching the gate at 7-5 as the recipient of a $10 win wager in the 3rd race Oaklawn (3/28). She charged up the rail and won. Final odds were 3-5. WTF. Sorry for the crudeness. Racing will never engage the next generation of punters with 15-27% takeout and NO fixed odds, when they can bet on sports...

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Letter To The Editor: Ercel Ellis and The Decision That Altered My Life

For me personally, what a weird coincidence that earlier this week, TDN published a wonderful essay by its columnist Chris McGrath, who spent time with three of the industry's "elder statesman," among them Ercel Ellis. For it was Ellis who, 40 years ago this coming week, made a decision that altered the course of my life. McGrath obviously had a wonderful time at Lil's Coffee House in Paris, Ky., listening to the yarns spun by Ellis, now 92, renowned veterinarian Bob Copelan (97), and the youngster of the trio, Stone...

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Letter to the Editor: Alan French

First, the CHRB was put in a no-win situation. To paraphrase Board Chairman Dr. Gregory Ferraro, half of the state was going to be mad at the CHRB regardless of how they voted. And frankly, it is very sad that it even came to that, as I will explain in more detail momentarily. While it is clear that the recent letter sent by Craig Fravel did not sit well with them, it seems that the Board understood the ramifications of not having racing in the North. Meaning that it would...

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Letter to the Editor: Gunnar Nordqvist

In response to the article of Patrick Cooper in the TDN, I would like to share the situation in France with your readers. As usual, Mr. Cooper is highly entertaining and at the same time deadly serious. The universal problem in racing and elsewhere is lack of staff. Each country has their own specific problems. France, where I reside, is even more hamstrung than other countries. We have probably the best funded apprentice school in the world. (The only jurisdiction I can not find any information from is Japan.) France...

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Letter to the Editor: The Importance of the Race Track Chaplaincy

Last week, I attended the Race Track Chaplaincy of America (RTCA) national conference at the Falls Creek Conference Center in Davis, Oklahoma. There were more than 100 participants including track chaplains, local council leaders, national board and staff. I am here to share a good news story about a group that is serving God, serving people and making a difference in horse racing. At its core, our sport showcases the Thoroughbred, one of the greatest creatures on this earth, and the dedicated group of people who love and work with...

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Letter to the Editor: Agent for Positive Change

by Brian Malloy The initial public forum for Light Up Racing at Fasig-Tipton in Lexington Monday night kicked off the most encouraging effort I've seen in my 44 years in horse racing. Vicky Leonard, the Kiwi PR pro who spearheaded a similar effort in Australia after a spate of tragic accidents in the Melbourne Cup, cogently outlined this grass roots campaign to a packed house and was greeted with thunderous applause. I taught the capstone course in public relations for several years at the University of Kentucky with a systems...

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Letter to the Editor: First, Stop the Bleeding

T.D. Thornton's report on racetrack closures in California (TDN, 12/6/23) and Dan Ross's piece on Pat Cummings's research into Computer Assisted Wagering in California (TDN 2/13/24) are frightening for all tracks not supported by casinos/slots. Santa Anita and Del Mar are high-profile tracks in trouble, but they are not alone. The problem? Host tracks are now receiving very little for their racing content. Remember Napster, when a lot of people were stealing songs and nobody knew what to do about it? I'm not Steve Jobs, who saved the music industry...

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Letter To The Editor: White Turf Dispatch From The Cashmere Club

Operation Cashmere Club's assault on the White Turf of St. Moritz under the leadership of Generals Bromagen, Restrepo and Scherer began with a two-pronged attack, the primary force descending from Zurich in the North and a secondary force coming up from Milano in the South. The combined force of 70 plus Americans, Canadians, Irish, English and French converged upon the Hotel Kempinski Bar at 18:30 hours Thursday. In the face of such overwhelming odds the Kempinski Bar offered no resistance. The pattern continued Friday with a daytime assault on The...

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Letter to the Editor: Middle-Distance Focus is a Breeder's Best Bet

Following from the excellent feature by Emma Berry in discussion with Harry Sweeney in Thursday's TDN, I felt compelled to write in. I, like many breeders and fans alike, was disappointed when the news of Adayar, Hukum and Westover's departures filtered through. Through various debates/heated discussions with my colleagues and fellow industry members, the usual argument was thrown back - would you use them yourself? Are they commercial? Harry Sweeney's comments sparked a different debate in my mind. Theoretically we are all supposed to be breeding with the aim of...

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Letter To The Editor: The Implications of Choosing Not To Run in This Year's Derby

The Derby is not just any race. It is the pinnacle of American horse racing from virtually every angle: breeding, owning, training, riding and yes, even betting (who doesn't want bragging rights for picking the winner?). And the Derby race/event has grown to such importance for the entire industry (the hoopla around the Derby as an event got bigger in the preceding years even while horse racing has been struggling), that its import flows far beyond the private parameters of ownership of Churchill Downs, Inc. Derby day is an industry-wide...

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Letter to the Editor: 'Absolute Insure Rule is a Farce'

I appreciated Bill Finley's conversation with Alan Foreman on TDN Writers' Room. Your question to him about trainers who are not guilty of cheating hit home for me. As a trainer who is dealing with this same issue prior to HISA in the state of Florida, I was hoping to make a brief comment. The banned substances provisions are more complicated than they want it to be in an era where the testing has become so fine any trainer can get a banned substance positive at any time no matter...

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Letter to the Editor – The Aftermath of Disqualifications

I retired in 2019 as the most prolific bugler in horse racing history with over 60,000 performances of "First Call" at a record-setting 51 racetracks in 23 states and Canada. My herald trumpet, which I used at NYRA for most of my time there, has been on display at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame for the past three years. Of this, I am very proud. But this is not the subject of my email. The subject is betting on horses, and I had some success in...

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