04/30/2014 1:04PM

'Indian Charlie' banned over racist remarks


Several racetracks and sales companies, including Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton, have said that they will no longer advertise in the popular but controversial gossip sheet known as “Indian Charlie” after an edition of the publication on Saturday included racist remarks about Mexicans.

Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton are two of the largest advertisers in the two-sided gossip sheet, which is typically distributed by hand throughout sales grounds during auctions. Many consignors at auctions also take ads out in the sheet.

Keeneland announced the policy in a statement released on Tuesday afternoon, and it further stated that the sheet would be banned from its grounds. Boyd Browning, the president of Fasig-Tipton, said the company found the language in the sheet “offensive and unacceptable” and would cease advertising in the publication immediately.

The Stronach Group, which owns Santa Anita Park, Golden Gate Fields, Gulfstream Park, Laurel Park, Pimlico, and Palm Meadows training center, has also banned the sheet and will no longer advertise in it, said Tim Ritvo, president of Gulfstream and chief operating officer of the Stronach Group’s racing division, in an interview Wednesday. “Indian Charlie” is also often distributed daily during high-profile race meets.

The decisions were precipitated by a letter from Ada Limon to Thoroughbred Daily News on Monday. Limon, who described herself as a Mexican-American racing fan, called on advertisers to cease doing business with the publication because of the racist item.

The Saturday edition of the sheet included an item purporting to give advice to trainers about how to avoid hiring an undercover agent for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Contending that the PETA agents would be vegetarians, the item advised trainers to hire Mexicans, because “you’d be hard-pressed to find a Mexican who hasn’t, at one time or another, made a meal out of someone’s pet dog, a cat, and/or a hamster.”

The publication is produced by Eddie Musselman, a former jockey’s agent who started distributing the sheet two decades ago.