03/13/2015 10:57AM

Letter to the editor: Taking exception to characterization of Bill Passmore


I read the column by Dick Jerardi published in the Daily Racing Form on Feb. 27 entitled “When in doubt, stewards should let the result stand.”
Although I strongly disagree with his opinion regarding the role of stewards, I can see, as he stated in his article, after 35 years, that his mind is made up. I am currently a steward in California and recognize that any future articles about stewards by Jerardi probably will have a negative slant.

I’m not writing this letter to voice my opinion about stewards. I’m writing because I feel he crossed a line when he personalized his article by singling out Bill Passmore.

Bill was a well-respected jockey, and by referring to him as “The Undertaker,” Jerardi debased his name and reputation. I rode with Bill on the Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania circuits and was around him extensively because I was his son-in-law at one time. During that time, I witnessed a man of integrity who was a top rider and well respected by his fellow riders. As mentioned, Bill also became a steward. I can assure you that with the integrity, knowledge, and experience he brought to the stewards’ stand, he was a great selection and well respected in that profession as well.

Bill Passmore died in May 2009, and in my opinion, Jerardi was out of line to use a derogatory reference that besmirched a man’s reputation who is no longer here and unable to defend himself.

Darrel McHargue
Albany, Calif.