03/02/2007 12:00AM

Letters to the Editor


Churchill urged to reconsider switch of in-home provider

Churchill Downs Inc. and its racetracks switching to HorseRacing TV from Television Games Network would be a crime ("TVG may not carry Churchill," Feb. 17).

HRTV cannot compare with TVG's coverage. Sure, they both have competent handicappers and analysts, but TVG has consistently better ones.

That aside, the reason to watch these shows is basically to bet from home. TVG scrolls the odds of races and minutes to post constantly. So, in a race with multiple first-time starters, you get to see who is getting bet. HRTV is so busy doing interviews and conversing that it's lucky if viewers get the odds even two or three times on the track they are betting. Usually after making viewers wait 15 minutes for an update on the odds, HRTV finally flashes them when horses are loading into the gate.

Results are shown once or twice, so if you blink you miss them.

This is supposed to be a quality racing station? Several friends and I have already stopped betting Gulfstream because of this horrible coverage.

Think twice, Churchill Downs: TVG should be studied and copied, not cast aside.

Jerry Calderone - Lakewood, N.J.

At times, winter racing can make fans shudder

After two full months of the new racing year, consisting of many hours of simulcast viewing, I feel it is time to list some of the most annoying occurrences to date.

1. Fair Grounds announcer John Dooley referring to apprentice Joe Talamo as "Apprentice Joe Talamo" every five minutes. Anyone not familiar with racing would think that the kid's first name is "Apprentice."

2. Tampa Bay announcer Richard Grunder exclaiming that any horse in front at the top of the stretch has been "beautifully rated on the front end by" (fill in jock), and then watch as the horse runs fourth. Also, we know that Daniel Centeno is the nation's leading rider in races won. We don't need to be reminded after every win, thanks. I do admit , though, that it's pretty cool that the trophy presentation made after every race is made by the Snappy Seniors Club of Del Boca Vista.

3. Winter racing in New York: "They're off! So-and-so goes to the front, and so-and-so wins." Time to end it, boys. Take a three-month break and come back strong in April. Now we will be subjected to $5,000 claimers. What's next - dollar beer nights and Randy Travis concerts?

4. Is it me or does everyone always look real cold at Turfway Park?

5. The fact that there is no Thoroughbred racing in New Jersey. Let's rebuild Garden State and bring back Larry Lederman immediately.

Fred Ward - Secaucus, N.J.