01/09/2004 1:00AM

Letters to the Editor


De Seroux shouldn't bite hand that feeds

I heartily applaud Michael Paulson's plan to return Azeri to the racetrack under the tutelage of Wayne Lukas rather than that of Laura de Seroux. I feel confident in saying this not because as a member of the racing public I want to see a great champion compete again, or because Ms. de Seroux does not deserve the opportunity to condition Azeri due to a lack of training skills. Rather, I say this because of Ms. de Seroux's disdain for racing fans and for her distinct disregard for the betterment of the sport that has afforded her a comfortable income over the past several years.

During an interview a few months ago on a local New York radio show devoted entirely to Thoroughbred racing, host Dan Lauletta asked Ms. de Seroux if she would be swayed "if there was a public outcry for Azeri to run against males." Ms. de Seroux responded by saying, "I don't care what the public thinks at all. They are not horse trainers. All they do is pay admission and gamble." Obviously, Ms. de Seroux has never heard the word karma.

It is my opinion that Ms. de Seroux has much to learn about the sport of horse racing, lest she forget that without the people who "pay admission and gamble" she probably would not have enjoyed the lucrative returns afforded her by Azeri.

Lawrence Smith,
Jackson, N.J.

Bailey's agent deserves an attaboy

Once again, the jockey colony has been topped by the brilliant 2003 performance of Jerry Bailey. While there is little to dispute who is king of the hill when it comes to riders in the United States, it should also be noted that much of Bailey's success comes directly from the efforts of his agent, Ron Anderson.

Anderson has been at the top of his profession for some 25 years. Without much fanfare and little in the way of accolades, he continues to do an unparalleled job in securing winning mounts for his talented reinsman. Kudos for another job well done.

Ron Wasserman,
San Jose, Calif.

Good business move. Not!

Boy am I relieved! After seeing the headline "Price Hikes for Saratoga" in a Jan. 2 story I thought, "Oh my God, a purse increase at Saratoga." My initial shock soon turned to relief. NYRA was not raising purses, they were raising admission and parking prices. Perish the thought of raising purses for horsemen and owners to create larger fields and generate more handle. Why do that when they can raise prices to lower attendance? This is a better business model, as it pushes customers to stay home or visit simulcast centers.

One result of this strategy is that many colleges across our great land can again use the racing industry as a model of "how not to" - how not to increase handle, how not to increase attendance, how not to generate new customers, how not to survive.

Thomas A. Noone,
Redondo Beach, Calif.