01/25/2002 12:00AM

Letters to the Editor

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Consider this: Slots may drain from race pools

There is a stampede, it seems, towards slot machines in Kentucky. I hope before this happens we look at a few salient points that may help guide us through what could be some very tumultuous times.

1. Where are the players of slots coming from? Are they at the races already, or are they players who are currently at the casinos?

2. Why would they come to the track? Would we be able to offer table games like the casinos, or complimentary meals, rooms, and drinks like casinos do?

3. Would we be simply cannibalizing our own market by taking players away from horse racing?

I believe we horsemen better find out the answers to these questions before we move forward with this. It seems that the only way we can fight the casinos is to be one. We have to have the same abilities they have, or we could gain a minimal amount of play at the expense of our own handle.

Walter Bindner

Goshen, Ky.

Count this fan in as a Stronach booster

I take exception with the Jan. 13 letter "Magna's head needs turning around," which was so bitterly critical of Frank Stronach, chairman of Magna Entertainment.

Like all men of prominence, Stronach is open to criticism, but I must back him because at least he is a racing man. He buys racetracks to keep and improve them, not to close them to make room for another 10-story hotel. The only intent most other money men have had in racetracks it to obtain the property for other purposes.

Hang in there, Mr. Stronach.

Jack Green

San Mateo, Calif.

But crystal ball, about that late double...

Having let most of January go by, it seems time to pass along some predictions for the racing year 2002:

1. Frank Stronach will buy the rights to Royal Ascot and announce that he will turn it into a water theme park. In addition, kids under 12 will be able to ride in the royal carriage on Tuesday and Thursday.

2. On April 20, the winner of every race run at every racetrack in the United States will be a horse owned by Richard Englander. More amazingly, every horse will be ridden by Ramon Dominguez.

3. The state of New Jersey will announce that it will begin taking phone account wagering. All bets, however, must be on harness races only, and no bet will be taken that does not include John Campbell or any 3-5 shot.

4. Stronach will announce that he has bought the Fair Grounds in New Orleans. Stronach will institute a new policy stating that in order to get the track condition, the public must now actually buy the soup of the day.

5. Da Hoss will win the Breeders' Cup Sprint in record time despite having had just one three-furlong workout in over two years. In the winner's circle, trainer Michael Dickinson will announce that he will next aim Da Hoss for the 2014 Breeders' Cup Steeplechase.

Fred Ward

Secaucus N.J.