02/04/2005 12:00AM

Letters to the editor

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Ramsey seen as sportsman, just overeager

I am writing in response to what I believe has been wrongful treatment of Ken Ramsey, who has been castigated and ridiculed throughout the racing industry for the recent so-called "breach of ethics" incident in which he has been duly punished by the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority.

What Mr. Ramsey did in attempting to get another owner, Barbara Conner, to scratch her horse from a race was nothing more than a simple business proposition. In no way did Mr. Ramsey attempt to fix a race, drug a horse, disrupt anyone's life, or influence the outcome of anything other than how his stallion Catienus would finish in a certain category in the North American sire rankings. Ms. Conner, like anyone else in her position, had the right to say "no" to his offer, and that she clearly did.

Here we have a man who has chosen to invest his heart and soul into our business. Mr. Ramsey has invested in his own Thoroughbred farm, stands stallions, breeds mares, spends generously at various public auctions, supports the private markets by selling and buying horses freely, absolutely pours his own money through the betting windows, and, perhaps most importantly, takes great joy in being part of it all. He is a great sportsman.

I believe it was Ken Ramsey's heartfelt enthusiasm that led him into this latest spot, and in the grand scheme of things, I believe his actions should be construed as nothing more than an innocuous (if, in fact, it was technically wrong) outgrowth of that enthusiasm. Racing needs more people like Ken Ramsey. It does not need to cast someone like him in a shameful light for a singular incident that clearly has been blown out of proportion.

Ron Anderson
Hollywood, Fla.
Ron Anderson is a jockey's agent who represents Jerry Bailey.

To his credit,the man faced the music

The Jan. 30 letter to the Racing Form "Evening's performance merits poor review" stated that Ken Ramsey lacked class. However you view the celebrated incident at Turfway Park, that remark could not be more off base.

Mr. Ramsey could have saved himself a $25,000 fine and the embarrassment he has received by simply not telling the truth. When questioned, he could have stated that he knew owner-trainer Barbara Conner was shipping from Tennessee, her horse was 60-1, and he was simply inquiring as to whether she planned to scratch, not asking her to do so. This would have resulted in a "he said, she said" situation, and the entire thing would have been quickly dismissed as a misunderstanding.

Ramsey determined, however, that being honorable and telling the truth was more important than avoiding embarrassment and a fine. This was a very classy thing to do, and I would suggest to the Jan. 30 letter-writer that he either inform himself of all the facts or consult a dictionary before his next personal attack on someone.

Brian Russell
Hollywood, Fla.