09/29/2005 11:00PM

Letters to the editor

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Racing's beauty differs in eyes of trainer, bettor

In his Sept. 4 letter to the editor, "Entire sport enhanced by steeplechasing's allure," Jonathan Sheppard, a trainer with significant accomplishments, made the following statement: "We must be careful not to forget what made Thoroughbred racing great, or pretty soon the only people going to the track will be those who are simply trying to cash a bet . . . ." This statement is now number one in the Classic Statement Hall of Fame.

Kindly inform Mr. Sheppard that 99.99 percent of all people who go to a racetrack or offtrack betting parlor are there to cash a bet. Take away the betting windows, and no one will, as Sheppard put it, "appreciate the beauty of our races and the skill and courage of our horses and jockeys."

Think I go to a racetrack to watch a Sheppard-trained horse run, enjoy the beauty as it runs around the track, and appreciate the skill of the jockey?

Wendell Corrow
Barkhamsted, Conn.

Medication 'obsession' a magnificent one

Rome wasn't built in a day, and nobody can hope to eliminate drug use overnight. In Stan Bergstein's Sept. 22 column, "Obsessed? It's a compliment," however, trainer G.R. Buehler stated what anyone who has ever been involved with horse racing thinks, but in most cases is frightened to say, that today, performance is more a product of drug use than horsemanship.

At a time when horse racing in North America is besieged daily by bad news and burdened by self-serving and often self-inflicted controversy, it is refreshing to read Mr. Bergstein's columns. Proudly "obsessed" he may be, but it's just a shame that nobody in charge seems to be paying attention to his warnings that unregulated medications threaten the very survival of the the so-called Sport of Kings.

Robin Dawson
Toronto

In turf racing this year, the king rules absolutely

Leroidesanimaux, the Brazilian-bred, French-named "king of the animals," is finally getting noticed after several monstrous performances. In fact, after eight straight wins, the two highest Beyer Speed Figures on turf this year - an easy win setting a course record in the Fourstardave at Saratoga and then the Atto Mile romp - it is bordering on absurd.

As a huge fan of racing, I think Afleet Alex is great, and hopefully headed back. Lost in the Fog is very special, too, but if you're looking for one of a kind, Leroidesanimaux is the most impressive horse running in North America since Cigar, and his Atto run looked as eerily similar to Secretariat's Belmont as a mile race on the turf could. (Please watch it before laughing.)

Go, "Leroy," go. Racing needs stars, and this guy is for real.

Matthew McCumber
Cincinnati