09/08/2006 12:00AM

Letters to the editor


Breeders' Cup viewer sees loss of Durkin as losing proposition

It is positively devastating that the best race-caller in my lifetime, Tom Durkin, is no longer going to be calling the biggest day in Thoroughbred racing ("Durkin won't be calling Cup," Sept 4).

How idiotic, how infuriating, and how bad for the event. There is no one even close to Durkin in creating excitement in calling a race. And to think that his replacement will be Trevor Denman ("Denman to call Breeders' Cup," Sept. 8). I realize that I may be in the minority here, but I find his voice annoying and his calls repetitious. Being a former Southern Californian, I've heard it plenty. I could mention other, more preferable callers, but it's a moot point.

I just think it rather ludicrous that NBC cannot bend its rules and loan out its talent for one afternoon and allow the best race-caller in America to call the races on this sport's biggest day. By not doing so, NBC loses by keeping Durkin under wraps on the day he would get the most exposure to show off his talent. The network, the Breeders' Cup, and Durkin all lose, as do the fans.

In becoming the best race-caller in the country, Durkin boldly went where no previous caller had gone before, and he should be calling the races on this sport's best day.

Bill Bayard
Portland, Ore.

One fan is glad Denman got the call

Congratulations to Trevor Denman on landing the Breeders' Cup announcer's gig on ESPN. It is an appointment that was long, long overdue. And congrats to all of those who appreciate just how special a talent Denman is.

Jeff Mende
Howell, N.J.

Historical record has gaps to be filled

In the Racing Form's account of of Premium Tap's victory at 31-1 in the Woodward ("Premium Tap scored $64 upset," Sept. 4), the payoff was described to be "believed to be the largest win payoff in the 53-year history of the Woodward."

Can you imagine any other major sport where there is such a dearth of historical information or perspective on major events? Baseball, for example, generates publicity and media coverage with all kinds of events associated with arcane statistics. Horse racing has a storied past, and it's sad that when significant or unusual events occur the industry does not have the historical knowledge to share with the public.

There is a definite need in the racing industry for organizations similar to ones baseball has - such as the Society for American Baseball Research or Retrosheet - to retrieve lost history.

Tim Peterson
Edina, Minn.