12/22/2006 12:00AM

Letters to the Editor


Players deserve uniform standards from stewards

The Daily Racing Form chart for the seventh race on Dec. 19 at Tampa Bay Downs includes the following comments: "Jenny Joy . . . fanned five wide into the stretch then came in slightly while rallying in upper stretch before weakening late. . . . Early Hatch chased the leader for six furlongs then steadied inside Jenny Joy while tiring in upper stretch. . . . Jenny Joy was disqualified from third and placed fifth."

The picture is clear from the comments. In the upper stretch (of a 1 1/16-mile turf race) Jenny Joy was racing to the wire, and was all but past a plodding Early Hatch while coming in slightly.

What criteria did the Tampa Bay Downs stewards employ as they mulled their decision while Jenny Joy's number blinked on and off until it appeared no longer? Let me guess. Their decision was arrived at essentially arbitrarily because they, like the stewards at every other track, have no well-defined written rules that apply to the myriad potential of foul claims. In 30 years as a fan of racing, I have never witnessed mention of standards, much less ever read any such text.

All North American racetracks continue to operate in the dark ages while asking fans of horses like Jenny Joy to bet on, cheer on, win on, and finally, cry in their beer on.

The racing industry forever insults the public by virtue of an archaic method of determining inquiry/objection outcomes. This is shameful and will persist until an encompassing set of rules is drafted and applied uniformly by North American racetracks.

Joseph P. Reiff - Las Vegas

Viewers will miss Moss analysis

Extremely disappointing news came from ESPN last week, with its decision to cancel "Wire to Wire" from the schedule.

I mourn the air time lost for Randy Moss. He is a concise, informative analyst who truly understands the game and imparts knowledge to the racing enthusiast. It is a real shame that there is no longer an audience for his weekly race recap. Kudos to Moss for his contributions to the horseplayer, and a word of advice to ESPN: Moss is your biggest racing asset.

Carla Gray - Boston