10/24/2002 11:00PM

Letters to the Editor

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Racing on film needs a shot of authenticity

Kudos to Jay Hovdey's Oct 18 column, "Dramatic license? Fuhggedaboutit!," regarding the way Thoroughbred racing has, unfortunately, always been depicted in TV and movies.

These mediums just never get it right. The most recent attempt in an episode of "The Sopranos" again proves that even with top-notch consulting and production teams they miss the mark to such an extent that any of us with love and appreciation of our game has to feel nauseous and embarrassed.

Now enters "Seabiscuit," the movie, without a doubt the brightest light on our sport in many years. Nobody can predict what it might do to kick-start and reestablish interest in the sport.

Let's hope for accuracy and the right impression for the sake of all the great horses before and after the Biscuit, as well as all of the fans who fell in love with this sport after having the pleasure and privilege of watching a great one. Please let them get it right so that all of the moviegoers who have not seen a great one will be able to get a real feel for the sport we love, and why the rags-to-riches dreams of all of the participants make it simply the greatest game there is.

Our beloved sport cannot afford to let this golden opportunity slip through our hands.

Michael Wellman - Beverly Hills, Calif.

Krone's decision puzzles, but here's wishing her luck

So Julie Krone - retired at age 36, now married and living in Southern California - has unretired to start riding again ("Krone will return to racing," Oct. 20).

Why at age 39 would she want to rejoin such a perilous profession? One would think she would enjoy a more sedate lifestyle than to take up again the risk of riding a 1,000-pound beast. I wish her luck, though. She has always been a fierce competitor and a good ambassador of racing.

Caswell H. Isaacs - Alexandria,Va.

Tracks in denial about declines in business

Racetrack management refuses to look internally for the decline in attendance and handle at their facilities.

During and after every race meet, I always read the same (and sometimes ridiculous) excuses for a dip in business. The latest is the Santa Anita excuse of the popularity of the Anaheim Angels in the World Series. My favorite was Monmouth Park this past summer when they claimed it was too hot for fans to come out.

If management wants to find external excuses, there is no shortage of them. They can blame the rain, cold, heat, smog, traffic, football, the economy, sniper fire, and Iraq for all their woes.

Just once, I would like to see racetrack management say, "Our field sizes were small; the racing was mediocre; the cost of parking, admission, and seating were too high; and the customer service and food quality were poor." A track that comes out with that statement will get my respect.

Kevin Honig - Altamonte Springs, Fla.