02/27/2009 1:00AM

Letters to the Editor

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A trainer defends professional honor against slight

When I read Andrew Beyer's Jan. 28 column, "Latest supertrainer feat raises suspicions," I was compelled to write back in my defense.

I have been licensed on the track since 1973 as an exercise rider at Charles Town. My first year at Monmouth Park was 1975 as a jockey, and I have never missed a meet since then either there or at the Meadowlands. I have also been licensed as a valet and assistant trainer, doing my homework along the way. I took out my training license in 2003 after 30 years of this schooling.

I have never had a purse taken away for a positive drug test or been ruled off or suspended or arrested. I am honest and I work hard. I would hope if you asked around in New Jersey that my peers would say the same.

Jason Servis - Jupiter, Fla.

Takeout increase toxic for Maryland

In response to Andrew Beyer's Feb. 12 column, "Worst possible time to raise prices," concerning the Maryland Jockey Club's decision to raise takeout rates, I can cite my own wagering patterns as proof of what such shortsightedness may cause.

I have in recent times played Maryland tracks exclusively, because of the lower takeout on pick three and pick four wagers, but, in doing so, have not limited myself to those wagers. I have also bet trifectas, exactas, and other wagers, because I had handicapped these races for the multi-race exotics anyway, where I knew I was getting the best takeout deal in the country.

Now, not only will I not bet on the pick three and pick four, I will likely never bet on Maryland racing again, in any form. So, besides the pick three and pick four pools being diminished as folks like myself shun the bets, all other pools are bound to be affected as horseplayers look for better value and better racing.

Pools in Maryland are already so small . . . now this? What a shame. It's another step towards the extinction of the sport in that state.

James Douglas - Seattle, Wash.

Trainer's reasoning lacking in logic

Andrew Beyer's Feb. 25 column, "Triumphs of horsemanship or chemistry?," contained some great interviewing by the author and a lot of nonsense by the subject, trainer Marty Wolfson.

I think Wolfson is a fine trainer, but to raise the example of Onion's victory over Secretariat in another era is a little much. Here we are talking about trainers who have many starts and amazing improvements consistently, not just one.

Bill Mott with Cigar was a superior training job, but the Mott-trained Miesque's Approval couldn't win at the $50,000 level when Wolfson got him. Tell it to the Marines that a change in shoes propelled this older horse to Grade 1 victories. Just like Rick Dutrow Jr.'s nonsense about the teeth-fixing and worming of This Ones for Phil.

John Linthicum - Pompano Beach, Fla.