04/30/2009 11:00PM

Letters to the editor

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Gulfstream trainers put on fine show right down to wire

I usually lose interest in the Gulfstream Park meet once the results are declared official for the Florida Derby. Not this year. The Todd Pletcher vs. Ken McPeek race for leading trainer was a see-saw affair that literally had me following the meet until the final race on closing day.

Todd Pletcher should be congratulated for having his late-meet rally and winning the trainers race by a 37-33 margin over Ken McPeek. It was Pletcher's sixth straight Gulfstream Park trainer's title.

It can be argued, however, that it was McPeek who had the better overall meet than Todd Pletcher. Consider these facts: Not only did Pletcher have 50 more starters than McPeek (174 vs. 124), it was McPeek who had the higher win percentage (27 percent vs. 21 percent) and the higher in-the-money percentage (52 percent vs. 48 percent.)

I congratulate both trainers, and their entire teams, on a very successful meet.

Lawrence J. Kerr

Miami

Juvenile athletes need to skip a year

It is a terrible thing that last year's top 2-year-olds were so poorly represented in this year's Kentucky Derby. Horses have changed, but racing has not adapted to this change, and I find it absolutely shameful to see 2-year-old racing beginning across the country.

Here's a solution: Don't allow racing until the summer of a horse's 3-year-old season. The Breeders' Cup 2-year-old races would change to 3-year-old races, and the Triple Crown would be for 4-year-olds. With a more mature and developed racehorse, the sport can only improve.

Why should underdeveloped horses have to struggle to make it to a race that will only shorten their race careers? By the time the public is just getting to know these horses, they are long gone, retired, and forgotten.

Ricky Willette

Tarzana, Calif.