06/26/2009 12:00AM

Letters to the Editor


Ward's invasion of Royal Ascot an inspiring feat

Congratulations are in order to Wesley Ward, the former jockey and now successful trainer, for the bold decision to take a contingent of five 2-year-olds and one older horse to England for the Royal Ascot meeting ("Ward takes a Royal chance," June 14). Although the meet lasts only five days, it is looked on as the premier event in English racing and the place for anybody who is anybody to be seen in public.

And if just having the courage to cross the pond with a group of American horses were not enough, Ward managed to win on opening day with a juvenile named Strike the Tiger - at 33-1 - who had raced only once before, registering a maiden victory at Churchill Downs (" 'Tiger' gives U.S. first Royal win," June 18).

Then on the next day, he captured the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes by five lengths with a 2-year-old filly named Jealous Again, who had won one out of two races in America ("Jealous Again conquers Europe," June 19).

Saturday, the final day of the meeting, the older veteran Cannonball finished second, beaten only a neck in the Grade 1 Golden Jubilee Stakes ("Cannonball comes up short for Ward," June 22).

American horseplayers should be proud of Ward's accomplishment. The Europeans have been invading the United States and winning graded races for many years now, and it is very refreshing to have seen Ward turn the tables.

Perhaps more American owners and trainers should head for Europe to show off the remarkable animals racing on this side of the Atlantic.

Vincent Grabinsky - N. Babylon, N.Y.

Rachel's owner sounds tiresome

Why doesn't Jess Jackson save us all the drama (such as "No Breeders' Cup for Rachel," June 26) and retire Rachel Alexandra? At least that way we wouldn't have to listen to him whine publicly like a little child.

He knew good and well when he purchased the filly that this year's Breeders' Cup was being run on the Pro-Ride synthetic surface at Santa Anita. Perhaps he should have taken that into account before handing over the millions. Enough, Mr. Jackson.

Michael Costello - Tucson, Ariz.

Sport needs meeting of its top females

Jess Jackson's recent decision that Rachel Alexandra will not run in the Breeders' Cup indicates he must still be pouting over the fact that Curlin finished fourth in the Breeders' Cup Classic last October.

Curlin did not "struggle" over the surface, as Jackson insists. In fact, he made a very impressive move over the Pro-Ride but ultimately could not keep pace with Raven's Pass down the lane. It appeared that Curlin ran as well as could be expected.

The Pro-Ride did not defeat Curlin. Nor would the Pro-Ride defeat Rachel Alexandra if she were to run on it. If Jackson truly believes that "if it's a dirt horse, it's a dirt horse," then why did he run Curlin on the turf last year?

Perhaps he learned from that mistake and does not want to repeat it. It is my sincere hope that he will see the mistake he is making with Rachel Alexandra and choose to correct it. At the very least, make sure that Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta cross paths at some point this year.

Richard Ilharreguy - Sacramento, Calif.