08/20/2009 11:00PM

Letters to the Editor

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Dream matchup best arranged in novel setting

In response to the Aug. 16 letter "Remington faces golden opportunity," concerning the idea of Remington Park getting a Rachel Alexandra-Zenyatta showdown by offering a $1 million purse (but only $250,000 if only one shows): The idea is a good one, but $1 million, however, may not be enough to get both of them.

A better idea for this is one I actually suggested to Philadelphia Park a while back: Work a deal with Magna Entertainment Corp. to move the Grade 1 Pimlico Special (which Magna canceled this year at Pimlico) to Philadelphia Park for 2009 and run it the weekend of Oct. 10-11 as a weight-for-age invitational, at the race's traditional 1 3/16-mile distance, with a $1 million base purse, with incentives written so that if Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta start, the purse would be no less than $1.5 million. If they are joined, however, by other winners of Triple Crown or Breeders' Cup races, the purse can be as high as $3 million.

The Pimlico Special itself has enough tradition that it likely would satisfy the connections of both Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta to show up for it (especially since it would satisfy many to have Zenyatta come east while not dealing with the detention barn in New York), along with a number of the other top older horses. The combination could make it the biggest race of the year, and with likely the biggest crowd in the history of Philadelphia Park as well.

This, to me, would be well worth trying to pull off if possible.

Walter Parker - Philadelphia

Exaltation of Rachel a bit premature

To label Rachel Alexandra an "all-time great," as the Racing Form's Watchmaker Watch now does, is as premature as lavishing the same praise on Stephen Strasburg, the pitcher who has just signed a $15 million contract with the Washington Nationals.

The young man may well have had overwhelming success against other collegiate players, but there is still a need to watch him pitch against actual major-leaguers before reaching such a conclusion.

To declare Rachel Alexandra as one of the all-time greats of Thoroughbred racing, even though she has never raced against anything other than her fellow 2- and 3-year olds, is nonsensical at this particular point in Rachel's career.

Gus Sanchez - San Diego