10/23/2009 12:00AM

Letters to the Editor


Woman trainer depicted in demeaning way

This is from the DRF Weekend section of the Oct. 17 paper:

"The bitter truth is not that a man trains a horse better than a woman, it's that a man can have a family and train horses. Todd Pletcher works as hard as Rice and has a wife and three children. If Rice had three children, who's to say she would have been leading trainer at Saratoga?"

This is sexist and frankly embarrassing. Perhaps if Ms. Rice were married, her husband might be at home watching their children. The Form owes Ms. Rice an apology. Three steps forward for women and four steps backwards.

John Coffey - Brooklyn

BC success hardly foreign to Europeans

American turf writers consistently take a condescending attitude toward horses racing across the Atlantic, as evidenced by Steven Crist's remark in his Oct. 18 column, "No sense pressing Zenyatta" that it will be a "motley crew of Europeans" to run in this year's Breeders' Cup Classic. This even though the Breeders' Cup has produced a myriad of British, Irish, and French winners over every surface we have to offer in this country.

With the exception of Wesley Ward, whose successful invasion of Royal Ascot this past June produced two winners, including a group stakes, American trainers almost never try to beat the Europeans on their home ground. When Crist uses the term "motley crew," he must be referring to the fact that the British, in particular, do not always send their best horses here, knowing that their "second-stringers" have shown they are good enough to beat our best.

I venture that if Sea the Stars - the English standout and certain to be acclaimed as Horse of the Year in Europe - were to come to Santa Anita this year, he could win the Turf and come back 40 minutes later and capture the Classic.

Vincent Grabinsky - North Babylon, N.Y.

Cup would benefit from split sites

Organizers of the Breeders' Cup should run all future BC races on one day. The turf races could be held at Santa Anita, and the dirt races at Belmont Park or Churchill Downs. Races could be run every 15 minutes. This would introduce casual bettors to simulcast wagering, would make television viewing much more exciting, and could make racing a focus of the local media in two major metropolitan markets at once.

Just as importantly, the Breeders' Cup should by all means bring back Tom Durkin as its television voice. I think Trevor Denman is a very good race-caller, but there is only one maestro. Check out Cigar or Tiznow or the Alysheba/Ferdinand Classic on Youtube. then compare them to those of Curlin or Raven's Pass. It's the race call of Tom Durkin that makes them the Classics that they are.

William Fosher - Berlin