12/09/2011 5:57PM

Letters to the Editor Dec. 11


Firing of Veitch places blame ­unjustly

It is troublesome to me that with a cavalier wave of the hand the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission could destroy a man's reputation and his livelihood, as I read in the Dec. 1 article "Veitch fired as state steward."

Does the commission honestly believe that it was John Veitch's responsibility to order that Life At Ten be examined following comments made on television before the 2010 Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic? What about the team of veterinarians who had been on duty during the weeks leading up to the Breeders' Cup, or the commission vets who were on call that day? What about the filly's jockey, John Velazquez? Why didn't he go to the vet instead of yakking with commentator Jerry Bailey on television?

The timing of Veitch's firing also is suspicious. Why wait until after the next Breeders' Cup, letting another Breeders' Cup go by and talking about all the things they'd do to make sure they got everything right this time?

John Veitch was a great trainer and has been well regarded by the public as a racing official. What could the commission be thinking about, using Veitch as a scapegoat, and firing him with no cause? Is no one else at fault? John Velazquez made a deal and paid a fine of $10,000, while admitting no wrongdoing.

This whole thing is nauseating, sickening, and should be talked about.

Mike Doyle - Toronto

Players can only be squeezed so much

I saw a very interesting thing in an advertisement for the Aqueduct racino, or Resorts World New York, as the Big A is now known. Actually, what was interesting is what I didn't see.

There were pictures of people at the slots and electronic table games, people dancing, dining, and generally having a great time. What I didn't see was a reference to a horse at any time. It must be a dirty little secret that horse racing is going on somewhere on the grounds. None of the employees is letting on.

My concern is that no one cares about the horseplayers in this state. We continue to support this enterprise while getting nothing in return. The horsemen have been thrown the proverbial bone and will dutifully serve the master. The lifeblood of the sport, the horseplayers, get kicked again.

When does the price of playing this game, the takeout, go down? If it did, the track could actually survive on its own, as numerous studies have shown. But bettors are ignored.

Allow me to let the New York Racing Association and the horsemen in on another dirty little secret. A few years from now the state is going to say that it can no longer afford to subsidize your losing enterprise. When that happens, try coming to the horseplayers for another takeout increase. Sorry, we'll be gone. Then, in turn, so will you.

Caveat vendor: You need to recognize who has paid the bills and help us now.

Russell A. Weber - Amityville, N.Y.