05/05/2012 8:02PM

Letters to the Editor May 6


Derby process should be refined to reflect quality

I think the process of having horses qualify for the Kentucky Derby based on graded stakes earnings has been perverted by huge slots purses in not-so-huge outer-region contests.

Why not change to the qualifying technique used by Breeders' Cup method of points, based on graded stakes wins (not dollar earnings), and thereby have the quality of performances determine the field, instead of the economics of the gaming industry.

And the Breeders Cup doesn't just use points either -- it has a section of the field reserved for decision by a committee using its discretion. That system acknowledges that a robotic ranking system is not always wise.

Jeff Seder - Unionville, Pa.

Bettor ponders downside of Lasix

After reading about concern over the safety of horses over the past few weeks, the proposed Lasix ban keeps coming up, most recently in the May 4 article "N.Y. horsemen discuss Lasix issue." Lasix is supposed to prevent a horse from bleeding during a race. This sounds like a great positive for horses who bleed, but what are the negatives?

When I have a caffeinated drink, I know the positive will be a short burst of energy, but the negative is the later I won't have any energy. For every positive there is a negative. So the question I am asking is: do the positives here outweigh the negatives? Too bad you can't ask the horse about that.

I am and will always be a horseplayer. I just want to know if there are any short- or long-term effects of the use of Lasix that may have a negative impact on the horse. I hear about the positive, but what about the negative?

Brooks Schuler - Huntington Beach, Calif.