11/18/2011 5:36PM

Letters to the Editor Nov. 20


Bergstein excelled with an uncanny vision for racing

Horse racing has been my life and bread, and the passing of Stan Bergstein was deafening news to this senior turf writer ("Stan Bergstein, racing maven, dies," Nov. 4). One week before his death we exchanged e-mails. I was seeking his view on a drug issue. His answer was brief. I sensed something was wrong.

Along with the late Bryan Field, who called all those Triple Crown races, Bergstein steered my career in racetrack publicity. Stan had a great deal to do with me landing in upstate New York to go to work for the  powerful Ernest B. Morris, owner of Saratoga Raceway. He advised when I was writing editorials opposing offtrack betting when it began in New York.
Stan Bergstein made the United States Trotting Association what the National Thoroughbred Racing Association wanted to become. The USTA and Stan were ahead of the curve when it came to promotional ideas. The problem was that Thoroughbred bigwigs thought they were doing things better. I will forever wonder where Thoroughbred racing would be today if wiser minds had elected to put Bergstein in charge. His vision, his reasoning, and his persona were at a level few horse racing executives ever reach.
Bergstein connected with harness racing icons "Jiggling Joe" O'Brien, Stanley Dancer, and Herve Filion like nobody else. His race announcing came naturally. He was smooth as an emcee at any kind of gathering.  Both of us shared hopes that horse racing bigwigs would take stern steps to stem steroid and human growth hormone abuse. As the years went by, I marveled at his writing skills. I can't tell you how many times he made me say, "Wow!"

I'll forever wonder what horse racing could have been if Stan Bergstein had been named czar of it all.  I don't know how many times I told Stan how I wished he were running the horse racing industry. He always politely thanked me for the compliments.

He was among the best racetrack executives of my time.

Warren Eves - Pearl River, La.