Exotic betting on horse races (exactas, perfectas, etc.) has finally taken its toll (Racing's Big Scandal, Nov. 6). Eliminate all but win, place and show betting and the venerable daily double and you eliminate the breeding grounds for a Tony Ciulla.
Drugging is tougher to deal with, but reliable prerace testing would be a great start.
Add permanent banishment from racing in the U.S. for those jockeys who are convicted of pulling horses.
I am a former owner, and my heart is still in the game. If racing doesn't clean up its own act, a solution will be forced upon us. And everyone knows how reasonable, workable and inexpensive government control and regulations turn out to be.
Eureka, S. Dak.
I put myself through college and law school by working around racetracks in four different states. I have been privileged to work for and with numerous principled and dedicated individuals in all facets of the game. It is for them I feel sympathy over SI's excavations through the detritus of one Tony Ciulla.
While direct responsibility for the scandal lies with the participants, I think that some measure of blame falls on track officials who have, in the last few years, loaded their racing cards with ever-increasing numbers of multiple wagering gimmicks, almost completely destroying the nature of the game. Now people bet numbers instead of picking individual horses.
If the racing industry is serious about restoring respect and integrity to a great sport, it should voluntarily eliminate the prime source of temptation: gimmick betting. The benefits of increased public confidence in racing will far outweigh any losses in the pari-mutuel handle.
Why did you waste time putting a story like that in your magazine? Does the public care about races that were fixed years ago? I do not and I have been betting for a few years. The last thing on my mind is fixed races. If those guys want to ruin a career for a lousy bribe, let them go ahead. As long as I win when I wager, that's all that matters to me. In the future, SI, pass up articles like this one, O.K.?
I can only ask what took the state and federal authorities so long to begin an investigation into thoroughbred race fixing.
It is time that an article of this nature was published, and I applaud the writer's and the editors' courage in going ahead with it. I hope that SI will pursue this cause with no less vigor than it has pursued environmental causes over the past decade.