Thoroughbred racers don't seek to hold events after dark...


April 09, 2000

Thoroughbred racers don't seek to hold events after dark

In his March 26 column "Racing out of the gate," Barry Rascovar sought to weigh-in on horse racing legislation under consideration in Annapolis.

Mr. Rascovar is an astute observer of the racing scene and a longtime supporter of the industry. Regretably, in this instance he failed to do his homework and opined apparently on information provided him that isn't accurate or true. In fact, almost every aspect of his column was flawed.

The most egregious errors are his assertions that the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association wants to run night races at Pimlico and Laurel in direct competition with harness tracks and that the thoroughbred horsemen are making dire threats to shut down simulcast wagering if night racing is not legalized.

None of this has a shred of truth.

The Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association has been on record for years as opposed to night racing.

That has been its position historically, it is its position today and it will be their position in the future.

The only factors that could alter that position in the future are legalization of night racing by the General Assembly (which the horsemen don't seek), agreement to do so by the thoroughbred tracks and horsemen, consent to such racing by the harness industry and approval by all affected community groups.

The issue debated in Annapolis is not live night thoroughbred racing at Laurel and Pimlico, but a law enacted before the advent of simulcasting which prohibits the thoroughbred industry from conducting business after 6: 15 p.m.

This statute's unintended consequences give harness interests control over night thoroughbred simulcasting.

This is a divisive issue that Mr. Rascovar wrote about two years ago, when the harness industry shut down the nighttime simulcast system until it got revenue concessions from the thoroughbred industry.

The statute, which the governor's Commission to Study Ways to Improve the Financial Viability of the Horse Racing Industry concluded should be repealed because it constricts the potential growth of the industry, is a continuing friction point.

In the meantime, any suggestion that the current debate is about live night thoroughbred racing is erroneous.

Alan M. Foreman, Columbia

The writer is counsel for the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association.

New York-style policing has no place in Baltimore

The recent resignation of police Commissioner Ronald L. Daniel and the apparent desire of Mayor Martin O'Malley to appoint former New York City deputy police commander Edward T. Norris as his replacement leaves me deeply troubled about the future of policing in Baltimore.

Mr. Norris was an architect of a policing system in New York that is characterized by systematic harassment, abuse, brutalization and sometimes killing of citizens, especially young black men.

The encouragement of criminal acts by the police is not the way to make Baltimore a safer city. The police must treat citizens as respected partners, not disrespected subjects. Mr. Norris must go and any support for him must be viewed as a slap in the face of the people of Baltimore.

Fred D. Mason III, Baltimore

Focus on fighting crime, not on racial concerns

I welcome a "zero tolerance" policy.

Let's face it: Everyone knows the laws. If you choose to commit a crime, you choose to suffer the consequences. The issue is not about black or white. It's about choosing to obey the law.

Stop feeling sorry for those who refuse to take responsibility for their actions.

Tricia Zenger

Owings Mills

Critics of Norris haven't been fair

I am having difficulty understanding why some people think Edward T. Norris will not make a good police commissioner.

From what Larry Young and The Rev. Douglas I. Miles say, it seems that it is because Mr. Norris is white and from New York ("Norris to lead city police," April 5).

Mr. Norris has a strategy that has proven effective in reducing crime.

I challenge Mr. Young and Mr. Miles to first, check with their choices for the city's next police commissioner to see what they've done to stop black-on-black violence; and, second, try supporting those who are trying to better our city, instead of dividing it along racial lines.

Mr. Miles said "it would behoove all black mothers and black fathers to put a tight leash on their young African-American males in order to save their lives."

Quite honestly, if more parents controlled their children, instead of allowing them to run the streets, the murder rate would probably decrease.

Jim Boston


How ironic: Larry Young speaking out against "New York-style" policing while mimicking The Rev. Al Sharpton's New York-style of rabble-rousing, racially divisive politics.

Steve Raskin


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