Where is there any justice in disqualifying Dancer's Image on the basis of a urine test only to award the Derby to a horse that did not take a similar test (It Was a Bitter Pill, May 20)? How do we know what was or wasn't in Forward Pass's system?
DAVID B. JONES
?The Kentucky Racing Commission has now ruled that in all future stake races the first three finishers and a fourth horse, chosen by lot, will be tested.—ED.
I am sure that there are few people who are unaware of the fact that this year's Derby winner has been disqualified. Yet thousands of racing fans have been cheated. Churchill Downs is free and clear. It just pays the same purse to different people.
Let's have prerace testing at all major races in the future. Post-race tests take far too long—and they don't protect the bettor. Without the bettor, racing is dead. Prerace testing is not impossible or unfeasible. It has been done at one Ohio track for the past two years.
Racing is a great sport. But a few more incidents such as the one at this year's Derby and the public's confidence will be completely destroyed.
First Roberto de Vicenzo and now Dancer's Image! Is 1968 the year of the Grand Illusion?
C. T. FULLER
I thought you might be interested in an excerpt from a letter my daughter wrote about the Kentucky Derby. Each year SI describes it in all its social and traditional aspects. This, I think, is a charming and hilarious insight into another facet.
"Due to a mix-up we found ourselves in the infield and a veritable zoo. The founders of the Kentucky Derby would cringe in their gentlemanly graves, could they have seen the spectacle. There were 100,000 there, 'everybody who wasn't anybody,' according to a columnist. We just picked our way among the bodies. Everyone was drinking mint juleps. Most were stoned, having been there since the first morning race. They were in various states of undress, some were sunburned to a purple shade, chicken bones were rampant and you could see about five feet of track if you could stand upright between the sleepers and debris. Pictures would have been priceless—silver wigs, gold wigs, a lavender silk outfit with hot-pink accessories, a bared shoulder here and there.
"At post time everyone who could, stood. The hippies yelled the Anthem, and police with three-foot-long sticks strolled among the crowd—one old man just sat there chewing on his fried chicken. When the horses went off we never heard the P.A. system and didn't know who won until five minutes after the race. The romantic picture of Southern gentility has been shattered!"
So, SI, maybe you'd better look it over from another angle and tell it like it is—for some!