Of all the tormented logic in your publication, a zenith was reached with your June 14 cover headline, Canonero Should Not Have Run. The week before the Belmont (SCORECARD, June 7) you described the poor horse as scarcely able to limp out of his stall. Then he leads the pack most of the race and comes in a very respectable fourth. By that line of reasoning, the nine horses he beat should not have been entered, either. Perhaps only the winning horse should have been permitted to run.
Your concern for the "general public's" loss of $1 million in bets (The Happy Story Ends, June 14) brings tears to the eye—except that one can't stop laughing over the idea that the $2 bettor would have refrained if he had been given the "explicit information" that Canonero was "short."
JACK V. Fox
The next time you make bold statements on the cover, make sure you are right. Canonero had the same type of health excuses that he would have had if he finished up the track at Churchill Downs and Pimlico.
Concerning Whitney Tower's charge that the public was uninformed as to Canonero's condition, one had only to read the local papers here in San Francisco to know he missed two days of training. The Daily Racing Form made the circumstances explicit. Do you want the tracks to print this type of information in the programs?
TOM A. DOWSE
?Canonero's most serious ailment, an infected right hock—disclosed after the Belmont—may prevent him from ever racing again.—ED.
Trainer Juan Arias was correct when he said, "We felt we owed him the chance to consecrate himself in racing history." If Canonero had not run, Whitney Tower probably would have been the first to wonder if he could have won the coveted Triple Crown.
In defeat Muhammad Ali gained popularity because he proved himself to be only human. I feel that Canonero's loss after winning the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness (despite an odd training program) shows he is only a horse. However, I also feel we will all be a little better for the thrills he gave us, both in victory and in defeat.
Congratulations to SI for publishing Gwilym Brown's provocative piece (Is a Mustache Just Peanuts?, June 14) and to javelin thrower Bill Skinner for having the guts to force the University of Tennessee athletic Establishment against the fence. The article forces us to take a look at the thinking of those who are the architects of our high school and college athletic policies.
Athletic Director Bob Woodruff defends rule No. 5 on appearance because it helps a team work together. As a junior varsity basketball coach, I doubt that today's sophisticated athletes feel that a goatee destroys team morale. Woodruff also cites the athlete's responsibility to the fans, pointing out that fans equate long hair with drug use. Professional athletes have proved that not only does a goatee fail to diminish athletic prowess, but most fans are too mature to care about a participant's appearance.
We must feel genuine sympathy for the Bill Battles. They obviously feel success on the gridiron or the hardwood is the most important criterion in determining that one is an "established authority." Today's Skinners are not rebelling against what Battle calls the inconsistency of our authority but are asking for a valid reason for not wearing a mustache or for running through a wall for old P.U.
JOEL R. BAILEY