Sports Illustrated has done it again. The proposal of a dream race is a terrific idea (SI, July 30). The best horses in the country pitted against each other is really a dream race. Besides Swaps, Nashua, Needles and Fabius, how about Count of Honor. This 3-year-old colt has won all five starts this year at Hollywood Park after coming there an unraced maiden. I offer a prediction on how the race would come out if run at a mile and a half: 1) Swaps; 2) Needles; 3) Nashua; 4) Count of Honor; 5) Fabius.
DREAMING IN ATLANTIC CITY
We at the Atlantic City Race Course are regular readers and great admirers of the fine work SPORTS ILLUSTRATED has done in the coverage of Thoroughbred horse racing. Consequently, we read with interest your proposed "Dream Race" (E & D, July 30).
However, the Atlantic City Racing Association had the same thought several months ago when we established our two $100,000 invitational races, the Atlantic City Handicap, Aug. 11, at one mile and a furlong on the dirt track, and the United Nations Handicap, Sept. 15, at one mile and three-sixteenths on the grass course. ...The four horses you mention, Swaps, Nashua, Needles and Fabius, were all invited to participate in the Atlantic City Handicap. They will probably all again be high on the invitation list for the United Nations.
Of the four, only Nashua was in a position to accept the invitation for the Atlantic City Handicap. The others, for one reason or another, were all engaged elsewhere.... Other acceptances include Switch On, Find, Mister Gus, Porterhouse, Sea O Erin, Jet Action, Midafternoon, Skipper Bill, Thinking Cap, Wise Margin and Bardstown. I believe you will agree that these are among the most outstanding handicap horses now in training in the U.S.
Weights for the United Nations will be announced in the very near future. We don't know whether Nashua likes grass running, but we do know that, if invited, which he most certainly will be, Swaps will be here to run in the event....
JOHN B. KELLY
Atlantic City Racing Association
Atlantic City, N.J.
? Mr. Kelly, who has already provided the whole world with the most exciting match of the year (Rainier and Grace), is to be congratulated on providing racing fans with two fine races, but SI would still like to see ITS "dream race": Swaps, Nashua, Needles and Fabius in one field.—ED.
CAN THE PUBLIC OVERLOOK THIS?
Three cheers to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED for the fine article Woe for Walkers (SI, July 23) by Alice Higgins. The horse world has long needed a national magazine to inform the public of some of the astonishingly cruel practices that go on at horse shows.
The Tennessee Walking Horses certainly do their share of suffering, but can we overlook the American Saddle-breds with their broken tails and heavy shoes?
Does the average person at a horse show, not a horseman, know the real story behind that pretty, alert, high-tailed, high-stepping animal before him in the show ring? Does he know of the tail-cutting, the standing 10 months or more with the tail in an immobile brace each year of showing, the disgusting practice of gingering?
Many of the top horse show people themselves condemn these unnatural practices, but it will take an educated public to completely outlaw them.
DIANE L. GUILDFORD
North Olmsted, Ohio