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Scorecard
February 03, 1992
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February 03, 1992

Scorecard

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Campbell, now recovering at his Beverly Hills home, says he still doesn't know why the sponsor—whom he declined to name—withdrew and why there was so little corporate interest in the event. "It could be the economy," he says. "It could be a lot of things."

Campbell, who lost about $100,000 of his own money because of the cancellation, says all ticket money has been refunded. He is working now to reschedule the dinner for mid-March. "I will get this done for Lyle if it's the last thing I do," he says.

His sense of urgency is understandable. A few weeks ago Alzado was told that his cancer, which he believes was caused by his long-term abuse of anabolic steroids and human growth hormone (SI, July 8, 1991), is no longer in remission.

Let the Times Roll
Horse racing needs the endangered "Racing Times"

The Daily Racing Form's monopoly in thoroughbred racing came to an end last April when Robert Maxwell, the British publishing mogul, started up a competing paper named The Racing Times (Scorecard, May 6,1991). Almost a year later the Form is still the paper of choice for most racing aficionados, but the Times, with its outstanding columnists and the speed figures of popular racing writer Andrew Beyer, has been making a horse race of it.

Nevertheless, as the Times nears its first anniversary, its future doesn't look like such a good bet. After Maxwell's death in early November, his empire was so rocked by scandal and controversy that the Times's parent company. Mirror Group Newspapers, hired a media broker, Martin Maleska, and told him to field offers for The Racing Times. By the end of last week, there were at least two bidders. According to a source at the Times, one suitor is Peter Callahan, owner of several publications, including The National Enquirer. The other bid, for about $2 million, comes from K-III, a holding company that owns, among other assets, The Daily Racing Form.

The Racing Form's parent company apparently wants to buy The Racing Times for the purpose of closing it down, thus regaining the monopoly it long enjoyed. "The big fish can't buy the only other fish in the market if there are other high offers," says Times editor Steven Crist, objecting to the possible sale of his publication to the company that owns its rival. "That's why we have antitrust laws in this country." Both Maleska and the K-III executives declined to comment.

It would be in racing's best interest to have the paper sold to someone, anyone, who would keep it going. The competition already has forced the Racing Form to shed its traditional boosterism and become aggressive. Indeed, with all the problems besetting it, horse racing needs this more independent voice.

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