Cut the Derby field
After watching the Kentucky Derby run under extreme sloppy track conditions, it’s apparent Churchill Downs should reconsider the number of horses entered in this high stakes race. Twenty horses are too many horses to run a race, much less under such horrible conditions as on May 4. It seems obvious that greed for more income at the track is the motive for a field of 20, higher than the norm. I feel sorry for Maximum Security, who is a deserving horse, and his owners and handlers. I feel sorry for the other horses bothered during this race because who knows, they perhaps could have finished in the top six. With a 20-horse field, jockeys’ and horses’ lives are at a higher risk of incident. The race was frightening, as the outcome could have led to death and/or permanent injury to jockeys and euthanization of horses on the track
Racing crowds of 150,000-plus and millions of television viewers should not be subjected to this. Twenty horses are much too large of a field to race. Horse racing has enough controversy and troubles, and this is an easy fix. Reduce the Churchill Downs field to 14 for everyone’s sake.
Lisa Coons, Frankfort
Bring back synthetic track
In light of the horse deaths at Keeneland last month, I am pleased to hear that the bosses are looking for a way to make racing safe for its horses. Of course, the track already had a safer surface, as evidenced by statistics, that it chose to get rid of in order to land the Breeders’ Cup. If the welfare of the horses really meant as much as the track stated, why not return to the safer surface?
E.J. Brown, Lexington
News first, then horses
The Herald-Leader is down to two very thin sections of newsprint six days a week. The price has become extremely high for those two sections. That being said, news — real news — should be in the front section, and sports — all sports — should be in the back section. For weeks before the Kentucky Derby, the Herald-Leader’s front section forgoes important pieces of news and replaces it with Derby news.
Case in point: half of the front page May 1 was about the horses. On the back page in a three-inch column was the news about another shooting at a school in North Carolina. Surely we have not become so complacent about murders that it is an afterthought to be barely mentioned. If our priorities are so screwed up that a horse race is more important than the ongoing gun violence in this country, we are in bad shape morally. I love horses, I love all animals, but let’s be informed about what is happening in our world first and then know what is happening in the sports world.
Catherine Ferguson, Lexington
Praise for 1st District leadership
A recent op-ed portrayed the leadership of the 1st District as unaccounted for, uncaring and perhaps accepting of the crime in the East End. While I may agree with a call for action, I do not agree leadership is absent or unmoved. Issues plaguing the East End stem from many avenues that have been present for decades prior to current leadership, including social status and a lack of cooperation or a “snitch” code that hinders police officers from doing their job and sends the message that crime is acceptable in the area, no matter how undesirable. Change comes when all parties work together with mutual respect, which requires more than a full tank of gas and a blank clipboard. We have to be the change and lead the change we desire to see in this community. There are people who appreciate the participation and support of our 1st District leader in our neighborhood cleanups, events and meetings. We say “thank you”.
Vivian Moore, Lexington
Where’s the task force?
A local television station recently reported on the shootings that happen frequently. What happened to the Fayette County Violent Crime Task Force that was doing so well at stopping these shootings? Often law enforcement does really great at solving a problem but then backs off after some success. Then it goes away after getting some good press.
Ted Woodley, Cynthiana
Election letters: Letters about the May 21 primary election are limited to 150 words and must be received by 5 p.m. May 6. No op-eds endorsing candidates. No letters from candidates, family members or campaign staff.