The truth about the Triple Crown
The third stage of the horse racing Triple Crown is about New York gamblers and not about a fair race, the welfare of the horses or fairness. It’s about driving up the betting odds and making a financial killing.
The owner of California Chrome, Steve Coburn, had it correct that the Belmont Stakes is a systematically unfair race. Those were not the ravings of a sore loser. The Kentucky Derby and Preakness are about racing and the beauty of great races. They are not about a fabricated, controlled and colluded race based on greed and money.
There is collusion to prevent the favorite from winning. The other horses sandwiched in California Chrome, just like they did to Smarty Jones 10 years ago.
The selection of the horses is also a setup based on the same principle of building up the gambling odds. Resting gamblers’ individual favorite horses and not participating in the other two races creates an unfair field for the horses.
The distance is even a factor. The Preakness is a mile and one eighth, The Kentucky Derby is a mile and one quarter, but the Belmont Stakes is a mile and one half. This gives an unfair advantage to rested horses that did not participate in the other two races.
There is a cultural difference between the North and the South. As a northerner who worked in the South in Baltimore, I can define the difference. The Preakness is laid out more for the average person with its accessibility, informality and sense of belonging than the other two races. It is a workingman’s derby as opposed to a sophisticated social event. You notice this approach was not tried in Louisville because the tradition is too strong for the gambling interest to overcome.
The only way to make it a truly fair Triple Crown and a fair Belmont Stakes is to restrict the horses to only those who participated in all three races. That’s fairness, not the illusion of fairness created by the New York gamblers. This will never happen because money trumps tradition in the real world.
Support for veterans
Our legislators in Washington must stop playing politics with our veterans. This is especially true of Vietnam War veterans. Will these policies carry over to our veterans of present-day wars? Will they, too, become pawns? Veterans have few friends in Washington. Today’s veterans will face what we are up against, little to no support.
When our men and women in uniform come home from conflicts abroad, they are met by the news media, handshakes by politicians and photo ops. Parades are organized by veterans groups for a “Welcome Home.” Most of these veterans groups comprises Vietnam vets. They make up for the welcome home they did not receive. The Vietnam War offered them only shame and then they were forgotten.
President Calvin Coolidge said, “A nation that forgot its fighters and defenders will itself be forgotten.” Many veterans suffer with cancer, brain injury, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Normally, these diseases are not noticed, and in some cases go untreated until they become severe. Our Congress needs to wake up and provide equitable VA benefits.
JOHN J. BURY
Save our planet now
I am a retired military officer with a background in healthcare and education. Mankind may now be destroying the planet and it may be too late to stop it. Does anyone care? Unless we care more about the future of our survivors and the other species with whom we share the planet than we do about our own immediate gratification, we will destroy the planet.
The timetable for that may be much shorter than anyone has predicted, especially once we get past the “tipping point.” Where will life be found when the earth can no longer sustain it? What are you willing to sacrifice to save the earth? We must all get behind whatever it takes to lower greenhouse gas levels, reduce acidification of the oceans, and reverse the melting of the polar ice caps and glaciers.