Reflections: Many Letters About Fires, Prevention; "Horses Too Intelligent to Be Drunk"; Some Pertinent Questions on Liepec; That Old Bugaboo--Off-Track Betting, Daily Racing Form, 1946-05-13


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REFLECTIONS By Nelson Dunstan Many Letters About Fires Prevention X Horses Too Intelligent to Be Drunk Some Pertinent Questions on Liepec That Old Bugaboo OffTrack Betting BettingNEW NEW YORK N Y May 11 11In In the many years we have been conducting this column we have never received so many letters on one subject as fire and its prevention L H Newman of Rahway N J writes I fail to get your attitude on the subject of race ¬ track fires You keep repeating that equip ¬ ment has been difficult to obtain Why did not the race tracks have fire fighting equip ¬ ment long before the war I recall distinctly when a fire at Belmont Park two years ago caused you to urge the racing association to prepare themselves with more adequate means to prevent fires Last December the Thoroughbred Racing Associations an ¬ nounced that they were studying ways and means of combating fires Still within two short months ttiree major fires and a couple of minor ones have occurred on our race tracks For your in ¬ formation I have written the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to take this matter in hand so that the public and especially those who love horses will no longer have to listen to reports that drunken men in charge of race track barns allowed fine thoroughbreds to be burned to death This is a disgraceful situation and unless the race track people do something about it others will step in to take this matter out of their hands handsFrom From Red Bank N J John D Moran writes Horses are too intelligent to become intoxicated and set their own stables on fire every one knows that If the owners and trainers who are responsible for the safety of their horses cannot get fire proof stables on the race track why dont they force the race track to build them Why in heavens name dont they build fireproof barracks for the stable help Improvement of any kind is a step forward and if our race tracks cant afford to build fireproof barns why dont the people of racing take up a collection to get suf ¬ ficient money It makes a persons blood boil to read of these needless fires not to mention the suffering inflicted upon poor defenseless pennedin animals just because some unintelligent humans forgot to turn out an electric stove or is too intoxicated to care whether it is turned out or not This whole business of fires on race tracks has become nauseating to those who love animals There is only one way to stop that sort of thing and thatvis to have men in barracks away from the horses horsesFrom From Dr Maurice G Bassett of Cleveland Ohio comes the following inquiry Not that the Kentucky Derby is out of the way I am wondering if you could find the time to discuss in your column two subjects which I know racing fans all over the country are wondering and talking about First of all is it not due to the racing public that the facts and factors behind the quiet banishment of Stanley Liepec from the American turf be made public What did he do that forced him to quit his pro ¬ fession at the very peak of what has been acclaimed a highly successful and meritorious career If he did nothing wrong who are the people behind the scenes that wield so much power as to deprive a man of the opportunity to make a living at his chosen profession especially one who has conducted himself without reproach Secondly just what is the Smith stimulation case all about Surely you must realize that the public is won ¬ dering why his case has been handled in a manner entirely dif ¬ ferent from many other stimulation cases where there wasnt even the slightest doubt of guilt guiltTaking Taking the second question first we fail to see where the Tom Smith case has been handled differently from any of the others It was Smith himself who took the case into the courts and to be very frank about it we are tired of writing and hearing about this episode which done little more than bring discredit upon racing with the American Public As to the Stanley Liepec case we are sorry to say that we know very little about it as we were in California when it took place in Florida During recent months however many people of the turf have come to us and said they failed to understand how much a situation could ever come about in this free country If we under ¬ stand it correctly Liepec was forced to resign from train ¬ ing the horses of Mrs Lottie Wolf for the reason that he happened to shoe one of his own horses during some trouble in Florida I do not say this is the case but if the horseshoers who have one of the most powerful unions in this country were responsible for this man being forced to give up his profession then the whole American turf should be ashamed of them and they should be ashamed of themselves themselvesJohn John Paul Jones of Los Angeles Calif writes to say Whose fault is it that racing has become the goose which lays the golden eggs for depleted State and City Treasuries Isnt it yours and mine Turf Journalists and Turf Players who with such racetracks as you have in New York offer no defense against these constantly increasing demands upon racings revenues The solution is for States and Cities to legalize off track betting under rigid State control The owners of race tracks are overlooking a great opportunity such as this All wagers could be put through the totalisator at the tracks in the same manner that stock exchanges operate with branch offices I know that you individually are strongly opposed to any such plan but the race tracks had better look a bit further than you do for if they do not they will one day see bookmakers licensed and their play will diminish I am not a prophet nor the son of one but I make this prediction Within the next year there will be a movement to start legalized offtrack betting and it will succeed

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