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HANDICAPPERS HAVE NEEDS, TOO

It is gratifying to see that the Ontario Jockey Club, which operates the Fort Erie Race Track, is reinvesting a portion of its profits into revitalization and upgrading the aesthetics of this old but stately establishment. It also is evident the track management recognizes the importance of retaining its established following while simultaneously striving to attract a new racing fraternity.

Now that the Fort Erie beautification project is almost complete, perhaps the track management can focus its attention on remedying the following criticisms that deal with the needs of the handicapper, the very same people who keep Fort Erie's betting per capita around the $150 range.

Why doesn't the Fort Erie Race Track:

1. Provide an official race result and scratch phone line, like most tracks do.

2. Make official racing programs available at off track sites, where racing forms already are sold.

3. Erect a shoe board in the paddock area.

4. Announce claims before the race rather than after. This knowledge is equally or perhaps even more important than being informed of equipment, shoe and weight changes.

5. State whether a weight change is a corrected weight or an overweight.

6. Demand a more informative and accurate edition of the Canadian Daily Racing Form.

For exactly the same price as the American form, we receive one-tenth of the racing news and articles, and continuously are subjected to printing errors, i.e., in track conditions, claiming symbols and mud marks.

The availability of accurate and accessible racing information is more important to the true handicapper than the building of a new cafeteria and picnic area.

The amenities are nice, but for some of us, our priorities lie elsewhere.
SAM TRAMONTANA
Buffalo
(Send comments to Letters to the Sports Editor, The Buffalo News, One News Plaza, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, N.Y., 14240. Letters should be limited to 250 words and are subject to editing. Submissions must be signed and include address and telephone number for verification. Unsigned letters will not be published.)

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