HRU Feedback (2020-05-17)

Thoughts on Gurfein’s plan to have a committee determine a Commissioner

I have a comment about Ron Gurfein’s suggestion that a committee be appointed to come up with a plan for designating a National Commissioner of Racing (full story here). I do not oppose the idea in concept, although I also believe that because of the territorial attitudes of the various racing commissions, such an effort is highly unlikely to succeed.

My immediate quibble is with the tentative roster for the committee that Ron suggested. It is certainly true that all five of Gurfein’s suggestions are eminent and qualified. The problem is that because they consist of four trainer/drivers and one racetrack operator, they represent a relatively small segment of the harness racing industry. Where is the representation for owners and breeders, for example? The inclusion of a state or provincial regulator who is known to support the idea would also give it greater credibility. Populating the committee in that manner is not only fair, it would enhance the possibilities of success for an exercise that is questionable at best.

— Steve McCoy / USTA director

Letter to Trey Nosrac from legendary writer Gay Talese

Dear Trey Nosrac,

It was surprising, and also flattering, to be mentioned in your May 10th article in Harness Racing Update (full story here) — recalling a piece I’d written for The New York Times back in 1958. I was 26 then. I’m 88 now. Then I was in the sports department of The Times; now I’m completing my 15th book, and — if the virus and economy allows — it should be printed early in the coming year.

As a young sportswriter in the late 1950s, I rarely wrote about harness racing, and so it was gratifying to see your reprint. I’m still amazed that somebody dug it up.

— Gay Talese