Letters: Horse bettors are being forgotten

In this photo provided by the New York In this photo provided by the New York Racing Association, Gemologist, ridden by Javier Castellano, wins the Wood Memorial horse race over Alpha, ridden by Ramon A. Dominguez, at Aqueduct racetrack, Saturday, April 7, 2012, in New York. Photo Credit: AP Photo

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As a longtime fan of horse racing, I have visited New York racetracks before and after they had casino-type games and video slot machines. It seems to me a sad situation ["Gambling debate on LI: The Aqueduct effect," News, Sept. 2].

It's great that there are higher purses, and perhaps in some cases, slot machines have kept tracks open. However, can a little respect be shown to people who visit just for the racing? Now it's as if the racing is an annoyance to the slot players. Monticello is in ruins around the racing patrons, yet the slots area is new and shiny. At Yonkers, I doubt most people even know there's racing outside.

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And Aqueduct, what a nightmare. The horse betting area is sweltering, with portable fans blowing hot air; it is disgusting. Horse bettors stand near the air-conditioned racino entrance to stay cool. The New York Racing Association, which operates Aqueduct's horse betting area, should be ashamed of itself.

Glenn Koebel

Roslyn Heights

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