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Change Triple Crown's schedule [Letter]

The timing of the three races in the Triple Crown needs to be tweaked to help the Preakness attract a better field ("The greatness and failings of racing," May 20). Too often trainers skip the Preakness and prepare for the Belmont Stakes if they didn't place in the Kentucky Derby. The reason is there are only two weeks between the Derby and the Preakness but there are three weeks between the Preakness and the Belmont.

The Preakness suffers as out-of-the-money Derby finishers decide to rest their horse for the third leg of the Triple Crown. The numbers prove it. The Derby and Belmont have large fields while the Preakness is much smaller. Put three weeks between each race so more trainers will stop skipping the Preakness. Why give the Belmont an advantage? Move the Preakness one week and move the Belmont one week so there would be three weeks between each race.

Tradition is great, but the traditional schedule hurts the number of Preakness entries. The goal is to have the best horses run in all three races, not two out of three. If the best horses run all three races, then the competition is stronger and the winner of all three is more than deserving. It's a win for the Triple Crown and a win for the Preakness.

Dudley Thompson, Girdletree

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