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A Day at the Races Isn't What It Used to Be

November 23, 1985

Regarding Kenneth Reich's article on the lottery's effect on state race tracks:

The lottery alone is not the cause of any drop in attendance or handle at our local tracks. I enjoyed going to Santa Anita or Hollywood Park, once in a while, in the past, but no more. Both tracks have told me not to come. I'll tell you how.

Hollywood Park tells me: "If you want to see the finish of our race, please deposit $11 and come into our new Pavilion. We have moved the finish line so our well-heeled patrons can see the end, but not you two-buck plungers in the stands." If Hollywood wants the pavilion filled, so be it, but the stands will remain empty, or more so because of it. Also, when the weather gets cold, I'd appreciate some decent heating in the stands, and some decent lighting to read by.

At Santa Anita, there are no heaters at all. The lighting stinks. Santa Anita feels if they run a $20-million race every Saturday, the two-buck plunger will jam the park. Not so.

The lottery has a very minor effect on our local tracks. Let Marje Everett move the finish line back where it was, improve the conditions for comfort, and the same at Santa Anita, and I'll come back. To enjoy my day, not suffer through it.

JEAN F. COLBY

Canoga Park

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