Whether one is for or against slot machines, Maryland horse racing and the horses themselves deserve far more respect than Marc Fisher gave them when he wrote: "As for horse racing, some good things in life just go away. . . . It'd be sad to see the tracks go. But it's not like there aren't alternatives for the horse industry. The steaks really aren't that bad. I recommend a generous splash of A.1. sauce" [Metro, Feb. 27].

Maryland has a long, rich and storied history of thoroughbred racing and is still host to one of the oldest and most prestigious races in the world: the middle leg of the Triple Crown, the Preakness. The central race of the best-selling book (and forthcoming movie) "Seabiscuit" is the Pimlico Special of 1937, a match race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral. Just last month, Maryland's own Xtra Heat, the Eclipse Award-winning filly, won her near-record 25th stakes race at Laurel Park.

I am sure that the owners, trainers, veterinarians, grooms, exercise riders and others who have devoted their lives to thoroughbred racing were not amused by Fisher's suggestion to serve their horses' meat with steak sauce, nor with his casual dismissal of an entire industry that thousands of Marylanders are part of.

-- David Kearns