As a lifelong student and fan of thoroughbred racing, I agree with those who believe the Triple Crown schedule should not be altered [“Too Soon?,” Sports, May 18]. Doing so would result in an inability to accurately and fairly compare future Triple Crown winners with those of the past.  

I believe a significant factor in why there has not been a Triple Crown winner since 1978 rests with the 20-horse field for the Kentucky Derby. With that many horses seeking racing position at the start, the race is essentially over for many horses within the first 30 seconds. If any alteration to the Triple Crown series is to be made, it should be to limit the number of horses in the Derby. Doing so would ensure that only the most accomplished horses compete in the Kentucky Derby and perhaps win the Triple Crown. Furthermore, it would contribute to the safety of the horses and jockeys.  

Mark H. Smith, Alexandria