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Your Views Wednesday, May 8

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Luis Saez riding Maximum Security, second from right, goes around turn four with Flavien Prat riding Country House, left, Tyler Gaffalione riding War of Will and John Velazquez riding Code of Honor, right, during the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 4, 2019, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Luis Saez riding Maximum Security, second from right, goes around turn four with Flavien Prat riding Country House, left, Tyler Gaffalione riding War of Will and John Velazquez riding Code of Honor, right, during the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 4, 2019, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

New chapter about to begin at UCO

It’s the end of a chapter for the University of Central Oklahoma as its president, Don Betz, will say goodbye to nearly 1,800 graduates this weekend during his last graduation ceremony.

Since entering the scene in 2011, Betz has seen the good and bad at the university but continued providing people with a vision for themselves. Now leadership is changing.

I remember the first time I interviewed him for the newspaper, we quickly got to know each other and I had great respect for his desire to seek truth. We had great laughs together on a trip to Cuba and even difficult ones in my search for the truth on a former athletic director, who resigned amid controversy. I have been asking Betz questions for five years.

Come July 1, Patti Neuhold will take over as president and lead students, faculty, staff and alumni on a new journey. Nobody can or should fill another person’s shoes, but instead their own shoes. Realignment of budgets and workers are likely, but the mission and vision should only strengthen.

Inspiring future generations of Oklahomans is the mission Neuhold and others who come into the scenes need to focus on. There needs to be a high priority on increased enrollment and strengthening of the reserves. A mission of cutting back is not advantageous.

Finding truth and exploring tough subjects should also be a part of the vision in the marketplace of ideas called a university.

Eriech Tapia, Edmond

Tapia will receive his master’s in business administration on Saturday.

Result is the last thing horse racing needed

I have had a lifelong love affair with horse racing especially the thoroughbred kind. My first serious job after high school was as a hot walker and then groom at Centennial Race Track in Littleton, Colorado. That location is now a shopping mall. Many other racing facilities have closed, and deaths of these magnificent animals have increased recently, especially at Santa Anita in California.

The Sport of Kings certainly didn't need another black eye. However, courtesy of the track stewards, it received one on racing's biggest day when the winner of the Kentucky Derby was disqualified and 65-1 long shot was moved up to first.

What a travesty. This is my 55th year of being involved in this industry either as a barnside employee, regular patron and/or author of much of the enabling legislation approved by Oklahoma voters. Without belaboring the point, the eventual winner wasn't impeded one bit by the leader’s minimal move outward from the rail while entering the home stretch on a flooded, puddled surface.

The judges studied five videos showing all angles of the entire race for 24 minutes before rendering their decision, then read a brief statement trying but failing to explain it and promptly departed the scene of the crime refusing to take any questions.

My sour grapes are driven merely by agony for an industry that needs all the help it can get, especially from its dwindling number of friends and supporters. It already has plenty of enemies and detractors.

Cal Hobson, Lexington

Your View -- Letter to the Editor

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