LAUREL -- Despite official racing dates that show few days off between meetings, most transfers between Maryland tracks next year will have at least a one-day break in the action.
The Maryland Racing Commission approved the 1991 schedule at its monthly meeting Wednesday. The lineup followed the general pattern of dates disclosed several weeks ago by Joe De Francis, president of Laurel and Pimlico Race courses.
The main difference between the 1990 and 1991 racing calendar is one fewer meeting at Pimlico. This year, Pimlico operated before and after Timonium, but in 1991, Laurel's summer meeting precedes Timonium's and Pimlico picks up afterward for an extended meeting.
Marty Jacobs, executive vice president and general counsel at both tracks, said that although it might look as though one track will open the day after the other closes, that most likely won't be the case.
"Several of the dates in the schedule are for closings on Wednesdays, and we don't race on Wednesdays," he said. "If the schedule says we close one track on a Wednesday, then you can assume that the closing is on Tuesday. Only in emergencies would we race on a Wednesday."
Jacobs was saying, in essence, that barring emergencies, the first Laurel meeting will last from Jan. 2 through March 12, the first Pimlico meeting will go from March 14 through July 2 and the second Pimlico meeting is likely to be run from Sept. 5 through Oct. 8.
A two-day break in racing is set between Timonium and the second Pimlico. Timonium closes Sept. 2, a Monday, and Pimlico opens Sept. 5.
The only change of race meetings with no break is between Laurel's summer meeting, which ends Friday, Aug. 23, and Timonium's opening Saturday, Aug. 24.
* Thirtyeightexpress, ridden by Shawn Payton, rallied from fifth and scored a neck victory over front-running Allthathecouldsee yesterday in the feature at Laurel Race Course.
The winning gelding paid $12.20 as third choice in the 1 1/16th-mile headliner.
The Double Triple was cashed at $16,740 for holders of eight tickets yesterday. It was the first time that bettors in the special exotic pool had cashed since Oct. 28.
1991 racing dates
The Maryland Racing Commission has approved the following dates:
Laurel Jan. 1 through March 13
Pimlico March 14 through July 3
Laurel July 4 through Aug. 23
Timonium Aug. 24 through Sept. 2
Pimlico Sept. 5 through Oct. 9
Laurel Oct. 10 through Dec. 31