The management of Laurel and Pimlico race courses was involved deeply in talks involving intertrack wagering last week.
The track operators are asking for more help from members of the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association concerning the current ITW between Laurel and Pimlico.
Nowadays, the horsemen (owners and trainers) give up $1,000 per day toward expenses of having the video signal sent to Pimlico so customers there can bet on live races run at Laurel.
But Tuesday evening, the MTHA board of directors will meet to consider a request for them to relinquish $2,500 more from the purse fund to make the ITW venture profitable.
Track officials say there's no threat to shut down the ITW venture, particularly the current Laurel-to-Pimlico segment, but the rumor of an imminent shutdown spread rapidly with mutuel employees Friday.
The intertrack betting at Laurel on races at Pimlico apparently is so prosperous that it would continue even without the extra $2,500.
Meanwhile, Joe De Francis, chief operating officer of both thoroughbred tracks, has been talking to Jim Murphy, general manager at Rosecroft Raceway, about a deal to permit intertrack wagering of the harness races at Pimlico and the runners to Rosecroft.
It could develop into a long-range plan because a law change would be required before Pimlico could take betting on races from Rosecroft or Delmarva Downs, the harness track on the Eastern Shore.
De Francis, however, said Friday that he would like to wrap up a deal before the end of the year.
From a public point of view, it would seem that Murphy is negotiating for a phantom owner since current owner Mark Vogel has such financial problems that he is trying to sell Rosecroft and Delmarva for a total of $20 million or more.
Several groups are rumored to have shown interest.
Of course, Murphy might negotiate such a good deal that the new owners would see it as an incentive to buy.
All intertrack deals involving thoroughbred racing will require an OK from the MTHA.
With Laurel's regular fall dates set for Oct. 10 through Dec. 31 next year, one might assume that Marlboro would want its traditional two Wednesdays in October and November in 1991.
Not necessarily, Marlboro officials say. They're planning to build a big indoor horse show arena near the track and aren't sure they want the dates until 1992 because there might be problems with construction.
Jockey Ronnie Franklin, who appears to be winning a bout with cocaine abuse, is to appear on a show on ABC television Dec. 6 involving several athletes who have fought the problem.
Wonder why Laurel didn't operate Monday, Nov. 12 when the federal government gave its employees a holiday?
Jack Mosner, member of the Maryland Racing Commission, asked Laurel/Pimlico vice president Marty Jacobs that question last week and was told that Laurel doesn't race on Mondays and management wanted to maintain that stability. Additionally, it was an opportunity to give the employees a holiday.
Mosner thought it might have been a good business day considering that many government workers are from nearby Washington.
Pierre Bellocq, the noted cartoonist from the Daily Racing Form who works as "Peb," will be honored at the Federico Tesio dinner at Martin's West on Feb. 22.
Bellocq has been picked to receive the Golden Horseshoe Award, the top honor given at the Tesio dinner.
After the evidence was presented Wednesday, there was little doubt that Joseph Allen would get approval of the Maryland Racing Commission to continue as a licensed owner despite being convicted of failing to maintain adequate tax records.
Allen didn't even make any extra money on his poor bookkeeping. Tax officials conceded that he does not owe any additional taxes for any years, including those involved with the misdemeanor charges.
Allen's cousin's involvement was a different story. Peter Brant, his cousin who also has a big racing venture, is currently in prison for related tax problems.
The judge who sentenced Brant said that one of the differences involving sentencing was "a question of remorse."
Allen is doing 1,000 hours of community service but can race his horses almost anywhere. New York and Florida commissions have given him an OK to maintain a license.
Generally, commissions rule off persons who are convicted of crimes, but most of the time, it's for felonies.
Brant's case comes up for review at the December meeting of the Maryland board.