Former Washington Redskins lineman Mark May apparently is part of a group that has made the first formal offer to buy Rosecroft Raceway and Delmarva Downs, the harness tracks that were placed under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection when owner Mark Vogel ran into financial problems three months ago.
May, who recently signed with the San Diego Chargers, declinecomment except to say, "We're still interested in the track as before."
Jim Murphy, the court-appointed trustee for Rosecroft anDelmarva, said he has received a "written proposal from one group" and expects to receive four more official proposals from groups in the next 30 days.
Murphy said he has made information available to 15 potentiainvestors but would not reveal any of the names.
"I don't think it's proper for me to talk about prospective buyerand I don't think they should be commenting either," he said.
However, Alan Foreman, legal counsel for the MarylanThoroughbred Horsemen's Association, has said his group is preparing an offer in the next few weeks. Foreman had made an unsuccessful offer to Vogel in December.
Former Rosecroft president Bill Miller also has said he woulmake a proposal soon to buy the harness tracks.
According to Murphy, the tracks are operating with a "positivcash flow" and their sale is only one option.
"The sale is what we have focused on," he said. "But we have responsibility to look at the possible alternative of paying all the creditors and removing the tracks from bankruptcy proceedings."
Murphy said he is optimistic that if the tracks are sold they will bring more than enough to cover all of Vogel's financial obligations.
The tracks are thought to be worth more than $15 million.
According to Murphy, no deal can be completed before a May 2deadline for liens against the tracks. Any deal must be approved by a federal bankruptcy judge.
Vogel, whose financial woes forced a foreclosure by the FirsNational Bank of Maryland, is seeking refinancing. He has relinquished daily operational and financial ties to the tracks under an agreement with the Maryland Racing Commission.
* In the eighth race at Pimlico Race Course yesterday, Nasty Blade threw rider Cesar Torres shortly after breaking out of the starting gate.
Torres apparently escaped unharmed, as he got up quickly anwalked away from the spill.
Memorable Sal, with Michael Luzzi aboard, won the eighth racePaul's Practice was second.
* Ex-claimers Buy The Firm and Wait for the Lady head a field of seven fillies and mares entered in today's fifth running of the $100,000 Grade III Snow Goose Handicap at Pimlico.
Buy The Firm, the 5-year-old daughter of 1978 Triple Crowwinner Affirmed, won over $400,000 last year after being claimed for $32,500 by trainer Carlos Martin in January of 1990.
Edgar Prado will ride Buy The Firm.