Commingling of wagering pools at Maryland tracks, legalized in April by the General Assembly, was approved by the Maryland Racing Commission at its monthly meeting yesterday.
Delaware Park will become the first track to participate in the exportation of televised race signals from Maryland, beginning July 4, when the Laurel Race Course meeting starts.
The Stanton, Del., track will take wagers on all Laurel races -- essentially doubling wagering opportunities on its own race days, and remaining open for Maryland racing on its dark days.
Commingling is one of the newest trends in racing nationwide. By integrating wagers from out-of-state sites, it allows a host track to expand its marketplace and wagering pools. If the addition of wagering moneys is significant, commingling in Maryland should have a positive effect on purses in Maryland, Jim Mango, Pimlico/Laurel vice president, told the commission at the meeting at the Timonium Fairgrounds.
"By expanding the pools, it can also decrease the perception that late heavy betting is the result of inside information," Mango said. "The bigger the pool, the less impact a heavy wager has."
Still to be worked out are takeout figures for the participating tracks and their horsemen. Mango said it is undetermined whether Pimlico/Laurel would permit other states to become a late-entry commingler in carry-over bets, such as the Double Triple, after the pool has grown to a substantial sum.
In other business, the commission:
* Agreed to formulate rules that would permit participation by Laurel in a national Pick Seven wagering pool on the Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs on Nov. 2.
* Agreed to review rules governing Pick Three wagering concerning stable couplings. Currently, if one horse in an entry is scratched, a Pick Three wager remains intact with the remaining part of the entry.
* Deferred until next month discussion on Lasix rule revisions.