Two winning tickets, each worth $166,363.80, were sold in the Double Triple at Pimlico Race Course yesterday, ending three weeks of jackpot carry-overs.
One ticket was sold at Pimlico, one at the Laurel intertrack outlet. Small syndicates reportedly teamed to buy the tickets, but both groups avoided press coverage.
After $171,615 was bet into a 15-day-old pool, 219 tickets remained "live" when Seward's Folly, a 10-1 shot, won the third race, first half of the bet.
In the fifth race, 32 of the 219 included Spacetech (No. 7), a 16-1 shot, somewhere among the top three positions. But the colt threw his rider and ran loose from handlers just before the horses were loaded into the gate -- forcing the stewards to scratch him -- and ticket-holders were given approximately seven minutes to exchange any tickets that had included No. 7.
Only 22 of the 32 were exchanged, but steward Jean Chalk defended the relatively short time allotment. "If we deem there is sufficient time for an exchange, it's a go," he said. "[A pari-mutuel official] told us there were no lines."
If the stewards rule there is not enough time for exchanges in case of a late scratch, Double Triple rules mandate that all live tickets be redeemed for cash value, and the carry-over pool revert to what it had been before the day.
Phil's Third Son, the 5-2 favorite, went on to win the fifth race over Whirling Native (7-1), with Tango's Bid (5-1) third.
Yesterday's windfall is not among the top payoffs at Maryland's major tracks. The single-ticket record of $414,243 was won at Pimlico last April. The cumulative Double Triple pool fell far short of the $1,827,837 that accrued in late 1988 at Laurel.
* Dedication ceremonies at the new Thoroughbred Racing Association headquarters in Fair Hill were held Wednesday.
Construction of the $1.3 million building, which houses the TRA and its subsidiary, the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau, was sought by the late Frank J. De Francis. A plaque honoring De Francis' contributions to racing was unveiled at the ceremony.
The TRA, which houses the most complete data bank concerning thoroughbred racing in North America, moved its headquarters from New York to the new building July 1.
* Six races worth $340,000 will be run tonight at the Charles Town Races, as the West Virginia Breeders Classics enjoys its fifth renewal.
The purse for the $200,000 Kamora Classic, the richest event, has been increased from $125,000. Taylor Mountain, winner of the 1 1/8-mile race the past two years, is entered again, but Ara Russell is the likely favorite in a field of 10.
First post is 7:15.
ESPN will provide delayed coverage of the Classics Sunday at 5:30 p.m.
NOTES: Longtime Maryland trainer Glenn Ballenger, 76, died Tuesday at his Rippon, W.Va., home. Services will be tomorrow at Hall's Funeral Home in Purcellville, Va. . . . Pimlico/Laurel weekend features: Tomorrow's $50,000-added Damascus Handicap, headed by Double Booked, is the only weekend stake at Pimlico, and tomorrow's Vosburgh Stakes from Belmont Park is the lone out-of-town weekend simulcast. There will be 11 races Sunday. . . . Aaron Gryder has picked up the mount on Double Booked. . . . Late nominees to the Oct. 19-20 International Turf Festival are due today. . . . Through 16 of 25 racing days, trainer Vinnie Blengs has pulled to within 1 victory of Dale Capuano (11-10) after sending out 2 winners yesterday.