Maryland racing cards will become part of the daily diet in New Jersey and Delaware when Laurel Race Course's summer meeting begins July 2.
Under arrangements between Laurel and Pimlico management and officials at Atlantic City Race Course, Garden State Park and Delaware Park, the Maryland signal will be transmitted to those out-of-state sites.
In addition, wagers from those three tracks and from casinos in the Las Vegas Pari-Mutuel Association will be "commingled" with the on-track pools in Maryland to create a common betting pool and determine final payoffs.
The telephone lines for communicating the information have been tested for the past three weeks.
Laurel-Pimlico vice president Jim Mango is overseeing the preparations. He said the "value of common pooling is that, because of the larger pools, fluctuations in odds are reduced.
"In addition, we expect to see significant purse increases, perhaps as much as $1 million over the course of a year, from the additional handle."
The partners will transmit wagering information to the Maryland track running. Their totalisator systems will be locked at scheduled post time, but mutuel windows at Laurel and Pimlico will remain open until the bell rings to start the race.
Mango expects the final flash of odds to occur before every race has ended.
"The last flash might be a little later than when it is now," he said. "That is something the racing public will have to get used to. That is part of the technological problem you have when you do this."
Before this, only the Las Vegas casinos and sites in Mexico and the Caribbean received and wagered upon the entire Maryland card.
Recent legislation passed in New Jersey allows those tracks and eventually the casinos there, to accept entire-card simulcasts from out of state.
More expansion could come later.
"Absolutely," said Mango. "We can always expand if another track wants to join and we can sell it to them."
"We see this as the beginning of many such arrangements," said Laurel-Pimlico president Joe De Francis. "We have an unprecedented opportunity to increase the size of our pools, which will create better wagering opportunities for our fans and improve our purses."
NOTES: Larry Reynolds rode both ends of the early daily double and the winner in the final race yesterday. He moved to within two of a tie with second-place Mike Luzzi (who had one winner) in the jockey's race.