Pimlico ready to make quick fix if computer fails

September 23, 1992|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Staff Writer

If Pimlico encounters computer glitches again Saturday during the Maryland Million program, the response will be quick.

"Our first priority is to protect our on-track business," said first vice president Tim Capps. "We would have to drop our commingling outlets and run our own pools without simulcasts."

That is precisely what happened Sunday when the track had computer problems that delayed payoffs for about 15 minutes on the first three races.

Eventually, commingling pools with five out-of-state outlets were canceled, costing an estimated $400,000 in wagers.

Technicians from AmTote International will be at Hunt Valley Saturday, including Scott Bartholomew, the designer of the collator that has been the source of the problems.

"You can't foresee these things happening," said Ken Schertle, executive director of the Maryland Racing Commission. "But if the manpower is on hand -- like it will be -- they can be ready for anything."

Pic-6 Million

Two races on the Maryland Million card will be on Saturday's second Pic-6 schedule, but which ones haven't been determined yet.

"We won't pick them until Thursday morning after the entries are drawn," said Capps. "Four or five races are possibilities."

They were to be the first and fifth events in the national pool, which was inaugurated Sept. 12 with timing problems and a track that wrongly entered information into the computer, causing a delay in payoffs.

Still, the first Pic-6 went relatively smoothly.

"It will be essentially the same this time, maybe with another minute between the races," said Capps. "There might be a few more betting windows and a few more TVs. We're fine tuning."

C7 All six races will carry at least a $100,000 purse.

Franklin suspended

Jockey Ronnie Franklin has been suspended indefinitely by the stewards after testing positive for cocaine during a random drug test.

This is the second drug violation in Maryland for Franklin, who was suspended for 14 months in 1986 after testing positive for marijuana.

In 1979, the Baltimore native, only 19 at the time and an Eclipse Award-winning apprentice, rode Spectacular Bid to victories in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.

Laurel stakes

The International Turf Festival heads a $3.4 million stakes schedule at Laurel Race Course this fall.

From Oct. 8 through Dec. 31, Laurel will run 31 stakes races, including eight graded events and 10 with purses of $100,000 or more.

The Turf Festival, Oct. 17-18, includes the 41st running of the $750,000 International, the $300,000 All Along Stakes and the $250,000 Laurel Dash. Two $200,000 events will be contested on the second day.

Miscellaneous

NOTES: Mike Luzzi rode three winners yesterday and pulled into a tie for third place in the jockey standings with nine. Mario Pino had a double to gain second place behind Edgar Prado with 11. . . . Two of Luzzi's mounts were saddled by Howard Wolfendale (Second Lieutenant in the first and Most Pleasing in the eighth). Wolfendale is now even with Carlos Garcia atop the trainers' standings (five wins).

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