Some Preakness ticket prices going up Commission raises day-of-race infield admission to $18

January 14, 1993|By Ross Peddicord | Ross Peddicord,Staff Writer

Preakness revelers, beware.

It may cost you more this year to get into the infield.

The Maryland Racing Commission approved a 20 percent increase in infield admission yesterday in response to a Maryland Jockey Club request to raise the price from $15 to $18.

But the increase applies only to tickets purchased on race day. Infield tickets bought in advance will remain at $15 each.

Pimlico Race Course general manager Jim Mango said infield prices had risen gradually from $10 to now $18 over the last four years. "But I still think our prices are low, compared to the [Kentucky] Derby. Remember, the cost is the same on pre-sale tickets."

Infield admission to the Derby costs $20.

The board also approved other Preakness price increases.

Clubhouse box seats: from $58 to $62

Grandstand apron box seats: from $45 to $50

Grandstand concourse and terrace box seats: from $35 to $40

Mango said the price increases will affect about 25 percent of the track's seating areas. "We try to rotate them so there is no universal jump across the board."

John H. "Jack" Mosner Jr., racing commission chairman, said the board had "no real argument" with the increases. "I think if you compare them with other entertainment costs, they aren't too bad. If you look at the

Preakness prices as a whole and compare them to the Derby, then the Preakness is still a real bargain."

The board made other decisions yesterday:

* Jockeys can now wear protective flak-jacket type vests that weigh about 1 1/2 pounds. The additional safety gear will not be considered part of the jockey's prescribed weight. Such vests, like safety helmets, could become mandatory equipment next year.

* Harness and thoroughbred trainers who have been suspended for routine violations can now attend the races in the afternoon. Previously, they weren't allowed on track grounds. They still cannot go on the backstretch or paddock while suspended.

Mosner said Florida has a similar rule. "The stewards will decide case by case which suspended horsemen can still go to the races, depending on the seriousness of the violation."

Commingling legislation

The Department of Licensing and Regulation will sponsor a bill, supported by the racing commission, that will allow Maryland tracks to commingle their pools on full-card simulcasts with out-of-state tracks, even if the take-out in the host state differs from Maryland's.

The bill will be introduced in the General Assembly as soon as possible to be considered on an emergency basis.

Cross-breed simulcasting

The full board of the Cloverleaf harness horsemen's organization will meet Jan. 25 to consider a compromise that allows the state's thoroughbred tracks to run televised flat races until 7:15 p.m. during a 90-day inter-track experiment. In turn, the harness tracks and horsemen will get revenues from standardbred races televised at Laurel and Pimlico during the day.

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