OTB planned for Hagerstown Ramada

February 06, 1993|By Ross Peddicord | Ross Peddicord,Staff Writer

Off-track betting is coming to Hagerstown.

The proposed OTB facility, to be located in the Ramada Inn Convention Center, has the potential to become the most successful in Maryland, according to track executives.

Jim Mango, senior vice president and general manager of Laurel and Pimlico race courses, said yesterday that he has reached an agreement with Frank Turner, owner of the complex, to open an OTB parlor there. He said it could be operating by April.

"We haven't signed a contract, but Turner assured me his word is good," Mango said.

The Hagerstown outlet would follow the opening of the first OTB facility at the Cracked Claw restaurant near Frederick.

Mango has been at the Cracked Claw this week working with officials from the audio-visual and totalizator companies that will install the equipment there.

Cracked Claw owner John "Pappy" Poole will submit a site plan for the project to the Frederick County Planning Commission on Wednesday.

The board is expected to approve the proposal. "Then we are ready to start with the hammer and nails," Mango said.

Poole must also submit an application to the Maryland Racing Commission and receive approval from that board after a series of financial and background checks.

The Cracked Claw, to be re-named the Peter Pan Inn, is set to open in March.

Ted Snell, president of Rosecroft and Delmarva raceways, said he is excited about the Hagerstown outlet.

"The Ramada [Inn Convention Center] does major, major convention business for that area of Western Maryland and Pennsylvania," he said. "It is a beautiful accommodation with a restaurant, a night club and a convention hall that seats 1,500 people. This is a project of some magnitude."

Tom Lattanzi, Laurel-Pimlico's OTB site coordinator, said that the Ramada site already has zoning clearance from the city of Hagerstown and approval from the Washington County Liquor Board.

Lattanzi added that a half-dozen Maryland OTB parlors should be open by early summer.

Triple Crown fever

When the initial list of Triple Crown nominees was released earlier this week, 15 Maryland trainers had named 23 3-year-olds to the series.

Tops among Maryland trainers is Benny Perkins Jr., who nominated four horses.

The Perkins group includes Storm Tower, a $240,000 Florida 2-year-old purchase that won at Gulfstream Park yesterday; Woods of Windsor, who was scratched out of yesterday's Gulfstream race but is expected to run in a seven-furlong allowance race at Gulfstream Park next week; Flying Ant, a recent arrival from the Scotty Schulhofer outfit; and Without Dissent, who runs today in the Dancing Count Stakes at Laurel.

There are three Triple Crown nominees in the Dancing Count: Without Dissent, Wolf Prince and Lunch Connection.

Wolf Prince, winner of three of his four career starts, is the heavy favorite. But Perkins said yesterday "we are not afraid to run against him. He still has a lot to prove and we like our colt [Without Dissent] a lot. We probably rushed him when we ran him long in a stakes at Aqueduct in his last start. The track was heavy that day and he couldn't handle it. Now, he's back sprinting."

Perkins said the Valid Appeal colt was purchased in the $100,000 range last year at the Florida sales. He is owned by a partnership which includes Herb Moelis of Middletown, Del. and Leslie Legum of Baltimore.

Maryland trainers, in addition to Perkins, with Triple Crown nominees are: Barclay Tagg (Ambush Alley, Mr. Radioactive), Katy Voss (Smart'N Tough, Vague Notion), Mary Eppler (Over The Brink, P. J. Higgins), Leon Blusiewicz (King Kapalua, Raglan Road), Dean Gaudet (Mighty Game, Montbook), Carlos Garcia (Wolf Prince), Robert Bailes (Lunch Connection), Bud Delp (Sunny Express), Clark Cassidy (Quicken), Bill Boniface (Hasty Jaune), Joe Ayres (Loving Corkey), Ricky Sillaman (Super Memory), John Salzman (Departing Cloud), and Bob Beall (Dr. Batsleer).

Late nominations, at a cost of $4,500 each, close March 27.

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