Timonium half-mile from OTB, inter-track program

August 27, 1993|By Ross Peddicord | Ross Peddicord,Staff Writer

For the next 10 days, Johnny Poole expects his afternoon lunch/gambling business to plummet.

The proprietor of the Cracked Claw off-track betting parlor in Urbana estimates that he'll lose about $10,000 in the period.

The reason?

Starting tomorrow, thoroughbred racing switches for 10 straight days to the Maryland State Fair at the Timonium Fairgrounds.

Neither racing at the half-mile plant --nor the full-card simulcasts from out-of-state tracks that Pimlico/Laurel fans have become accustomed to betting on -- will be carried at any of the state's OTB outlets.

The state's two OTBs that carry flat races will be dark for thoroughbred action in the afternoon as well as the two harness outlets at Rosecroft and Delmarva that participate with Pimlico/Laurel in a cross-breed simulcasting program.

However, nighttime harness action at all the outlets, as well as at Pimlico and Laurel race courses, will continue as usual.

At Poor Jimmy's Restaurant and OTB parlor in North East, proprietor Jimmy Bomba said: "We are shutting down the OTB part of our facility during the afternoon, although we are keeping the restaurant open."

But all that could change next year.

Howard M. "Max" Mosner Jr., general manager at Timonium, said he will petition the state legislature to change the current law to allow the State Fair track to become part of these activities.

Mosner said the present statute stipulates that only "mile thoroughbred and harness tracks" can participate in programs involving whole-card simulcasts and commingled pools.

"All we have to do is get the word 'mile'removed. It should be reasonably simple to do," Mosner said.

He said the State Fair board plans to pursue a plan in which Timonium will send its signal in 1994 to the OTBs and into Rosecroft Raceway during the afternoon. In turn, Timonium will simulcast the Rosecroft harness races at night.

However, Mosner said the board does not want to card full-card simulcasts from out-of-state tracks during the 10-day meet, although Timonium will simulcast one or two races daily this year from the New York tracks.

Timonium also could begin to sell its signal in 1994 to out-of-state racetracks.

Ted Snell, president of Rosecroft/Delmarva, said his tracks will lose about $40,000 during the 10-day period because under the inter-tracking program, daytime harness races at Freehold Raceway, in Freehold, N.J., will not be carried at the Maryland thoroughbred tracks. The thoroughbred and harness operators and respective horsemen currently split revenues generated from the $60,000 that is bet daily on the Freehold races.

Poole, Bomba, Snell and Joe De Francis, the Pimlico/Laurel operator who leases the Poor Jimmy's OTB facility, all support Timonium's effort to become involved in the OTB and inter-track programs next year.

* Terence Casey, assistant general manager in charge of facilities, and Bob Van Dyke, assistant counsel for Pimlico/Laurel, represented the Maryland Jockey Club on Wednesday at an informal conference in Baltimore to discuss with officials of the Maryland Occupational Safety and Health Agency the $30,150 worth of proposed fines that MOSHA levied against the track.

Craig Lowry, chief of compliance for MOSHA, said that in about a week the supervisor representing the agency at the hearing will send him a recommendation.

NOTES: Star Stalker, a 2-year-old making only his second career start yesterday, became the fifth horse to die at the current Pimlico summer meet. The horse was destroyed after he fractured an ankle in a hind leg during the sixth race. "He was just about the soundest horse we had and our best 2-year-old," said owner Ginny Wright about the son of Waquoit. Jockey Greg Hutton was not injured seriously. . . . The Pimlico stewards fined trainer Clifford "Buck" Gray Jr. $500 for failure to run his horse, Gilded Set, last Sunday in Pimlico's ninth race. Gray shipped the mare to Atlantic City Race Course, where she finished second on Wednesday night in the $100,000 Atlantic City Budweiser Breeders' Cup. Gilded Set earned $11,540.

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