Fourth OTB is fast out of the gate

February 16, 1994|By Ross Peddicord | Ross Peddicord,Sun Staff Writer

"Mostly $2 bettors" is how Riverboat-on-the-Potomac operator Tom Flanagan described the crowd yesterday when his Colonial Beach, Va., facility opened as Maryland's fourth off-track betting parlor.

Flanagan estimated about 240 people showed up for what he termed the Riverboat's "successful maiden voyage" into pari-mutuel wagering.

"A lot of people coming in here didn't know how to make a bet, so we spent a lot of time educating them," Flanagan said. "There were no high rollers. We still did about $25,000 in thoroughbred bets, which I thought was excellent."

Some $15,223 of the total Colonial Beach handle was bet on Laurel's nine live races. In comparison, other Maryland OTBs' handles for Laurel were: Cracked Claw near Frederick, $42,659; Poor Jimmy's in North East, $14,148; The Shoals in Cambridge, $3,382.

Flanagan said most of his customers came from the Fredericksburg and Richmond areas of Virginia.

Although the Riverboat has a Virginia address, the facility is located on a pier in the Maryland waters of the Potomac.

Health violations

Laurel Race Course management has about two more weeks to complete repairs to its backstretch housing area to meet requirements of the Anne Arundel County Health Department.

Evelyn Stein, a spokeswoman for the department, said yesterday that when an inspector performed an annual facility walk-through on Dec. 17, he found numerous violations including leaky plumbing, damaged heaters, broken windows and some termite damage. Stein added that some concerns about smoke alarms were referred to the county fire marshal's office.

Stein said the inspection included 130 apartments in seven buildings. Stein added that the violations are considered "typical" and that Laurel was given 30 days to make repairs. However, because of bad weather, the track received a 30-day extension or until the end of February to correct the violations.

Terence Casey, Laurel/Pimlico's assistant general manager in charge of facilities, said that most of the repairs have been made except some roofing items.

"We have an excellent working relationship with the health department," Casey said. "We treat them as a partner and we both have the same goal: To provide suitable housing for backstretch employees."

Plans to erect two new dormitories for stable area workers to replace the older housing were postponed when the building site was sold to Jack Kent Cooke for his proposed football stadium.

Miscellaneous

The New York Racing Association is to lift its ban on equine shipments in and out of NYRA tracks at 6 p.m. tomorrow. NYRA had prohibited movement of animals after an outbreak of an equine herpes virus was detected at Belmont Park. But the virus has been contained. Philadelphia Park is expected to lift a similar ban at midnight tomorrow. . . . The moves should help boost entries for Laurel's weekend Sprint Fest stakes. . . . Lorraine Quinichett's Lady Reiko won her second career start in the sixth race at Laurel yesterday. Her trainer, Billy Turner, said the filly's main objective this spring is the Ashland Stakes at Keeneland Race Course. Her half sister, Willa On The Move, won the race in 1988. . . . Maryland trainer Dale Capuano won with Greatsilverfleet and J.C.'s Joanie at Oaklawn Park over the weekend, breaking a nine-day skid.

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