Pimlico problems are seen easing

June 26, 1994|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Sun Staff Writer

Maryland Jockey Club senior vice president John Mooney said yesterday that the recent problems encountered by racing fans at the Pimlico simulcast site should begin to ease.

Pimlico patrons have complained about their inability to park near the track because the major parking lot adjacent to the clubhouse has been the site of the NAACP's 85th annual Freedom Festival for the past 10 days.

The result has been a downturn in business at Pimlico since Laurel's summer meeting opened. The handle declined $400,000 the first eight racing days.

Part of the decrease can be attributed to Laurel's first Thursday, when only six races were conducted, and part of it to the intense heat wave. But there is no doubt that the carnival is also a negative factor.

"This has had a very negative effect on our business," said Mooney. "We had not realized this would happen, but there has been a lot of inconveniences imposed on our customers."

Maryland Jockey Club officials donated use of the lot to the NAACP after the necessary permits were obtained. But, unknown to them, the festival had to be relocated away from the street and closer to the track to comply with the community requirements.

"They [the NAACP] had to utilize an area we had not intended for use," said Mooney. "We did not expect our customers to undergo these problems."

The festival ended last night.

Little Gray Wolf wins

Little Gray Wolf overtook Jadeeda in the final few jumps yesterday to win a stirring stretch duel and the sixth running of the $53,500 Very Subtle Breeders' Cup Handicap.

The Pennsylvania invader prevailed by a neck, covering six furlongs on the Laurel turf in 1 minute, 9 seconds.

Trainer James Boulmetis scratched the other half of his entry, Cool Number, a main-track specialist, when the race remained on the grass and put his hopes in Little Gray Wolf, a roan mare owned by Ann Thorington of Maple Leaf Farm in Malvern, Pa.

"She was away six months, but she made us want to come down here and run three-quarters of a mile after her last race," said Boulmetis, referring to Little Gray Wolf's second to the track record 1:02 1/5 run by Oops I Am at 5 1/2 furlongs on opening day. "She seems to handle this turf great."

Boulmetis said he "expects to be coming" to Maryland "a little more" now that Philadelphia Park has gone to four racing days a week.

Anthony Black, first cousin of the trainer, rode favored Little Gray Wolf, 5-for-16 on grass with 11 in-the-money finishes.

The margin from Jadeeda back to long shot Carezza was three lengths.

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