Timonium betting on bonuses

September 05, 1994|By Ross Peddicord | Ross Peddicord,Sun Staff Writer

Horsemen who won purse money at the Timonium meet might be in for a pleasant surprise -- a bonus -- when the final betting numbers, less operating expenses, are calculated in a couple of weeks.

"I'm reluctant to say for sure that we will pay a bonus, but have to believe we're going to have a surplus," said Howard "Max" Mosner Jr., the State Fair's vice president and general manager. "This is the best meet we've ever had in generating money for purses."

Going into the 10th and final card today, Timonium has been averaging $1.47 million daily in its first year of operation within the statewide simulcasting and off-track betting network. Most of that money has been wagered by fans at eight sites throughout Maryland on out-of-state simulcasts as well as Timonium's live card.

In an arrangement with Pimlico/Laurel, half the proceeds -- after about $25,000 in daily operating expenses are deducted -- go to horsemen, and then Timonium splits the other half with Pimlico/Laurel.

On-track handle at Timonium has plummeted more than 25 percent, from $528,000 last year do approximately $300,000 this year. But the difference has been more than compensated for by Timonium's tie-in with the off-track network.

"Before the meet, we projected a $1 million average, $400,000 on ZTC track and $600,000 from the network," Mosner said. "We were off about 25 percent from that figure on-track, but up more than 60 percent on the network handle. Not only has the simulcast experiment been a success, but so has keeping Pimlico open at the same time as Timonium."

Since horsemen have been paid at the same level of purses as last year, a bonus is probably in order. "But it's going to take a couple of weeks before we've got the final figures," Mosner said. "It used to be that I'd get a one-page daily comparison sheet on betting figures. Now that daily report is 13 pages long. Doing business is a lot more complicated than it used to be.

"Who would have ever thought there would be a satellite dish parked behind Timonium's grandstand?"

Going into today's final card, Freddy Castillo still leads Albert Delgado by one win in the jockey standings.

The leading female rider is Laurie Files, a newcomer to Maryland from Wadsworth, Ohio, who has ridden four Timonium winners, posting a 33 percent win average.

The 21-year-old former high school track star, who gained experience by breaking yearlings at Claiborne Farm in Paris, Ky., rode her first winner April 26 at Thistledown Race Course in Cleveland and competes with an apprentice allowance for another year.

2 Yesterday, Files won the second race by four lengths on Wilder Now and then finished third on Betta in a four-horse photo finish in the $7,000 feature.

Files' agent, Paul Truitt, also represents Jeff Carle, a journeyman who is now the regular rider for Sunny Sunrise, Bud Delp's irascible equine millionaire. Carle also finished third on Saturday with Ygerne in the Alma North Handicap.

NOTES: Today's Pennsylvania Derby at Philadelphia Park will be simulcast at Timonium as well as throughout the Maryland off-track betting network. Two Maryland runners, Richie The Coach and Brass Scale, are in the lineup. Pimlico-based Looming is also entered but is expected to run instead in the Jerome Handicap at Belmont Park.

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