Timonium offering full-card simulcasts Monmouth Park, Saratoga programs join regular schedule for 10-day meet

August 23, 1996|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

Timonium Race Course will present full-card simulcasts for the first time when its 115th race meeting opens tomorrow at the state fairgrounds.

"That's the biggest change people will find," said Timonium general manager Howard "Max" Mosner. "We'll have our card and at least two other full ones each day."

Entire programs from Monmouth Park and Saratoga will be offered regularly during the 10-day stand that will conclude Labor Day.

When those tracks are dark, Philadelphia Park (twice) and Calder (once) will be included in the television package on the site.

Mosner said Timonium also plans to simulcast Arlington's major races, although full-card telecasting from that track did not fit time schedules.

Additional television monitors have been installed for simulcast bettors.

The five-eighths-mile York Road oval has experienced renaissance the past two years with the introduction of simulcasting.

"Another year like 1993 and that probably would have been it for Timonium," said Mosner. "But we've been lucky to have the boys from Laurel and Pimlico in here running the intertrack network for us. Without them, we wouldn't be able to do it."

Purses, which rose significantly last year, will increase slightly again. Horsemen will compete for more than $1 million.

Again, a $5,000 bonus will go to the leading trainer at the meeting, a practice begun last summer to encourage horsemen to run at the track.

King Leatherbury won that prize in 1995 with five victories among 23 starters.

Several of the leading riders from the Maryland mile circuit are expected to return to Timonium, including Alberto Delgado, the defending jockey champion with 24 wins among 74 mounts last year.

The stakes schedule encompasses five races, beginning with the $30,000 Bobby Hale for 2-year-olds on the opening card.

Featured are two $50,000 handicaps -- up from $40,000 -- for Maryland-breds: the Alma North on Aug. 31 (fillies and mares) and the Taking Risks on Sept. 1 (males).

"We've given our program a little boost," said Mosner. "We have an under-payment available to upgrade some of the purses in the lower categories, and no mile-track racing will help our entries."

The effect of simulcasting was never more evident than last year. On a day Saratoga was dark, New York off-track betting parlors handled more money on Timonium than the track itself.

"Now, we have some 15 to 18 tracks take our signal depending on the day," said Mosner. "It has been our savior."

Pub Date: 8/23/96

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