Quarterhorse simulcasting is approved Schedules are given OK for thoroughbreds, harness

November 20, 1997|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

What the Maryland Racing Commission did not address yesterday was the dispute between thoroughbred and harness interests over the division of night simulcasting revenue.

Instead, the board devoted its time to less volatile issues, approving the import of televised quarterhorse racing to Ocean Downs and next year's state schedules.

Dennis Dowd, president of Ocean Downs, which is operated by Bally's, Inc., said he sees the passage of quarterhorse simulcasting "as a couple of extra dollars for us. Hopefully, this will attract some more business."

Bally's argued that the money is necessary to help the Eastern Shore track stay afloat and provide an alternative to its competition from nearby Dover Downs, which has slot machines.

Three tracks with quarterhorse racing will be imported "starting Friday," according to Dowd.

Neither the Maryland Jockey Club nor Cloverleaf Enterprises, Inc., which operates Rosecroft Raceway, objected and Rosecroft may take the signal for its own cards.

There were no surprises in various' tracks requests for 1998 racing dates which follow:

Thoroughbreds

LAUREL -- Jan. 1-Feb. 22; June 22-July 19; Sept. 28-Dec. 31; PIMLICO -- Feb. 23-March 29 (conducted at Laurel); March 30-June 21; July 20-Aug. 28 (conducted at Laurel); Sept. 8-27; TIMONIUM -- Aug. 29-Sept. 7; FAIR HILL -- May 25.

Harness

ROSECROFT -- 143 days of live racing and 124 of simulcasting only. Except in January, live racing will be held on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays with four days live racing in July and August; OCEAN DOWNS -- July 2-Sept. 5 with live racing generally on Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday in July and on Sunday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday in August, plus 270 days of simulcasting only.

NOTES: The commission asked for a specific date for the Maryland Million card, which is to be provided at its next meeting. The panel approved the stakes schedule for Laurel's winter meet, which includes upgrading of the Grade II General George and Barbara Fritchie Stakes by $50,000 each. Marty Jacobs, general counsel of the Maryland Jockey Club, said the schedule may change depending on the outcome of the simulcasting dispute. The board approved reissuance of a satellite simulcast permit for Pimlico.

Pub Date: 11/20/97

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