Simulcast implementation delayed Problems force Laurel to move start to Feb. 2

LAUREL NOTEBOOK

January 01, 1998|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

Implementation of Laurel Park's new simulcasting schedule has been delayed until the first week of February.

Chief administrative officer Jim Mango canceled a press briefing yesterday because some glitches have developed in the plan.

The Maryland Jockey Club is still negotiating with its working unions, and the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and Maryland Thoroughbred Breeders' Association have yet to vote on the tentative agreement reached with Rosecroft Raceway.

"We're not going to start the combined wagering network until Feb. 2," said Mango. "We couldn't get all the preparations completed."

One of the snags is agreement on a dark day. Laurel Park wants to remain open Monday because of simulcasting from Gulfstream Park, but Rosecroft prefers Tuesday because of nighttime telecasts from the Meadowlands.

The plans also include reporting attendance and handle statistics on a next-day basis, since the thoroughbred track will be operating its own facility until midnight.

'Halo' surges

Lay Low Halo found an opening along the rail and rallied under Seth Martinez to win the $75,000 Broad Brush Stakes by three-quarters of a length yesterday.

With co-owner-trainer Ham Smith out of town because of the death of his mother, Martinez learned the game plan by phone.

"The race set up the way Mr. Smith thought it would," said the jockey. "He thought [Jack] Van Berg's horse [Tejano Red] would go to the lead, and he told me I should wait to move and to keep my eye on the No. 2 [Hot Brush].

"When I asked [his mount], he went. He had a lot left."

Tejano Red and Hot Brush staged a two-horse duel down the lane after long shot Testafly gave away the lead grudgingly.

They hit the wire in tandem, but had to settle for a dead heat for the place after Lay Low Halo surged inside for his second victory in three starts. The winning share was worth $45,000.

Hot Brush, the favorite, is a son of Broad Brush, for whom the race is named.

Halo's co-owner, E. Hill Summers, said: "We've stepped to a new level with this horse. This is such a great way to end the year."

'Prado Power'

Edgar Prado Appreciation Day will begin when the first 3,000 fans entering the gates today receive "Prado Power" buttons.

Also scheduled are an autograph and photo session with Prado from 11 to 11: 45 p.m. on the first floor of the clubhouse, a winner's circle ceremony following the third race that will include a check presentation to the University of Maryland Children's Center and a 50 percent savings on concession items -- exclusive of alcohol and tobacco.

Prado finished 1997 with the third-highest single-year winning total in racing history. He captured three races yesterday to finish with 536 victories, 10 short of Chris McCarron's No. 2 total.

Miscellaneous

WBAL Radio has received an Eclipse Award for outstanding radio achievement for its five-part series, "Slots or Not." The feature was produced by longtime track executive Chick Lang and narrated and researched by WBAL reporter John Patti. Jockey John Baboolal has been suspended indefinitely after a second violation of the drug-prohibition regulation, and trainer John Ferguson has been suspended for 15 days after a second offense this year involving excessive use of Bute, an anti-inflammatory medication.

Pub Date: 1/01/98

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