Md. tracks: Ownership unchanged Jacobs declines comment on sale of Cooke estate

January 15, 1998|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

Martin Jacobs, general counsel of the Maryland Jockey Club, told the state racing commission yesterday that the makeup of ** the ownership of Laurel Park and Pimlico racetracks is unchanged.

"The stockholders of Laurel and Pimlico are the same as they were -- Joe De Francis; his sister, Karen, and myself," said Jacobs during an inquiry by the panel.

Asked whether there were any non-voting owners, Jacobs said no.

"This information has to be reported to the commission and we have complied," he said. "We have to notify the commission of any change and there is none."

Jacobs said he would not comment on recent published reports revealing that the estate of Jack Kent Cooke is selling notes that could convey a minority ownership in the two tracks.

"Some statements in the articles are correct and some are incorrect," Jacobs said. "I won't elaborate any more."

During a lengthy session that chairwoman Carol McGowan repeatedly tried to expedite, the commission heard reports on the recommendations of the Conti commission and the financial mechanics of self-service and BetMate terminals.

Eugene A. Conti Jr., secretary of the state Department of Labor and Licensing, addressed "a sense of where" the industry is on subjects ranging from the legislature's pending financial aid package to the closing of the Bowie Training Center.

He also recommended regional cooperation, upgraded marketing efforts and Pimlico improvements.

On the issue of telephone wagering, he said his group has urged that the "commission take up that issue."

During his talk on automated betting, Jim Mango, chief administrative officer of Laurel and Pimlico, said "hundreds of Marylanders hold [betting] accounts in other states."

Notes: The panel approved wagering on Maryland racing on cruise ships that are outside U.S. territorial waters. Live racing at Rosecroft Raceway on Jan. 22 and Jan. 29, originally scheduled to be simulcast days, was approved. The commission also adopted regulations regarding misuse of the jockey's whip, the Bingo bet at thoroughbred tracks and the superfecta and Pick N bet at harness tracks.

Pub Date: 1/15/98

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