Race commission to appeal simulcast ruling Group joins Jockey Club to fight cross-breed decision favorable to Rosecroft

October 28, 1998|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

The Maryland Racing Commission will join the Maryland Jockey Club in appealing a judge's decision favorable to Rosecroft Raceway in the debate over cross-breed simulcasting.

At their meeting yesterday at Laurel Park, the commissioners voted to appeal the ruling by Prince George's County Circuit Court Judge James J. Lombardi. Last month, Lombardi overturned a decision by the racing commission denying Rosecroft Raceway, a harness track in Prince George's County, the right to simulcast thoroughbred races without sharing revenues with the state's thoroughbred horsemen, breeders and tracks.

The Maryland Jockey Club of Pimlico and Laurel Park, the state's major thoroughbred tracks, also plans to appeal.

Cross-breed simulcasting involves harness tracks televising and accepting bets on thoroughbred races and thoroughbred tracks doing the same with harness races.

Traditionally, tracks in Maryland have shared revenues from cross-breed simulcasting. Representatives of harness and thoroughbred racing have been negotiating for months on a new revenue-sharing plan.

Those negotiations have ceased, pending the outcome of this latest turn in the proceedings.

The commission also approved racing dates next year for Pimlico, Laurel Park, Timonium, Fair Hill, Rosecroft Raceway and Bally's at Oceans Downs. The dates are nearly identical to this year's. The thoroughbreds will run at Laurel Park Jan. 1-March 28; Pimlico March 29-June 20; Laurel June 21-Aug. 27; Timonium Aug. 28-Sept. 6; Pimlico Sept. 7-27; Laurel Sept. 27-Dec. 31.

Dennis Dowd, president of Ocean Downs, asked the commission to bar Rosecroft Raceway from racing on the same nights in July and August as Ocean Downs. His request was promptly denied.

Finally, the commission postponed until its next meeting renewing permits for the state's off-track betting facilities. Commissioners said they wanted to review financial records of the facilities after Cap Mona, owner of the Port Tobacco site, said his and other OTBs are losing money.

"It's non-profit organizations we're all running," Mona said.

He complained of a lack of cooperation from officials of the Maryland Jockey Club. Commissioner Ernest J. Colvin urged Marty Jacobs, general counsel of the Maryland Jockey Club, to sit down with the OTB owners "and see if you can't help one another."

Pub Date: 10/28/98

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.