Keeneland races available again in mid-Atlantic

Horse Racing

October 10, 2001|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

Patrons of Maryland horse tracks and off-track-betting centers can watch and wager on races from Keeneland beginning today.

The MidAtlantic Cooperative, a group of 17 tracks including Pimlico and Laurel Park, reached an agreement yesterday with Keeneland that will allow the Keeneland signal to flow into Maryland betting facilities. The mid-Atlantic tracks had refused to simulcast Keeneland races after Keeneland lowered its takeout, cutting into the receiving tracks' profits.

Martin Lieberman, executive director of the cooperative, declined to reveal specifics of the deal. The mid-Atlantic tracks had wanted Keeneland to cut its fee for selling the signal.

William Rickman Jr. and William Rickman, the son and father who own Ocean Downs harness track, have signed a contract to buy the Cambridge Plaza Shopping Center on Route 50 in which they plan to open an off-track betting facility.

The Rickmans would have to gain approval for an OTB from Cambridge officials and the Maryland Racing Commission. The Eastern Shore has not had an off-track betting center since The Shoals in Cambridge closed two years ago.

The Rickmans also own Delaware Park racetrack and want to build a horse track in Allegany County. Rickman Jr. said the OTB could open within a year.

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