Charles Town (W. Va.) Race Course -- Nine regularly scheduled races Wednesday through Saturday nights beginning at 7:15; 10 races on Sundays, beginning at 1:30 p.m. Closed-circuit TV showing of feature races from New York State tracks. Admission to the clubhouse, $3 a person; grandstand, $1.50. If you prefer the dining room to a picnic, call and reserve a table. Although most boxes are sold on an annual basis, some may be available. Check at the admissions office, 737-2323 toll-free from the metropolitan area, or (304) 725-7001.

Take Rte. 270 N to Frederick, then Rte. 340 to harles Town and the race track. "You come up over the hill and there it is," says a spokesperson. "It just sort of hits you in the face."

Laurel (Md.) Race Course--Holds its first summer meet in 20 years with Monday-through- Saturday races May 24-July 19. Post time is 2 p.m. Admission to the air-conditioned stands, $3 and $6. Dining room, for which reservations are recommended. Picknickers can settle in around the paddock area, where there are eight pari-mutuel windows making it possible to bet while you eat. On May 31 and July 5, the infield also will be open for picnickers. 725-0400.

Pimlico Race Course--Season ends May 22. Until then, nine races daily (except Sunday) beginning at 1 p.m., except for the Preakness May 15, when post time is at noon. Admission to grandstand, $3; clubhouse, $5. Reservations for the dining room are advisable weekdays and necessary on weekends. Take Hwy. 95 north to Beltway 695 toward Towson, exit 18 east toward Lochearn. Go about a 1 1/2-2 miles to Northern Parkway and turn left. Go through three traffic lights and follow the signs to the right to Pimlico, (301) 542-9400.

Three steeplechase meets are:

* May 15--Radnor Hunt Races in Malvern, Chester County, Pa. (For information contact Scott Schroeder, 215-388-7601).

* May 22 and May 31, Fair Hill, Md. (Contact Steve Groat, 301-398-6565.)