During the Marlboro Race Track's last meet in 1972. Irvin Kovens kept in steady contact with the track's trouble-shooter, telephoning regularly to ask if attendance was up and betting good, according to court testimony today.
The trouble-shooter, Charles J. (Chick) Lang general manager of Pimlico Race Course, testified that he agreed to help run the 18-day meet that year at the request of track president Eugene 3 casey. As he smoothed out a myriad of difficulties. Lang said, he received "half a dozen calls" from Kovens, who government prosecutors allege was a secret owner of Marlboro.
W. Dale Hess. Harry W. Rodgers III, william A Rodgers and Ernest N. Cory Jr, who along with Kovens are codefendants in the political corruption trial of their friend. Maryland Gov. Marvin Mandel, were owners although Cory was the only one acknowledged as such. The secrecy was necessary, the government claims, so the goverment could lobby for legistation favorable to the track.
Lang testified today that he got a call from "Mr. Kovens thanking me for helping Mr. Casey." Lang did not testify at Mandel's first trial, which ended in a mistrial, because Kovens was not a defendant then, having been excused for health reasons.
"He asked me how things He asked about the handle (amount bet at the track), the attendance, how business was."
Lang said Kovens and Casey were "as close as friends could be" and that be cons
Although Kovens denies that he held an interest in Marlboro, which is now defunct, the prosecution claims he was the major owner and that he used Irving T. Schwartz as his front on all documents.
Mandels's five codefendants, the governor abour $350,000 worht lobby for imported legislation pending in Annapolis in 1972, some of which led to handsome windfall profits for the track.
Although Kovens called regularly, Lang said, he saw the Baltimore millionair only once at the Marlboro track, for a lunch with Harry Rodgers and Schwartz.
When asked about the relationship between Kovens and Schwartz, Lang said he thought Kovens was the "boss or superior.?
A fixture on the Maryland racing scene "since the day I was born. Lang testified that Casey and Cory were feuding throughout the meet and that he warned multimillionair Casey not to take advantage a race with jockeys and then going to the betting window.
"Casey is one of the biggest horse bettors in the state," Land said.
Today's trial session began an hour late because an alternate juror. Grace Adams, was hospitalized with high blood pressure. Judge Robert L. Taylor removed her from jury duty today.