The Maryland Racing Commission reversed itself today and withdrew a five-day suspension meted out to State Racing Steward Clinton Pitts Jr. Tuesday.
Pitts was suspended by Commission Chairman Robert Banning for "using inappropriate language" when responding to another commissioner, Robert Furtick, over failure to scratch Dear Rossi from Saturday's third race.
The withdrawal of the suspension was not requested by Pitts or his attorney, Glen Bushell of Baltimore. Bushell said, "It appears that the commission may be having a change of heart and I will not comment on the matter until they make anything they decide official."
Todd Taylor, assistant attorney general representing the commission, said, "All I can say is that the commission withdrew-that is the word they used-the suspension of Pitts. The reasons are their own."
Asked of there were legal technicalities involved in the surprise decision, Taylor replied. "No the suspension was legal and its withdrawal is also legal. The Commission will meet again very shortly-within a few days. I would say-and would make their views on this and other matters know."
Earlier today, Pitts announced he would not be replaced for the term of the suspension even though it was to have begun today.
Furtick was asked before the announcement of the withdrawal if the commission had had a change of heart.
He declined comment and referred all questions to the assistant attorney general.
The suspension of Pitts was the first for a high racing official in Maryland.