Timonium Race Track, Maryland's only half-mile course still in operation, was denied a 2 p.m. starting time by the Maryland Racing Commission today after hearing testimony from interested parties at its regular meeting.
Timonium, which had been granted a 10-race program for Saturdays and holidays in its Aug. 13-Sept. 29 meet, was turned down by the commission, 3-2, in a bid to move post time from 1 to 2 p.m. Commissioner Frank Cucchia explained, "The later starting time would incovenience the track employes, bring possible problems with the area residents and disrupt a long-standing tradition for those who like to lunch at the track."
There has been much acrimony in past years between the mile tracks and the Timonium organization, with the milers claiming that the insertion of the Timonium dates causes disruption of a otherwise productive schedule.
Pimlico owner Ben Cohen has said, "Timonium disrupts our schedule and brings less revenue to the state. It (Timonium) should run (its) allotted dates at the milers. Their dates should be confined to the 12 days during the Timonium Fair."
Judge Kenneth Proctor, newest member of the commission, reflected the view of the state legislators when he said, "I voted for the 2 p.m. starting time because Timonium should be helped out at this time."
In other commission business, horse owner Lester W. Schrieber of New Jersey was not persuasive in his appeal for the commission to overturn a steward's ruling that disqualified his horse, C. North, from third money on Feb. 2 because the jockey did not carry the proper weight. Schrieber contended that the blame for the jockey (Barry Mackaben) not having claimed the proper apprentice allowance should have been that of his (the jockey's) agent and/or that of the clerk of scales.