The Maryland Thoroughbred Commission voted yesterday to raise its admission prices by $1 and is also studying a possible revision of rules regarding violations of the use of the drugs Bute and Lasix.
The commission, by a 4-to-1 vote, gave approval to Laurel for admssion prices of $3 for the grandstand and $5 for the clubhouse.
Commissioner Frank Cuccia, the dissenter, said, "The raise is too high. The public is being taken again. Why the grandstand increase? I would be in favor of the clubhouse admission being raised $1. I think they can afford it better."
John Mooney, Laurel general manager, said, "Laurel needs the added revenue to maintain good service. Laurel does not make money. Anyone who thinks that Mr. (John) Schapiro and Mr. (Ben) Cohen, private operators of Laurel and Pimlico, aren't sportsmen are simply not aware of the facts."
Mooney estimated the increase would net Laurel more than $450,000 in its 60-day meeting starting Oct. 20.
The motion to reconsider the rules regarding tolerances for Bute and Lasix was raised by Fendall Clagett, area representative of the horsemen.
Clagett said that the rule that allows only 2 micrograms of drug per milliliter of plasma is not workable. Clagett testified that there is mounting evidence that the testing of blood is not as reliable as first believed. He said that he would provide the commission with facts at its next meeting if given the time. The commission voted to give him until next month to prove his case.
In other commission business, a request by attorney Oliver Goldsmith for the commission to consider a plan that would sell Bowie Race Course to the state and give its racing dates to Laurel and Pimlico was tabled.
Trainer Scott Regan was exonerated on one charge of a violation of the rules regarding Bute and Lasix and found guilty of another dealing with the use of procaine.