Maryland racing officials are upset over a recent series of articles in a Baltimore area black-interest newspaper that said it appears that blacks, who constitute a substantial portion of the racing community, have not been adequately represented in policy-making positions at area tracks and in job positions such as usher, car parker, mutuel employe, admission clerk and starting gate crew member.
Sam Siciliano, public relations director for Pimlico, said, "We have not had any qualified applicants. As a matter of fact, we haven't had any black applicants for most of the job openings that develop.
"We don't recruit people on the basis of color. If someone is qualified, that's the person we hire. I'll have a job opening in my department soon. I will, as I've always done, pick the best qualified person who applies. That's why Pimlico has been so successful as an institution."
Pimlico General Manager Chick Lang said, "I know the articles have little substance, so they don't bother me. What does bother me is that some good people got hurt for no reason."
The recent eviction from Pimlico of former jockey Ben Feliciano, who was reinstated as an exercise rider after being set down for six years for race fixing, has brought varying responses from the racing community.
Some feel that Feliciano should be allowed to work as an exercise rider and/or trainer. Racing fans are split on the decision of Pimlico management to invoke the "no trespassing" law that allows owners of private property to bar anyone from working on their premises.