Although today is the deadline for Maryland's horse racing tracks to present their cases for distribution of next year's racing dates to the state racing commission, as of last evening no agreement had been reached. In fact, the controversy had taken on a new twist.
The last meeting of the racing commission was Oct. 17. Then, it appeared that Pimlico, a thoroughbred track, and Freestate, a harness track, were the key figures in the dispute. However, it now appears that Freestate and Rosecroft, another harness track, are at opposite sides.
When no mutually agreeable distribution of dates could be reached at the last meeting, the racing commission delayed its decision so the tracks could work out their problems.
Thoroughbred track representatives were vocal in their distaste for the delay. One official who asked to remain anonymous said, "I've got a folder with 10 racing schedules for the mile tracks with all sorts of options. But the harness people are holding up the schedule. Now, I understand Rosecroft has brought in attorney Pete O'Malley, a man with tremendous influence. And one can see that this game may never get off the ground. Bowie needs a quick decision so it can start its meeting on the 10th of December knowing what to do in 1985."
If the tracks can't agree, the commission will mandate dates.