An offer to purchase Pimlico Race Course, made several months ago by a group of Pikesville businessmen and summarily rejected, is the apparent source of continuing rumors that the track is for sale.

Ben Cohen, co-owner of the track, said today that the track is not for sale.

Track officials denied similar rumors in Annapolis Tuesday in an appearance before state lawmakers on another matter.

"The rumor is so far from reality that I do not want to dignify it with a comment," Cohen said.

The purchase offer was made earlier this year to Nathan Cohen, Ben's nephew, who refused to negotiate, it was learned.

The Maryland Racing Commission today denied the request of Laurel Race Course to install a twin trifecta form of wagering until several possible ramifications are cleared up.

The twin trifecta is a form of exotic wagering in which a player must pick in order the one, two and three finishers of two separate races. Delaware Park, which carries the $3 Twin Perfecta, has had several payoffs in six figures.

"We've made a study of the proposed twin trifecta and things like late scratches at the starting gate, consolation payoffs and the running of entries can still present problems as offered by Laurel," said Commission chairman E. William Furey. "We suggest that those items cited here today as possible difficulties be ironed out and resubmitted."

In other business conducted at the board's monthly meeting, the commission ordered Laurel to demonstrate that it can run its fall meeting, which is Sept. 22 through Dec. 31, with a 1 p.m. post time. The commission is concerned that when daylight savings time ends in late October, the last race will be run in darkness, posing a hazard to the horses and jockeys.