Requests for 1986 dates by Laurel, Pimlico and the state's three harness tracks have been made to the Maryland State Racing Commission and are expected to be approved at the commission's November meeting.
Laurel seeks a total of 148 days for the year, divided into three meetings. The first 38 days would run from Jan. 1 through Feb. 16. The second, 35-day meeting would begin June 1 and run through July 11. The final fall-winter meeting would be 75 days, Oct. 3-Dec. 31.
The Pimlico schedule would also be for 148 racing days to be spread over three meetings: Feb. 17-May 31, July 12-Aug. 22 and Sept. 2-Oct. 2.
The pacing/trotting schedule would begin with Rosecroft operating 82 nights, Jan. 24-May 14. Freestate would follow for 115 nights, May 19-Oct. 4. Rosecroft would close out the season with 57 nights, Oct. 8-Dec. 30. Ocean Downs has requested 85 nights, May 16 through Sept. 6.
John C. Heil's Island Champ, winner of the John B. Campbell Handicap in 1984, has been retired from racing and will stand at stud at Willow Farm near Westminster, Md. The 5-year-old son of Dancing Champ was trained throughout his career by former major league baseball player Hank Allen and earned $293,693.
Sportscaster Jim McKay of ABC will receive the Maryland Racing Writers' Humphrey S. Finney award in recognition of his initiation and development of the Maryland Million race series to be held in the fall of 1986.
McKay will be honored at the writers' 48th annual awards dinner in Baltimore Nov. 13. Trainer Hubert (Sonny) Hine, trainer of Skip Trial, upset conqueror of Spend a Buck in the Haskell Handicap at Monmouth, also will be cited.
Naughty Jimmy, a veteran campaigner in the claiming ranks, won his 20th race yesterday as he gamely withstood the late run of Majestic Solo in the Laurel feature. Diamonds N Ashes was a distant third.
The victory by Naughty Jimmy, a 9-year-old gelding ridden by Ron Franklin, brought his career earnings above $300,000. The son of Roanoke Island paid $8.40 after running the mile in 1:37 3/5 over a sloppy strip.