Mark Vogel, a District-based real estate developer, is expected to make an official tender offer for controlling interest of Rosecroft Raceway within the next several days.

Vogel sent a letter to the Oxon Hill harness racing track's board of directors, offering $2,000 per share, according to Earle Palmer Brown, Rosecroft's chairman of the board. Brown said up to 3,000 shares could be tendered.

"The board of directors did not make a positive recommendation," Brown said. "We just passed along the facts in the case. My information is he is going to go ahead with his tender offer."

Vogel could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Ladner Back in the Saddle

Clarence (JoJo) Ladner is almost fully recovered from back injuries suffered in a Sept. 29 spill at Pimlico. He's progressed significantly at Laurel this week, benefiting from something no doctor could give him: an opportunity.

On Tuesday, Ladner began riding on a trial basis for trainer Dennis Heard, who is looking for a jockey now that Tammi Campbell has returned to Suffolk Downs. Heard, who brought nearly 30 horses from New Jersey to Laurel last month, trains exclusively for owner Glenn Lane, and the outfit believes in employing a single jockey.

"Glenn and I have a special, unique relationship," Heard said. "We both like the 100 percent dedication we offer each other. And we expect that from our rider."

Ladner, 22, has won stakes races, but perhaps none were as important as two claiming races he won for Heard this week -- the first two he rode for the outfit.

"This is a very big opportunity for me," Ladner said. "I've never really had a chance to ride for an operation of that caliber, and I guess I was a little nervous. But once the gate opens, you concentrate on race riding; anything else going on in your life just doesn't come to mind."

Stewards Uphold Decision

The Maryland Racing Commission upheld its ruling on an incident in a July 26 race at Pimlico that involved Goose Bumps and Rocket Guitar.

The commission upheld its reversal of the stewards' disqualification of Goose Bumps, placing him first and Rocket Guitar second. Rocket Guitar representatives said they will take the case to circuit court

Yesterday at Laurel, Kent Desormeaux rode five winners on the 10-race card and increased his lead to 27-11 over Mario Pino.