Intertrack wagering moved closer to reality yesterday with a 39-4 vote for passage by the Maryland Senate, and officials of the state's two principal thoroughbred tracks said they expect to introduce the system on schedule when Pimlico opens March 4.

With intertrack wagering, fans at Laurel would be able to view and wager on races simulcast from Pimlico, their bets tied in with those at the Baltimore track.

At least initially, Laurel would open its Sports Palace and first-floor clubhouse to intertrack wagering. On weekends and holidays, the second-floor clubhouse also would be used. Admission would be $3 for the first floor clubhouse every day, $4 for the Sports Palace on weekdays and $5 on weekends, and $4 for the second-floor clubhouse. As usual, programs would be free with paid admission to the Sports Palace.

Parking would be free -- with a $2 preferred parking area also available -- and Laurel's gates would open 30 minutes later than Pimlico's: 11 a.m. on weekdays, 11:30 on weekends. Post time would be 1 p.m.

"At the live tracks, people will come early to look at the horses, the track condition, to take in the flavor of everything," said executive assistant Jim Mango. "Opening {Laurel} a half-hour later will put much less pressure on us."

Another reason for the later opening is to allow time for programs to be transported from Pimlico.

The system's audio-visual transmission will be tested the morning of March 1. "If that checks out, we fully expect to have everything in place for opening day," said Tom Manfuso, vice president and co-owner of Laurel and Pimlico. "At Laurel, all will be almost as if we were running the races out on the track. To people who normally stay in the Sports Palace, there won't be any difference."

Manfuso and Mango estimate Laurel will draw 1,600 fans on weekdays, 2,500 on Saturdays and 2,000 on Sundays, with an anticipated per capita betting handle of $165. Mango said Laurel would staff 40 mutuel clerks on weekdays, 60 on weekends.

Laurel would open concession stands and offer dining in the Sports Palace and Silk Room.

Davidson in Fair Condition

Jockey Jesse Davidson was reported to be in fair condition at Greater Laurel-Beltsville Hospital with kidney and bladder problems brought on by a spill at Laurel seven weeks ago.

Davidson, 47, was believed only to have suffered bruises when he was thrown by the filly Shatasha in the third race Jan. 7. After a three-week layoff, he resumed riding intermittently, but complications developed and Davidson was hospitalized. He has not ridden in a race since Feb. 9.

The 1965 national riding champion, Davidson has won with 17 of 251 mounts this meeting . . .

Forty Niner's narrow victory in the Fountain Of Youth Stakes solidified his position as future book favorite to win the Kentucky Derby.

The Frontier Race and Sports Book in Las Vegas made Forty Niner 6 to 1; Notebook, who lost the Fountain Of Youth by a nose to Forty Niner, is second choice at 8 to 1. Cherokee Colony, Mi Preferido and Tejano are 10 to 1.

Nine Maryland-based 3-year-olds were listed: Private Terms, 50 to 1; Thirty Eight Go Go, 60 to 1; Finder's Choice, Mister Modesty, Ocala Jet and Russian Diplomacy, 75 to 1; King's Snow, 100 to 1; Cameo Type and King's Nest, 150 to 1 . . .

Scratch time and the naming of riders at Pimlico will be 3 p.m. the preceding racing day. With Wednesdays dark, the deadline will be 3 p.m. Tuesday . . .

Jorge Velasquez became the fourth jockey in history to have mounts exceed $100 million in earnings when he finished fourth astride He's A Saros in the San Antonio Handicap at Santa Anita last week. Velasquez joined Laffit Pincay Jr., Angel Cordero Jr. and Bill Shoemaker.