Leading driver Steve Warrington dropped his plan yesterday to seek an injunction that would have enabled him to race immediately at Rosecroft Raceway. He concluded that he had little chance of winning the battle in court.

Warrington was barred from Rosecroft and Delmarva Downs on July 29 by Jim Murphy, president of both tracks. On Monday, Murphy lifted that ban, allowing Warrington to return to Delmarva immediately and to Rosecroft on Aug. 20. Both tracks are owned by Mark Vogel.

On Tuesday, Warrington said that despite the change in his exclusion in Maryland, he still would pursue the injunction to participate in numerous Sire Stakes races scheduled before Aug. 20. Warrington's attorney, William Renahan, said an injunction was possible because of the monopoly ownership of harness tracks in Maryland. Some courts have been more restrictive about exclusionary powers in such states.

Warrington said he changed his mind because "I talked to my attorney and a few other people about it. We had them on this monopoly thing. But when they dropped that exclusion to Delmarva, I couldn't beat it. {Rosecroft's} attorney would have shown up with a stack of cases backing their side. It's hopeless at this point."

Regarding Warrington's decision not to seek an injunction, Murphy said: "We view this as a positive step to put this matter behind us. It was never our intention to have a long, drawn-out legal battle, though we were ready to defend the decision."

Murphy would not comment on the legal specifics of the case, but said: "We thought our legal position was strong all along."

Warrington insists he no longer will race in Maryland on a regular basis because of what has transpired in the past two weeks. He said he probably will start driving at Freehold (N.J.) Raceway, but that two other tracks, which he declined to name, have asked him to move his stable to their areas. Simulcasting Pros

Ask area fans and horsemen about the state of Maryland harness racing and they moan about the decreasing handle that foreshadows the possible demise of the sport. But according to Murphy, a proper understanding of simulcasting in the state makes things appear much healthier.

"What we're doing is unique," Murphy said about the Rosecroft and Delmarva intertrack simulcasting. "We're doing better than we thought we would be doing. But people are looking in the paper at the handle and getting the wrong idea."

The simulcasting has resulted in a confusing game of numbers played by Rosecroft management. Since simulcasting began in May, the handle reported for Rosecroft included the amount bet at Rosecroft on live races and the amount bet at Delmarva on Rosecroft's races. For last Saturday, that figure was $502,717.

But another way of looking at it, Murphy said, was the amount bet in-house at Rosecroft; that is, the amount bet at Rosecroft on live racing and on Delmarva's races. Using this approach, last Saturday's handle was $570,180.

The difference is significant and important to horsemen, because the purses at Rosecroft are determined by the money bet at Rosecroft, whether it is wagered on live races or simulcasted races.

"I think there's so much confusion," Murphy said about the handle figures. "In total, it's better. It's about 6 percent higher {than 1989} at the same time the thoroughbreds {Laurel's recently concluded meet} were down 6 percent." . . .

The best race at Rosecroft is currently among the track's top drivers. On Sunday night Jim Morand, who had a hot hand last week, tied Don Irvine, Jr. as the top driver of this meet. Both have 72 victories. Steve Warrington is third with 55 wins.