A group considering the purchase of Rosecroft Raceway and Delmarva Downs said it will not pursue the Maryland harness tracks unless owner Mark Vogel greatly reduces his asking price.
Former Maryland Racing Commission chairman E. William Furey said his group of prominent area businessmen has not spoken to Vogel about the tracks and would do so only after members return from a standardbred sale and race in Lexington, Ky., this weekend. However, Furey said the group would not enter into serious negotiations unless Vogel cut his price of $25 million to $30 million.
"I'd love to have someone explain to me how to justify that figure from an economic standpoint," said Furey, a senior partner in the law firm of Furey, Doolan and Abell. "We feel we have enough knowledge of the reality of the situation to rule out any pursuit in that price range."
Vogel, the multimillionaire developer who has a monopoly on harness racing in the state, said Thursday that profits from a $25 million sale would enable him to pay his debts and save a troubled real estate project in Prince George's County, the Villages of Belmont.
After he was arrested Sept. 13 on a charge of cocaine possession, Vogel relinquished control of his tracks amid revelations that he pledged some $2 million in track assets for purposes unrelated to racing.
The racing commission ordered a public accounting firm to determine the extent of the fiscal liabilities of Rosecroft and Delmarva. Those results might be available late next week, according to Ken Schertle, the commission's executive director.
Double Triple Grows
The double triple was not hit at Laurel Race Course again yesterday even though neither triple contained a horse with odds greater than 9-1. The carryover begins today at $126,538, largest in nearly three months.
The 4-9-14 combination in the third race produced 222 winning tickets, the top three -- Barbara's Cutlass, Silver Toy and Pick Angie -- having comprised a triple just 12 days ago. Speedy Landing, the 2-1 favorite taking a steep drop in claiming price, finished eighth after finding little room through most of the stretch.
Go Hush Hush won the fifth race at odds of 7-2, somewhat deceptive because the filly hadn't raced. Karen's Charge (7-1) drifted out considerably through the lane but managed to rally for second, barely beating out Bessiea (6-1). With that, the double triple remained unsolved this meeting, now 13 days. . . .
Southern Tradition, third or better in 13 career starts on turf, is the high-weighted favorite in today's $75,000 Martha Washington Handicap at Laurel. The roan filly -- a Henry Carroll-trained stablemate of Yankee Affair -- has finished no worse than second in seven straight outings. Edgar Prado was named to ride her in the 1 1/16-mile grass race, which drew 10 3-year-old fillies. . . .
Bolting Holme was thwarted in his attempt to tie Jilsie's Gigalo for the 1990 victory lead among thoroughbreds, finishing second in a starter-allowance race won by Rifleman.
Bolting Holme moved three-wide into the stretch to challenge the front-runners but couldn't keep up with Rifleman, who won by a length. After going without a victory the previous three years, the 8-year-old Bolting Holme has won 10 of 17 starts in 1990. . . .
Post time for Laurel's 14-race program Sunday, which begins with a simulcast of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, has been set for 11:30 a.m. The expanded card, with 12 live races, was approved by the racing commission after Laurel lost seven races Sept. 28 because of power failure.