TIMONIUM, MD., JAN. 9 -- Rosecroft Raceway will open its 1991 racing season as scheduled Friday evening, as far as the Maryland Racing Commission is concerned.

The commission made no announcement regarding an operating license for the Rosecroft Racing and Trotting Association, nor did it publicly address Rosecroft's ability to conduct a meeting in light of the legal and financial problems facing track owner Mark Vogel.

"They're going to open up Friday," one commissioner said. "They're going to have the funds."

According to one source, the commission met with Rosecroft General Manager Jim Murphy in executive session this morning and determined the track has the funds to open and conduct racing Friday. A Maryland bank froze about $100,000 in Rosecroft's general operating account last week in initiating foreclosure proceedings against Vogel for default of a $10.9 million loan on the tracks.

Racing commission members said they have been advised by the state not to discuss Rosecroft following recent published comments. Commissioner Carol McGowan said only, "The bank's action changed the situation."

In another development, Rosecroft was able to fill only 10 of 12 scheduled races Saturday. The track will run 11 races Friday night.

Vogel, a prominent developer who recently pleaded guilty to a charge of cocaine possession, relinquished financial control of Rosecroft and Delmarva Downs after urging by the racing commission.

One source said racing commission chairman Ernest Colvin and associate Jack Mosner met with Gov. William Donald Schaefer this afternoon to explain developments involving Rosecroft.

"I've worked in a bank all my life -- the cash flow {at Rosecroft} is very, very healthy," Mosner said during today's open meeting. The comment came in response to an announcement by Tom Russow, president of Local 27 of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, who said the track is delinquent in paying health insurance premiums for almost 200 mutuel clerks, admissions and security personnel and parking attendants.

Russow also said he had reports that payroll checks have bounced, and he questioned whether Rosecroft would meet a $278,000 pension fund obligation, due Jan. 31.

Murphy said Rosecroft attempted to contact employees it believed might have uncashed payroll checks after First National Bank of Maryland froze the track's operating account. "We might have missed one or two people," he said. "We will make good those paychecks."

According to Murphy, the track intends to meet its pension requirements by late March. He called the insurance premium question "a non-issue."

"I wish I could do something to alleviate the uncertainty in everybody's mind," he said. "But I can't do that until the track opens."

Russow said union representatives will be at Rosecroft Friday "to make sure assurances are lived up to." He added, "We want a smooth opening and we want it to go well, but we're not going to work for nothing."

In other matters, the commission approved a request by Laurel Race Course to replace the late pick three with a late daily double. Track executive Martin Jacobs said the late double will cover consecutive races after the sixth but will not necessarily comprise the same races each day because the track must use live races in which there are no coupled entries. Jacobs said Laurel plans to introduce the wager this weekend.

Laurel also received clearance to operate Monday, Feb. 4, to make up for Tuesday's cancellation.

The commission heard a second presentation from the Maryland Standardbred Horsemen's Association, which seeks to replace the well-established Cloverleaf Standarbred Owners' Association in representing harness-horse owners, drivers and trainers.

The MSHA told racing commissioners it would like Maryland horsemen to choose between the two organizations in an election, but McGowan said the commission is not authorized to conduct such a vote.

The commission also summarized proposed rules changes concerning the anti-bleeding medication furosemide, better known as Lasix, but will not seek to adopt them until standardbred and thoroughbred horsemen have reviewed them. Under the proposed changes, 2-year-olds would be able to race with Lasix once certified as bleeders.

Special correspondent Jack Nowakowski contributed to this report.