06/15/2001 12:00AM

Boycott at Rockingham


Some horsemen at Rockingham Park responded on Friday to a temporary restraining order prohibiting them from blocking the sale of Rockingham's simulcast signal by boycotting the entry box for Sunday.

Although the racing office received 65 entries on Friday for Sunday's nine-race card and had to drop one race, track officials said they would hold live racing on Sunday despite the boycott. "It's a little slow, but we managed to put together a program," said Ed Callahan, Rockingham's general manager, on Friday afternoon.

Horsemen and the track are fighting over the percentage of money from simulcasting that the purse account receives. Horsemen want purses to get 5.25 percent of simulcasting revenues, up from the current 4 percent. Rockingham has been operating without a purse contract since opening on Sunday, June 10. Negotiations were said to be stalled on Friday.

Rockingham got the restraining order Friday after horsemen rescinded their permission for the track to simulcast, citing rights under the federal Interstate Horse Racing Act. A hearing has been scheduled on Monday in a New Hampshire district court to determine if the horsemen's withdrawal should be recognized.

Callahan said that no new negotiations were scheduled as of Friday night. "I'm going to my son's high school graduation, in fact," he said. "But I'll be around all weekend if someone wants to call."