02/27/2003 1:00AM

Equibase won't use new system


A newly installed system for determining margins at the points of call for harness races at The Meadowlands will not be used by Equibase, Thoroughbred racing's data-collection company, officials for Equibase said Thursday.

The Meadowlands system will use three new photo-finish cameras at each quarter-mile pole and another at the eighth pole to determine margins accurate to 1/1000th of a second at the points of call in harness races, according to Meadowlands officials. The new cameras are identical to the one already used to determine beaten lengths at the finish line.

The system, installed by American Teletimer, will be used to determine margins in harness races beginning Saturday night, Meadowlands officials said.

Chuck Scaravilli, the data collection manager for Equibase, said that because harness races are run exclusively at one mile, a system of four permanent cameras is perfect for charting harness races.

For Thoroughbred races, run at varying distances in which the points of call change from race to race, the installation of perhaps a dozen cameras or the nearly constant relocation of existing cameras would be required.

"Logistically," said Scaravilli, the Meadowlands system "doesn't make sense, even though it's perfect for what they are doing."