12/14/2001 1:00AM

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The Baltimore radio station WBAL has been selected as the winner of the 2001 Eclipse Award for audio for its coverage of the Preakness Stakes this year, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Friday. The broadcast, produced by Mark Miller and aired on May 19, 2001, garnered the fourth Eclipse Award for radio coverage won by WBAL. . . . John Tierney, the director of security for the New York Racing Association, said on Friday that the New York State Racing and Wagering Board has begun helping NYRA investigate the pick four payoff on Nov. 15, which was one-fifth the value of a parlay wager. One-hundred and forty-eight of the 164 $1 winning tickets on the pick four were bet through Las Vegas and Birmingham - the hub for a number of offshore rebate shops - and Tierney said that investigators are currently attempting to identify the players who cashed the bets as part of the ongoing investigation. . . . The Association of Racing Commissioners of International approved a model rule last week to designate benzylpiperazine, a stimulant similar to ecstasy, a Class 1 drug, according to Lonny Powell, president of the RCI. The group also approved a rule making the administration of EPO, the blood-enhancing agent for which no reliable detection test exists, a "prohibited practice."