07/15/2002 11:00PM

Etc. . . .

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The Maryland Racing Comission passed a rule on Monday banning the possession and use of erythropoietin, the blood-enhancing hormone popularly known as EPO. In the past few months, several states have passed rules banning the hard-to-detect drug, which is believed to be in widespread use in racing. . . .The New York Racing Association has moved up the planned date to begin cycling odds updates every 45 seconds to July 17 at Belmont Park. NYRA had initially planned to begin the experiment, which will lop 15 seconds off the current cycling time, on July 24 at the Saratoga Race Course meet. . . . Funeral services were held Sunday for veteran trainer N.W. "Bill" Jenkins, who died on July 9 at age 82. Jenkins, a trainer for 40 years and best known for developing the 1994 Appaloosa world champion Count Double, is survived by his his wife, Octavia, seven children, and 18 grandchildren. . . . Entries are being taken for the second annual Willie Bird's Horsemen's Golf Tournament scheduled for Tuesday, July 30, the lone dark day at the Sonoma County Fair meeting, at Foxtail Golf Club in Rohnert Park. The entry fee is $75 with a July 22 deadline. For information, call George Simpson (916) 847-7856.