06/24/2001 11:00PM

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The New Jersey Senate's Economic Growth, Agriculture and Tourism Committee passed a bill Monday morning authorizing offtrack betting and account wagering. The bill, which has already passed in the Assembly, is scheduled to be heard by the full Senate on Thursday. . . . The Sands Point Handicap, run on June 17 at Belmont Park and won by Tweedside, will be recorded as an ungraded stakes race, the American Graded Stakes Committee said Monday. The Sands Point is a Grade 3 race, but it was taken off the turf this year, requiring a one-grade downgrade by rule. . . . Sportswriter and commentator Frank Deford will be the featured speaker at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., on Aug. 6.