04/04/2003 12:00AM

Etc. . . .

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U.S. racetracks distributed $208.8 million in purses in the first three months of 2003, an increase of 4.3 percent over the first quarter of 2002, according to the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. Total wagering, however, dipped 1.17 percent, in large measure because of a 1.82 percent drop in the number of racing days, the NTRA said. . . . Sean Greely, the racing secretary at Monmouth Park for the past three years, has been fired and will be replaced by Mike Dempsey, his predecessor, Monmouth racing officials said Friday. As part of the change, Robert Kulina, Monmouth's vice president of Thoroughbred racing, said he would take a more "hands-on" role in the operation of the racing office. . . .Woodbine cancelled its Friday afternoon Thoroughbred card because of poor racing conditions resulting from a major ice storm that hit the Toronto area Thursday night. Ice pellets and freezing rain were expected to continue falling throughout Friday, possibly putting Saturday's Woodbine program in jeopardy.