12/17/2003 1:00AM

Etc. . . .

Email

Opponents and supporters of a bill legalizing slot machines at eight tracks in New York appeared in a New York state appeals court on Tuesday to give arguments in a case challenging the constitutionality of the law. The three-judge panel is expected to rule on the case in February. . . . High Chaparral narrowly edged Falbrav in the final standings among horses for the World Series Racing Championships, a series of 12 Grade 1 or Group 1 races contested in 10 different countries. . . Paul Ryneveld has been hired as Emerald Downs's director of racing, the track announced Wednesday. Ryneveld, previously director of racetrack operations at Sunland Park in New Mexico, replaces Grant Holcomb, who resigned last month after serving as Emerald's director of racing since the track opened in 1996. . . . Early nominations to be eligible for the three Triple Crown races - the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes - will be due on Jan. 17 at a cost of $600 each, Triple Crown Productions announced on Wednesday. After Jan. 17, late nominations for all three races will cost $6,000. . . . Smoke Till Dawn, a 4-year-old gelding scoring his fourth straight victory, set a Golden Gate Fields track record for six furlongs with a 1:07.45 clocking in a $16,000 claiming race Wednesday. El Dorado Shooter set the old record of 1:07.55 on Jan. 20, 2001.