05/15/2008 12:00AM

Florida sites will get Preakness signal


The Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association has approved the export of the stakes-filled race cards from Pimlico Race Course on Friday and Saturday to sites in Florida, temporarily lifting a blackout of Maryland signals there.

The Maryland horsemen lifted the restriction on Thursday night after reaching an agreement with the owner of Calder Race Course, Churchill Downs Inc., to place in escrow all the wagering revenues from the simulcasts. The Maryland horsemen have blocked the export of the signal from Pimlico to Calder in solidarity with Florida horsemen, who have failed to reach an agreement with Calder over a purse contract since the track opened on April 17.

Under Florida law, the live Thoroughbred racetrack determines which simulcast signals are exported to all other state betting sites. Without the Maryland horsemen’s approval of the export, horseplayers in Florida would have been prohibited from wagering on the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes on Friday and the Preakness Stakes on Saturday.