11/11/2003 1:00AM

Hollywood signal in dispute


Unable to finalize a contract with Churchill Downs Inc., owner of Hollywood Park, a group of at least nine tracks, including Fair Grounds and Oaklawn Park, did not simulcast Tuesday's opening-day program from Hollywood.

The tracks are working together as a group called the Southern Racing Cooperative. That group and the Churchill Downs Simulcast Network were in discussions Tuesday.

Bobby Geiger, spokesman for the group and the simulcast director for Oaklawn, said, "Complications developed, and until they are resolved, the Southern Racing Cooperative tracks are delaying importing the Hollywood Park signal. But we have a good dialog, and don't expect a long delay."

Hollywood Park did not race Wednesday, and was to resume racing Thursday. Among the tracks that did not take Hollywood on Tuesday were Prairie Meadows, Sam Houston Race Park, Retama Park, Delta Downs, Sunland Park, Sun Ray Park, and Beulah Park. They did, however, continue to take the Churchill Downs signal.

Lone Star Park and Remington Park, both owned by Magna Entertainment, and Louisiana Downs did take the signal from Hollywood on Tuesday.

Karl Schmitt, president of CDSN, was in meetings and not available for comment by press time Tuesday.