03/07/2003 1:00AM

Judge rules for Mountaineer


A District Court judge in West Virginia has denied a request by horsemen to bar Mountaineer Park from taking simulcasts.

The Mountaineer Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association had filed a preliminary injunction against simulcasting at Mountaineer because of a dispute over the number of live racing days the track has scheduled in 2003.

But in the Thursday ruling, District Court Judge Frederick P. Stamp Jr. said that horsemen could not bar Mountaineer from simulcasting because of a dispute over racing days, citing separate contracts for simulcasting rights and racing dates.

In his ruling, Stamp wrote that "because there was in fact a separate agreement dealing with the number of live racing days, the HBPA had no right to unilaterally amend the simulcast agreement."

Mountaineer Park is scheduled to run 211 live racing dates in 2003, after having run 230 live dates in 2002. Horsemen had pushed for as many as 250 this year.