09/29/2002 11:00PM

Keeneland mobile clerks to roam

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Keeneland Racecourse plans to expand the territory of its so-called mobile mutuel clerks at its upcoming October meet in response to good reviews of the experimental program earlier this year.

The mobile clerks will carry wireless handheld machines, similar to those in use at many car rental agencies, that can print tickets and cash wagers. The clerks will cover nearly every area of the track during the October meeting, scheduled for Oct. 4-26, according to Jim Williams, a spokesman for the track.

Keeneland employed as many as nine mobile clerks during its spring meet earlier this year, but they were limited to three of the track's dining rooms.

Maggie Johnson, Keeneland's director of simulcasting, said that the track conducted surveys after the spring meet that showed that fans "didn't want to stand in line to make a wager or cash a bet."

Keeneland equipped nearly every area of the track with wireless receivers to communicate with the track's tote system, Williams said. This meet, Keeneland plans to make at least 10 mobile clerks available on weekdays and will schedule up to 20 clerks for its busiest days, Williams said.