09/09/2001 11:00PM

Keeneland plans new multi-race bets


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Keeneland Race Course hopes to link several of its upcoming major stakes in multirace wagers with events from other major jurisdictions, a track official said Monday at a regularly scheduled meeting of the Kentucky Racing Commission.

Keeneland's director of racing, Rogers Beasley, received permission from the commission to finalize a "pick two" linking the Breeders' Futurity and the Champagne Stakes from Belmont on Oct. 6. Also, the track is seeking a pick four on Oct. 7 combining the Spinster Stakes and Shadwell Mile with the Goodwood Breeders' Cup Stakes and Oak Tree BC Mile from Santa Anita.

Keeneland also received permission to conduct a daily pick five, which will have a carryover provision, at the 17-day fall meet that begins Oct. 5.

The Keeneland requests were part of an abbreviated meeting during which the commission also:

* Announced that a committee composed primarily of members of the commission's Equine Drug Council has been formed to discuss equine medication issues with a similar committee from the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.

* Announced that Jan. 1 is the target date for awarding a new contract for chemical analysis of postrace tests at state racetracks. So far, five laboratories have submitted notification that they will bid, said Bernie Hettel, the commission's executive director.

* Heard a presentation from local handicapper Don "Hee Haw" Alvey, who said the betting public frequently is cheated in regard to issues such as workout information and disclosure of when a horse has been gelded.

"There's a saying that the customer is king," said Alvey. "I'm here to tell you that's not so in racing."

Hettel responded by saying that statutes regarding workouts "are being strictly adhered to, within reason," and that the release of gelding information "is going to get better" because of planned changes.