06/10/2004 12:00AM

Maryland tracks in truce


Rosecroft Raceway, a Maryland harness track, and Maryland's Thoroughbred interests have agreed to a 90-day resumption of Thoroughbred simulcasting at Rosecroft and the return of night simulcasting at Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park

Representatives of the two sides began negotiating after Tuesday's Maryland Racing Commission meeting at which Thoroughbred leaders objected to Rosecroft's request to begin simulcasting Thoroughbred races without compensating the state's Thoroughbred interests. The commission did not rule on Rosecroft's requests, instead urging the two sides to work out an agreement.

According to Joe De Francis, the president of the Maryland Jockey Club, operator of Pimlico and Laurel, Thoroughbred racing simulcasts were set to return to Rosecroft on Thursday, and Pimlico and Laurel were set to open for evening simulcasting beginning Friday. Since April 19, a dispute over compensation had shut off Thoroughbred signals to Rosecroft and closed Laurel and Pimlico in the evening.

The agreement will last 90 days, said Alan Foreman, attorney for the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association. Tom Chuckas Jr., CEO of Rosecroft, told commissioners Tuesday that Rosecroft needed the revenue from Thoroughbred simulcasts to remain viable and to help it attract a buyer.