01/12/2005 1:00AM

Md. approves Rosecroft sale


The Maryland Racing Commission granted unanimous approval on Tuesday for the sale of Rosecroft Raceway to Georgia K. Angelos, wife of Peter G. Angelos, majority owner of the Baltimore Orioles.

Rosecroft, a harness track in Prince George's County, has been mentioned prominently as a potential site for slot machines. With the debate over legalizing the machines expected to heat up again in the legislative session that opened Wednesday, Rosecroft's new ownership will likely assume a central role.

Georgia Angelos, operating as Rosecroft Holdings, is expected to consummate the deal in 30 to 60 days.

Peter Angelos has been involved in the horse business for more than 25 years. He owns, breeds, and races Thoroughbreds. As majority owner of the Orioles, Angelos is prohibited by Major League Baseball from owning a racetrack. Louis, his son, who attended the meeting as Rosecroft Holdings's attorney, said that Peter Angelos would have no formal involvement in Rosecroft Raceway, but that "we'll certainly draw on his knowledge and experience."

Rosecroft Holdings will pay $13 million for the track, according to documents filed with the racing commission.

The sales agreement guarantees 150 days of racing and purses of about $43,000 a day. Last year, Rosecroft raced 117 days and distributed approximately $41,000 a day. The agreement also stipulates that if slots come to Rosecroft, 8 percent of the owner's share will be added to purses.