10/01/2002 12:00AM

Philly-owned firm files for license

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A company owned by Philadelphia Park has applied for a racing license for a new Thoroughbred track in Chester, Pa., a Philadelphia suburb on the Delaware River.

The company, Seaport Park Racing Association, filed the application at last week's meeting of the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission. At that meeting, the commission approved a license for a new Thoroughbred track in Erie, in the state's northwest corner.

Officials at Philadelphia Park did not return phone calls on Tuesday. Hal Handel, the track's chief executive officer, was quoted in the Philadelphia Inquirer as saying that the facility would have a five-furlong track with a six-furlong chute, and would include a hotel and convention space. A separate group has filed a license application with the state's harness racing commission for a new harness track in Chester.

The scramble for new licenses is being prompted by the widely held opinion that slots are going to be legalized at Pennsylvania tracks in the next year. Both of the state's gubernatorial candidates have endorsed slots at tracks.