04/20/2004 11:00PM

Pimlico profit plunges in 2003

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The owners of Pimlico Race Course said the track's profit fell nearly 58 percent in 2003, according to a financial report filed this week with the Maryland Racing Commission.

Pimlico showed a profit of $671,000 on racing revenue of $27.6 million last year, compared with a profit of $1.6 million on racing revenue of $31.5 million in 2002. Nearly a third of Pimlico's racing revenue, 9.1 million, came on Preakness Day.

Pimlico's handle was $127.7 million in 2003, down 22.6 percent from 2002's $165 million. There were only 71 days of live racing at Pimlico in 2003, however, and 110 days in 2002.

Laurel Park, like Pimlico owned by the Maryland Jockey Club, had a loss of $4.5 million on racing revenue of $24.9 million in 2003, compared with a loss of $1.9 million on revenue of $22.6 million in 2002. Laurel's handle increased 15.1 percent in 2003, to $176.5 million from $153.4 million in 2002.