04/12/2006 12:00AM

Pope out at Louisiana Downs


Pat Pope, who has been the racing secretary at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, La., since 1985, confirmed Wednesday that he is no longer with the track. An official from Harrah's, which owns Louisiana Downs, said Pope tendered his resignation on Tuesday.

"He resigned his position to pursue other opportunities," said Mark Midland, the vice president of racing operations for Louisiana Downs.

Louisiana Downs is scheduled to open a race meet on May 5, and Midland said the search process for Pope's replacement has been put on the fast track.

Pope said he began working at Louisiana Downs as a claims clerk more than 25 years ago. He is the current racing secretary at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark.

Of track management, Pope said, "I think with racing in Louisiana, they're looking to go in another direction."

Last month, Ray Tromba, who worked for Louisiana Downs for 18 years, resigned his position as vice president of racing operations, and at the time confirmed that announcer Frank Mirahmadi was no longer with the track. Midland said the resignations are unrelated. A new announcer will be named soon, Midland said Wednesday.