03/14/2003 1:00AM

Portland seeks new machines


Portland Meadows is bidding to have Instant Racing machines installed before the start of its next scheduled meeting, which begins in October.

Instant Racing, currently in use at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas, has patrons wager at video terminals on previously run races. While some handicapping information is provided, the names of the horses are concealed.

Under state law, the Oregon Racing Commission can approve the use of the machines without further action from the state legislature, according to Jody Hanson, the commission's executive secretary.

"We're going over the proposed rules now," said Hanson, "and we will hold a public hearing on them, probably at our April meeting."

Portland Meadows, which has offered a limited number of highly popular video poker machines in past years, hopes to have similar success with Instant Racing machines.

"We hope they can provide a means for us to increase our revenue and our purses," said Jeff Grady, the track's general manager.