03/08/2002 1:00AM

Remington asks shorter meet

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Remington Park in Oklahoma City has asked the Oklahoma Racing Commission for permission to shorten its Thoroughbred meet from the awarded 102 days to 76. The season, which was to begin Aug. 3, would now start Aug. 10 and run through Dec. 23, if the request clears the commission at its March 28 meeting.

The reduction would give Remington five fewer Thoroughbred dates than it raced in 2001, when the track conducted a 22-day winter-spring meet at the start of the year and a 59-day fall meet. This year, Remington did not renew its winter-spring meet, but boosted its dates request to 102 days, making the number of Thoroughbred dates scheduled close to the 95 run in 2000, when the track also conducted two meets for Thoroughbreds.

Frank Deal, general manager of Remington, did not return a call seeking comment by press time Friday, but the date reduction is expected to buoy purses at the meet. Last year, Remington conducted its first full Thoroughbred meet under the lights, and attendance was down 4 percent and handle was down 9 percent from the same meet a year ago. Daily purses, however, rose 3 percent to $100,325.