04/19/2004 11:00PM

Rockingham eyes dual meets


Rockingham Park in New Hampshire is considering holding a brief Thoroughbred meet later this year and a longer meet in 2005 after legislation was recently passed allowing the track to hold dual racing licenses, a track official said Tuesday.

Ed Callahan, Rockingham's general manager, said the track may hold a series of grass races for Thoroughbreds over Labor Day weekend provided it can get a Thoroughbred license. State legislation passed last week removed restrictions that limited New Hampshire tracks to either a harness or Thoroughbred license. The legislation will take effect at the beginning of June.

"We're looking at our options," Callahan said. "Obviously, we're already well into this year, but at least we could try for an application."

Rockingham Park last held a Thoroughbred meet in 2002, but it stopped Thoroughbred racing after failing to reach an agreement with its horsemen. The track is scheduled to conduct a five-month harness meet this year beginning in May.

Callahan said track officials have not determined how long a Thoroughbred meet would last in 2005. "We're still working all that out," he said.