08/02/2001 11:00PM

Wygod to meet with TVG over phone revenue


DEL MAR, Calif. - Horse owner Marty Wygod said he planned to talk with officials of Television Games Network Friday to discuss revenue distribution generated from possible telephone betting in California.

Wygod has said that he believes California racing could be hurt in the short-term if telephone betting is approved.

The legislation is on the desk of Gov. Gray Davis, who is scheduled to return from vacation on Sunday. Davis is expected to make a decision in the next week on the telephone betting bill. Last year, Davis vetoed similar legislation saying he did not want an expansion of gambling in the state.

Wygod is concerned that telephone betting will lead to fewer ontrack customers and result in a loss of purse revenue. There is widespread belief between owners and track officials that telephone betting could eventually result in higher purses, but that such benefits could take several years.

Wygod said he wants assurances from TVG that some of the revenue generated from telephone betting would go toward purses in the event of widespread declines in ontrack betting.

"My only agenda is to get it passed with protection," he said. "If we get a precedent set that we're protected on the downside, we can work from there."

Wygod said he wants negotiations completed with TVG before Davis makes his decision.

"If we wait to negotiate on the bill when it is passed, we lose our leverage," he said. "It would be nice to have protection so we don't have to suffer the first few years. If purses go down, the good stables will move east and the racing will deteriorate."

Wygod is seeking support from the board of directors of the Thoroughbred Owners of California, the organization that negotiates purse contracts on behalf of horsemen.

"Every member of that board has a fiduciary responsibility to the horsemen," Wygod said.

Wygod also called a meeting for horsemen and racing officials for Saturday morning on the Del Mar backstretch to provide an update on the issues. A two-hour meeting on telephone betting was held with horsemen last week.

"The main thing is to have this passed and for the Governor to know on Monday that we're all behind it," Wygod said.

Collect Call to stay home

Collect Call, who finished third in the Kentucky Oaks, will not be shipped to Saratoga for the $750,000 Alabama Stakes on Aug. 18 after emerging from a third-place finish in an allowance race at Del Mar on Thursday with an illness.

Sent off at 7-10, Collect Call was fifth early and closed little ground in the stretch, losing by five lengths to Favorite Funtime ($10.20). After the race, trainer Christopher Paasch said Collect Call was found to have bled.

"She wasn't cooling out right," Paasch said. "We scoped her and she was full of mucus. I was pretty frustrated after the race. Now, we've got an answer.

"We have cancelled plans for the Alabama. Sometimes, it takes a week or two for them to get over something like this."

Euchre may head east for Iselin

Euchre, the winner the of the Cornhusker Handicap at Prairie Meadows on July 7, is likely to make his next start in the $350,000 Iselin Handicap at Monmouth Park on Aug. 26, according to trainer Bobby Frankel.

Considering that Euchre is based with Frankel at Del Mar, the trainer said the 5-year-old will also be nominated for the $1 million Pacific Classic on Aug. 19. Frankel already has defending champion Skimming preparing for the Pacific Classic.

Both Skimming and Euchre are best when close to the pace, another reason why Frankel may keep the pair apart. Earlier this year, Euchre won the Grade 3 All American Handicap at Bay Meadows by coming from off the pace, but he won the 2000 Bel Air Handicap at Hollywood Park by challenging the leaders throughout.

"They're pretty alike, but I don't think he can keep up with Skimming," Frankel said. "That's why Monmouth would suit him."

Frankel said that Blue Stellar, the winner of a maiden race on turf last

Sunday, will be pointed for the $300,000 Del Mar Derby on Sept. 3. Blue Stellar was stakes-placed in France earlier this year, but has not finished in the first three in a graded or group stakes.

The Del Mar Derby sometimes overfills, and the tiebreaker for participation is wins or placings in graded or group stakes.