Eric Blind will not be the starter for the races at the meet opener on Tuesday at Laurel.
John Mooney Jr., senior vice president and general manager at Pimlico/Laurel, said yesterday that "we will put a relief starter in his position during the Laurel meet. I haven't decided if it will be done temporarily or for a longer term."
Mooney said the move is being made "due to the stress the man is under in this position in a year-round capacity."
Blind, 56, said he considers himself fired and doesn't know what other capacity he will be working in at the track.
"He indicated he wanted to work on the ground [on the starting gate]," Mooney said, adding that he didn't think that is possible. "We are meeting to discuss what Eric is going to do."
Blind has been criticized at times for various incidents at the starting gate. A horse was electrocuted in a training-gate mishap at Pimlico on April 1.