Manfuso apologizes to K. De Francis


The latest encounter in the long-running feud between the De Francis and Manfuso clans -- one-time partners in Maryland's racetracks -- has passed, at least for now.

Bob Manfuso sent a letter to Laurel Park co-owner Karin De Francis this week, apologizing for what she had termed abusive and profane remarks Manfuso made to her at the Maryland Million Gala on Oct. 13 at Baltimore Country Club.

The incident prompted De Francis' brother, Laurel president Joe De Francis, to bar Manfuso from entering the track for the Maryland Million the following day.

"The purpose of my comments. . . was not to offend but to encourage you, your brother and the tracks to support and promote an event that is so important to Maryland racing and the broad-based racing industry," Manfuso wrote to Karin De Francis.

Manfuso, a licensed breeder, has had his rights to attend the track restored.

"As far as I'm concerned, this incident is over," Joe De Francis said. "Karin got a letter of apology. But in the future, if Bob Manfuso has anything to say to me, I hope he's man enough to say it to my face."

In an interview yesterday, Manfuso said "Whether or not there was adequate cause for exclusion [from the tracks] in this particular case, only time will tell. I would hope in the quiet of the day they would reflect back on whether my comments were not, in fact, appropriate."

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