Joe De Francis, Jockey Club president, issued a news release that said:
"As a way of saying thank you to our fans for their patience and understanding for all the hardship they had to endure on Preakness Day, on Belmont Day we will be offering free grandstand admission, free grandstand and clubhouse parking, free programs and half-price concessions, exclusive of alcohol and tobacco."
He also said lunch will be on the track for those who had dining reservations at the Preakness in the main dining room, Sports Palace, Jockey Club, Hall of Fame room or Triple Crown room.
In addition, people with reserved-seat or box-seat tickets to the Preakness will receive one of the same along with a box lunch from the track.
"I'm sure this doesn't begin to make up for all they had to go through," said de Francis, referring to the power outage that shut down betting in parts of the grandstand and clubhouse, darkened stairwells and eliminated air conditioning on a sweltering afternoon.
"There is no way we can ever make it up completely."
Racing patrons will be able to enjoy these amenities on the day Real Quiet seeks to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed 20 years ago.
De Francis estimated the track's loss of handle at $2 million for the six live races missed at the betting windows and the one missed to out-of-town sites when the track was off the televised satellite feed.
"We've never had anything remotely close to what happened," he said. "We don't have a solution yet. BGE is still investigating, the city is still investigating and we're still investigating."
Thirteen 2-year-olds in training were sold for $100,000 or higher at Fasig-Tipton's Midlantic sale that concluded yesterday at the Timonium ring.
The sale topper was a record $360,000 for a bay filly by Jolie's Hale purchased by Anstu Stable's Stuart Subotnick, who also bought the highest-priced horse of the final day, bay filly Two Punch Christy, for $175,000.
Strong demand produced record two-day figures for gross and average. The total was $9,602,600, up more than $3 million from 1997, with an average of $30,292, up almost $5,000 per horse.
"Traditionally, the yearling sale has been the best, but the last couple of years, it has been this one," said auctioneer Mason Grasty. "The gross was a higher figure than what we did at all sales in 1996. It was pleasing."
Post times: Today-Monday, 1 p.m.
Out-of-town simulcasts: For results, scratches, call 410-792-7464.
Pub Date: 5/20/98