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Top 5: ‘Losing them is a tragedy’

Racing will return to Rosecroft Raceway this fall and plans that will soon be presented for renovations at Power Plant will include a new spot for Phillips Seafood restaurant. Those stories and more in this week’s business top 5.

1. Racing commission votes 7-1 to return racing to Rosecroft – by Rachel Bernstein

The Maryland Racing Commission voted Wednesday to allow harness racing to return to Rosecroft Raceway for 20 dates this fall.

The commission approved the Oxon Hill track’s application on a 7-1 vote, with the condition that Penn National Gaming Inc. gives a letter of credit to its subsidiary, Prince George’s Racing Ventures LLC, saying it will absorb operating losses incurred from Aug. 1 of this year through Dec. 31, 2012.

2. Fresh & Green’s opens in downtown Baltimore – by Rachel Bernstein

Downtown Baltimore’s former Superfresh store reopened Friday, albeit a couple of hours later than officials said it would, with its new name, Fresh & Green’s, and new ownership.

Fresh & Green’s is owned by Scarsdale, N.Y.-based Mrs. Green’s Management Corp., which recently bought 10 local Superfresh stores in a joint venture. The store at Charles and Saratoga streets was mostly full of inventory and new produce Friday.

3. Seacrets ready to go national – by Ben Mook

In 1988, Ocean City native Leighton Moore opened a small bayside bar he called Seacrets. It was supposed to be for locals only and a secret to the hundreds of thousands of visitors to the resort town.

The secret didn’t last long.

“It was a marketing technique,” Moore said. “Most people around here can’t keep a secret, so telling them to keep it a secret was not going to happen. And, I guess it worked.”

4. Power Plant renovations for Phillips Seafood on Baltimore design panel’s agenda – by Melody Simmons

Plans to renovate the exterior of the historic Power Plant building at the Inner Harbor for a new Phillips Seafood restaurant are scheduled to be unveiled before a city design panel next week.

The renovations will be reviewed Thursday by the Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel, according to an agenda released Thursday.

5. Auditors to expand review of State Highway Administration – by Nicholas Sohr

Maryland auditors will expand their review of State Highway Administration spending after an initial report revealed a range of ethical, and potentially legal, issues with the way contracts worth more than $30 million were awarded.

The audit found the SHA circumvented its normal review process when vetting applicants for a pair of $16 million contracts. Those were awarded just months before the winning bidders made donations to a charity sporting event promoted by a company part-owned by an SHA official. And other former SHA employees took jobs in the private sector that positioned them to work on contracts they helped craft during their time with the state.