The 25,000 added Bowie Handicap today at the Prince George's track has drawn an exceptionally well-balanced field at eight. Only eight pounds separate the high weight and probable favorite, Go Go Roger at 118 pounds, from Dancer, the low weight under 110.
In between are In a Trance, 117; Jolly John, 115; Dare To Command, 115; Easter Pageant, 113; Piped Aboard, 113, and Bold Play, 112. Dare To Command joins Go Go Roger in the mutuels as the King Leatherbury-trained entry. Both horses are owned by Qaulity Hill Stable.
Go Go Roger won the Germantown Handicap at Keystone in his last start, on New Year's Day. Bold Play was placed second in that 1/16-mile event after having finished third despite being impeded. Before that, Go Go Roger finished second, a length behind Piped Aboard, at the end of the nine furlongs of Laurel's Congressional Handicap.
Piped Aboard carried 109 pounds that day compared to 117 on Go Go Roger. Thus, there is a three-pound shift today in Go Go Roger's favor. The Bowie distance is 1 1/16 miles. Chris McCarron has the mount on the favourite.
Since the Congressional Piped Aboard dropped a nose decision to Jolly John in an allowance event at Laurel when in receipt of one pound.
In A Trance missed by a nose of catching Moving Cloud in the Southern Maryland Handicap at Bowie on opening day, Jan. 3. The 4-year-old colt performed well in sprints all last season, earning $146.990.
Dancer faded to fourth place in the Southern Maryland after leading halfway through the six-furlong dash.
The seventh race in today's card, while offering only a $10,000 purse, is almost as interesting as the feature.
On The Sly, a good 3-year-old in 1976, makes his first start since October in the six-furlong contest. He will have his work cut out for him, at that distance, trying to run down Rest The Quadrant and Shenandoah River through the stretch. Rest the Quadrant gets in under 112 pounds while On The Sly and Shenadoah River pick up 122 each. Completing the field are Hamoud, 122; Timothy' Champ, 119; Rainy Lane, 115; and Our Charlie II, 105.