One of the more interesting programs of the meeting will be offered today at Bowie Race Course. Two $25,000 stakes are on the card, the Virginia Belle for 3-year-old fillies and the Stryker Handicap for older Maryland-bred horses.
Dainty Dotsie, undefeated through four starts, will be an odds-on favorite in the Virginia Belle. She has run exclusively at Keystone, near Philadelphia, but here credentials are excellent: Winning by 17, by nine, by five and by six lengths.
In her last outing, Jan. 15, Dainty Dotsie handly captured the New Hope Stakes over Avilion, a stakes-placed performer last fall. Dainty Dotsie was intered to challenge colts in a stake at Keystone last weekend, but cold weather canceled the event.
Avilion is among seven fillies ready to oppose the favorite today. But Dainty Dotsie's strongest competition may come from two unbeaten local runners, Runette and Secret Rite.
Runette romped six lengths in the Free State stakes at Bowie two weeks ago, for her third victory. Secret Rite, from the Montpelier Stable is two for two.
The Virginia Belle distance is six furlongs. Dainty Dotsie and Runette carry high weight of 118 pounds apiece, under the allowance conditions, while Secret Rite gets in with 112 and Avilion carries 115.
Pistol White is the likely choice in the Stryker, a 1 1-16-mile event originally scheduled for last Saturday when Bowie's program was canceled.
Eleven horses are entered, with Pistol White carrying top weight of 120 pounds. The 5-year-old gelding ripped off four straight victories on the Maryland circuit last fall, then went to Keystone and scored by 5 1/2 lengths in the Quaker Handicap. in his most recent start, however, Pistol White jumped at the gate when favored at 9 to 10 in the Germantown Handicap at Keystone and finished fifth.
Today's seventh race features Do The Bump, one of the quickest 3-year-olds in the East. He heads a field of six going six furlongs.*