Bowie Race Course begins a 64-day meeting Tuesday with more than 2,000 horses available for the program to be run at the Prince George's track.
Three trainers who did not compete at the Laurel meeting will be at Bowie. They are Sonn, Hine, Jack Ludwig and Tim Hills. All three are transferring from the Meadowlands in north Jersey.
Post time at Bowie will be 1 p.m. daily.
The opening-day feature is the $25,000-added Southern Maryland Handicap at six furlongs. The sprint drew a field of 14 headed by Sporting Powder, 118 pounds, and Iron Derby, 115, Chris McCarron is named to ride Sporting Powder. Danny Wright will be up on Iron Derby.
The Southern Maryland is the first of 13 stakes, valued at $450,000 to be offered during the meeting. The $100,000 John B. Campbell, the state's richest handicap, is set for March 11.
As usual, the Big Three of Maryland's training ranks will be on hand for the action. They are King Leatherbury, Buddy Delp and Dick Dutrow. Leatherbury currently leads the nation in terms of number of winners saddled this year, but Delp edged Leatherbury for top honors at Bowie last winter, 55 victories to 53
Bowie's 1977 meeting was cut short by a racetrack employees strike that continued into the start of the Pimlico meeting.
Two $50,000 events will be offered at Bowie this winter. They are the Barbara Fritchie Handicap for fillies and mares on March 5 and the Native Dancer Handicap for older colts and geldings on Feb. 28.
McCarron, the leading jockey at Bowie last year with 79 winners will again head the jockey's colony. He will be joined by Vince Bracciale. Bill Passmore, John Adams, Leroy Moyers, Herb Hinojosa, Wright and Maryland's top apprentice, Butch Eseman.
Eseman's appearanace at Bowie will be delayed for approximately one month, however, because of a broken wrist he suffered Friday night when he fell on a wet stairway in his apartment complex.