The weekend between the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes is hardly the time for a racing fan to go on vacation. Outstanding programs will be presented in Baltimore today and in New York tomorrow as Bowl Game heads the $63,450 second division of Pimlico's Dixie Handicap and Aqueduct cofeatures the Withers Mile and the return to competition of Seattle Slew.
Bowl Game is a 4-year-old gelding with an excellent past and a brilliant future. The bay son of Tom Rolfe broke his maiden at Hialeah on Feb. 15 had has not been beaten since, extending his victory string to five with successes in the Gulfstream Park Handicap on the dirt and in the Pan-American Handicap on the turf.
The Dixie is another turf test at the Pan-Am distance of 1 1/2 miles. Bowl Game is assigned high weight of 120 pounds, three more than he carried in Florida. But the Greentree Stable colorberarer, trained by John M. Gaver Jr., would appear to have drawn into the earlier path of the handicap. Oilfield, at 110 pounds; Once Over Lightly, 112, and Ripon, 115, are the main rivals. Ripon captured the John B. Campbell Handicap at Bowie in March.
Bowl Game is out of a Round Tablemare, so he inherits his ability for running on grass honestly. Keep an eye on this fellow. The Bowl he's headed for may well be the Super. His days of winning under moderate or light weight are over but his days of winning are not. Jorge Velasquez has the mount on the offs-on favorite.
The $62,800 first section of the Dixie offers a more balanced lineup. That's A Nice figures to be favored over Improviser. Grey Beret and Fluorescent Light. Only one pound separates the four horses in racing secretary Larry Abbundi's weights.
Improviser gets this $2 player's call, $2 being all that is left after having gone to the bank with Alydar against Affirmed in the Derby.
Pimlico hoped to present the Preakness Prep today. Unfortunately that race failed to fill, leaving Indigo Star out in the cold so far as a justification for participating in next Saturday's classic is concerned. Indigo Star is trained by King Leatherbury.
Two other 3 year olds hoping to qualify for the Preakness will run in the Withers. They are Star DeNaskra and Forever Casting. The Former is favored at 5 to 2 in Aqueduct's early line with Forever Casting 3 to 1 and Track Reward 4 to 1 in the field of and they figure to provide an eaually close finish.
Star DeNaskra has finished in the money 12 of 14 times. The Naskra colt served as an easy target for Affirmed and Alydar last fall in the Laurel Futurity and he might fill that same role in the Preakness should he run credibly in the Withers.
Del Carroll, who saddled Bee Bee Bee to upset Rive Ridge and Key To The Mint in the 1972 Preakness, is the trainer of Forever Casting, winner of the Young America Stakes and more than $300,000. Carroll is hoping the Kaskaskia colt will return to his best form in time to earn a Preakness berth.
NBC will televise the Withers and tomorrow's seventh race from Aqueduct, "Sportsworld," WRC-TV-4 after 4 P.m. The seventh is the one in which Seattle slew finally gets back into action, going seven furlongs against six foes. The competition is soft and Slew should have little trouble getting back on the winning path for his new trainer, Doug Peterson. Slew lost his last start, his only defeat, last June in California and has competed since.
The 1977 Tripple Crown hero is being pointed for the $100,000 Metropolitan Mile at Aqueduct May 29. The Met is the first event in the Handicap Triple Crown Series.
[TEXT OMITTED FROM SOURCE] early next week to compete in Saturday's Preakness Stakes.
Think Snow is owned by Del Shofner, former split end of the Los Angeles Rams in the National Football League, and has won two of eight starts. The son of Nexe was bred in California and finished third in the Santa Anita Derby, also won by Affirmed. He is trained by Ron Mc-Anally and was ridden by Sandy Hawley his last start.