The Maryland fell thoroughbred [WORD ILLEGIBLE] season begins at 1 p.m. today at Bowire Race Course, with the start of the 36-day Marlboro-at Bowie meeting.
It will be the first full meeting at a major Maryland track since Acting Gov. Blair Lee III approved legislation increasing purse money by approximately $20,000 a day.
The state's major tracks had been losing horses and stables to tracks in neighboring states. But Larry Abdundi, director of racing, reported a full stable at Bowie and approximately 2,300 available horses, with other steeds stable at Laurel and [WORD ILLEGIBLE]
The opening-day feature is two ally divisions of the Marlboro Nursery, each worth $25,000-added, for 2-year-olds. The second divisions, carded at the eighth race, includes Mongo Queen, winner of Monmouth's prestigious Sorority Stakes and a contender for divisional honors this year.
The three trainers who have dominated the Marlboro-at-Bowie meetings - Dick Dutrow, Grover (Buddy) Delp and King Leatherbury - are all back on the Maryland circuit after summering at Delaware Park and points north.
Dutrow has led the training standings every year since the Marlboro meeting was shifted to Bowie in 1973. In 1974 Durtow shared the title with John Forbes; he won the others outright.
The feature race of the meeting will be the $100,000-added Governor's Cup for 3-year-olds on Oct. 7. Last year's winner, Cox's Ridge, is one of this season's outstanding handicap horses.
Bowie will have daily double wagering on the first and second races, exacta betting on the second through the eighth races and triple betting on the ninth and final race.