Bowie Race Course continued its upward trend in betting and attendance figures yesterday as 14,308 customers turned out in cold, sunny weather and pushed $2,029,911 through the new mutuel machines.
In the feature on a 10-race card that spotlighted two stakes and an outstanding allowance event, heavily favored Skipat came from off the pace to win over long shot Fine Prospect in the Tosmah Handicap.
Skipat boosted her lifetime earnings past the $400,000 mark in speeding six furlongs in 1:10 1/5 under Jimmy Edwards. The daughter of Jungle Cove has won 11 of her last 16 races and Edwards is not about to let her get out of his sight.
"I flew here from Miami where I was on vacation," said the slender jockey. "Where she goes, I go. She ran kindly today as usual and I came around those horses with ease. I go back to finish my vacation in Florida, then it's back here for the winter."
In the semifinal Virginia Belle Stakes, long shot Its a Better Day ran down Heavily favored Denim Gal to post a $45 win mutuel after running six furlongs in 1:12 under Danny Wright.
In other allowance races, highly regarded sophmore Skippers Friend was clocked at 1:23 1/5 for seven furlongs, fastest of the meeting, and stamped himself as a colt with a future A stablemate of the older Dave's Friend, Skippers Friend responded when challenged by Ambitious Ruler and drew away under Bryan Fann.
Yesterday's figures brought the daily average handle at Bowie to $1,085,101, a rise of 11.2 percent over last year. The highest previous single-day handle was $2,247,245 wagered by 19,948 customers Feb. 7, 1969.