Bowie Race Course had record lows for attendance and total handle because of yesterday's snowstorm.
A crowd of 2,554 wagered $283,353. The previous record low attendance since the thoroughbred track opened in 1913 was 3,921, set on Jan. 20, 1976, also a snowy day. Snow was chiefly responsible for the previous record low handle of $473,716 on Feb. 15, 1960.
The decision to race yesterday was made at 7:15 a.m., based on a weather report calling for two inches of snow.
"Usually the reports are pretty reliable," said Muggins Feldman of the track's public relations department. "The jockeys working horses reported the track was in good condition. Maryland state police said all the roads were in excellent shape."
The track was termed "fast" and Feldman said race times were comparable to times normally recorded during this time of season. Canuschka bested a field of seven in the feature race, covering 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.1, and paid $37.60, $11.20, and $15.
As snow continued to fall, the time between races was shortened from 28 minutes to 20 minutes, but all nine races were completed. Spectators who braved the snow were offered coupons to return to the track free at a later date.
Charles Town canceled its night card yesterday at 9 a.m., although only one inch of snow had fallen by that time. It was the second straight racing card canceled at Charles Town: on Sunday, jockeys voted not to race because of cold weather.
A decision whether to race at Bowie today will be made by 7:30 a.m. Officials at Charles Town will decide on tonight's card by 10 a.m.