Bowie and Charles Town race tracks were snowed out yesterday.
The cancellation at Bowie is considered a lost day in the 60-day meeting that ends March 12; the track's one makeup day went by the wayside last Thursday. Five programs have been canceled at Charles Town since its meeting began Jan. 8--three because of snow, two by cold weather.
Horse handicapping will be the subject of three seminars to be conducted at Bowie Community Center by trainer Kathy Hamilton.
The first will be held on Feb. 4. Enrollment is $10.
Saturday's $35,000-added Stryker Handicap at Bowie presents potential handicapping students some interesting options.
Do we go for the favored Mr. Baggins, who seems to prefer a sprint this year after winning at a route last winter?
Do we go for the females Contrary Rose and Pretty Does, both of whom seem to like Bowie?
Do we stick with Almeden, winner of three straight races over slightly lesser competition?
Trainer Ernest Greene said of the highweighted Mr. Baggins: "The weight doesn't bother me as much as the distance (1 1/16 miles)."
Contrary Rose was a doubtful starter, but was entered at Bowie, despite being scheduled to run in the Affectionately Handicap at Aqueduct Saturday.
Pretty Does is being pointed for the Conniver on Feb. 13.
Longshot players most likely will go for Issue Joined, who rallied smartly to win his latest race at seven furlongs under Carlos Barrera.
Figure players will stick with Almeden, who has won two in succession since returning to action following recovery from sore shins.
It is rare in Maryland racing for horses from out of town, especially from Keystone and Meadowlands, to be able to hold their own with the local talent.
However, this meeting has proved to be an exception. Out-of-town horses have been doing very well and some races, such as the Virginia Belle Stakes, saw nonlocals take both ends of the divided renewal.
Some handicappers speculate that the reason is that the competiton locally is not as strong since trainer Richard Dutrow cut back on his operation and trainers John Tammaro and John Forbes have been racing elsewhere.