The John B. Campbell Handicap, Bowie's premier race, has drawn 15 entrants for its 29th running Saturday, with high weight of 119 pounds being assigned to Midwest invader Recusant.
The Campbell is run at 1 1/4 miles and offers a gross purse of $147,600 this year, making it the richest race in the 69-year history of Bowie Race Course.
Donamire Farm's Recusant is a 5-year-old who has won seven races and has earnings of $379,503. This year, he ran second at seven furlongs at Gulfstream Park in swift time, but encountered traffic problems while finishing unplaced in the Donn Handicap on the same course.
He will be ridden in the Campbell by Jorge Velasquez, who is zero for four in the race. Trainer Michael Ball remarked before Recusant's final workout: "The wet track may be a big factor in tomorrow's race, but I'm satisfied that my horse can handle the going. He won the Cornhusker Handicap last year on an off track, so I like my horse's chances."
Other contenders are expected to be Blackie Daw, Hail Emperor and Appeal Approved.
Blackie Daw has won several added-money events and indicated his fitness when he worked a brisk 1 1-16 miles between races last Saturday. He will be ridden by Bill Passmore and will be the second high weight at 118 pounds.
Hail Emperor and Appeal Approved finished close to each other in their last two starts. Hail Emperor will again be ridden by Vince Bracciale and will carry 115 pounds. Appeal Approved has been assigned 117 pounds by track handicapper Larry Abbundi and will be ridden by Jim Edwards.
Trainer Jesus Andujar said after Hail Emperor worked out yesterday: "My horse likes the mud and is ready."
Dean Gaudet, conditioner of Appeal Approved, said: "My colt is honest and I expect him to give a good account of himself."
Of several horses from other tracks, Lark Oscillation and Fabulous Find appear to have shown the sharpest recent form. The former has won more than $281,000 and finished third in last month's Grey Lag Handicap at Aqueduct. He will be ridden by Ruben Hernandez.
Fabulous Find has not won this year, but the 5-year-old finished second in the Grey Lag and is trained by Hall of Famer Allen Jerkens.
Completing the field for the Campbell will be Accipiter's Hope, Tim Tamber, Piling, Sunny Winters, Luxuriant Man, Gerontas, Boston Tea, Incubator and Lejoli