Even though Frank DeFrancis, new owner of Laurel Race Course, said earlier this month there are plans to add $150,000 to the purse of the Washington, D.C. International, he said yesterday it is still not certain that the race will be continued.
If it is, DeFrancis said the purse would be increased to $400,000.
Asked about getting foreign horses for the International, DeFrancis replied, "I have made over 200 transocean voyages when I was working as an international lawyer. I have contacts there and John Schapiro (former owner of Laurel) has pledged his cooperation.
"If we decide to keep the International at Laurel, we'll have little trouble getting foreign horses. I believe I know the Riviera better than the Eastern Shore."
DeFrancis also said the track is "experimenting with a new twist to the Pick Six form of wagering. Our tote people are trying to program it for our upcoming meeting, then I have to get the racing commission's permission to initiate the new form of betting."
He would not say what the change would be.
Duo Disco, the highweight at 121 pounds, circled horses on the turn then drew away from six other 3-year-old fillies to win the $33,250 Winter Wonderland Stakes at Bowie by more than three lengths. Linka, the pacesetter, was second by a head over Some For All.
Earlier on the card, the stewards fined leading rider Donald Miller Jr. $200 for striking his mount, Rwanda, in the eye while returning to the unsaddling area following the running of the third race.
Miller has 20 winners for the meeting but was shut out on eight mounts yesterday.
Something, a 2-year-old filly who has won more than the combined earnings of her seven rivals in today's $33,200 Bowie Kindergarten Stakes, is expected to be the heavy favorite despite a change of riders.
Thomas Kupfer, her rider in her first nine races, was given a seven-day suspension for a riding infraction last week. Kupfer appealed the ruling, but the appeal was disallowed. Mario Pino will ride Something today.
Chief contention to Something, who has won $58,012, is expected to come from A Joyful Spray, who will be ridden by Phil Grove and will carry nine fewer pounds than the favorite, who has been assigned 122.