The purse of the Washington, D.C. International, Nov. 16 at Laurel Race Course, will be increased from last year's $250,000 to $400,000, track owner Frank DeFrancis said today.
DeFrancis will go to Europe the first week in June to line up horses and agents for the race.
"I'm going to set up a system whereby we will have agents in various European countries to enhance our race, which, thanks to our schedule, should have a definite bearing on the champion turf horse since it comes two weeks after the Breeders' Cup and will be the last major turf race of the year," DeFrancis said.
The Pimlico Race Course spring meeting, which ends June 1, currently shows gains of 3.1 percent in attendance and 3.6 percent in handle. The track also has made healthy gains in off-track betting on New York and Connecticut racing.
Capture The Moment responded to the urging of jockey Donald Miller in the stretch to win the feature race at Pimlico today by nearly a length over Ridan Prospector. Giggles And Grins came in third.
Capture The Moment paid $3.40 after running the six furlongs in 1:11 1/5. The bay filly led a 1-4 exacta worth $14.60.
Miller, the leading jockey at Pimlico, will shift to Monmouth Park for the meeting that begins there on Friday.
Miller had 59 winners here through Tuesday, 13 more than his nearest rival, Vince Bracciale.
Alberto Delgado, the nation's leading apprentice jockey of 1982, is set to return from a layoff forced by a shoulder injury incurred at Pimlico several months ago. Delgado will begin riding at the Bowie meeting that opens June 3. His competition will include Mario Pino, Greg Hutton, Larry Saumell and apprentice Sean Jones.
Pimlico has decided to suspend turf racing the rest of this meeting, because of deterioration of the area at the five-eighths pole, where trucks used during the Preakness damaged the course.
Irish-born apprentice jockey John Fitzgerald, who has been working horses in the morning at Pimlico, scored his first victory Saturday aboard Canadian French ($26.60) at Charles Town.