Theatrical and Anka Germania, the United States' top male and female turf horses, respectively, were among 19 thoroughbreds from six nations to be pre-entered yesterday for the $750,000 Washington, D.C. International at Laurel Race Course.
Today, Laurel officials are scheduled to name 11 or 12 preferred starters, with the remaining "also-eligible" horses listed by preference. Under the two-tier format begun last year, Laurel officials can invite up to three horses to compete in a maximum field of 14.
Track President Frank De Francis, however, has issued only two invitations -- to the Soviet Union and Poland -- out of concern that a third might prevent a quality nominee from starting in the Oct. 31 race.
Yesterday's pre-entry fee was $3,000.
With the retirement of Manila and Dance Of Life, Theatrical might be the nation's best grass horse. In his last start, the Bill Mott-trained 5-year-old won Belmont Park's Turf Classic. Anka Germania, a 5-year-old mare trained by Thomas Skiffington, won her fifth straight stakes race Saturday, the New Jersey Turf Classic at the Meadowlands.
Both Theatrical and Anka Germania were bred in Ireland, but they are among eight pre-entries representing the United States. The others are Akabir, Great Communicator, Nordavano, Southjet, Stately Don and Talakeno.
France leads foreign nations with four eligibles -- Daastan, Lascaux, Libertine and Motley. Canada has Blue Finn and Grey Classic; England has Media Starguest and Risk Me; Ireland has Cockney Lass and Glaros, and West Germany has Le Glorieux. Three Wins for Desormeaux
Laurel's record-breaking opening-day program Sunday was underscored by a matchup between the nation's top two jockeys in terms of wins, Kent Desormeaux and Pat Day. Desormeaux made the most of a home-track advantage, riding three winners (out of nine mounts) to Day's zero (four mounts).