Pimlico Race Course reopens today for its final session of the year, a scant 10-day meeting that includes Sunday's fifth Maryland Million program.

Today's 10-race card, set for 1 p.m., includes the $50,000 Fair Star Stakes, a five-furlong grass race that lured a dozen 2-year-old fillies. Stem The Tide and Fashion Miss, the only prospective starters with a turf victory, are first and second betting choices on the early line.

Fashion Miss, owned and trained by Vinnie Blengs, had won on dirt and turf in two starts before finishing third as favorite in the Everget Stakes at Delaware Park Aug. 19. Edgar Prado was named on the Florida-bred.

Stem The Tide was hailed a talent before her Aug. 16 debut, and she delivered a 6 1/2-length victory as 5-2 favorite. The Proud Truth filly, unraced since, drew the outside post with jockey Donnie Miller Jr.; Fashion Miss has Post 6.

Veteran Rick Wilson, the leading rider at Monmouth Park this summer, will transfer to Pimlico for the meeting and possibly longer. He has two scheduled mounts today as Pimlico offers free parking, grandstand admission and program.

Master Speaker is expected to arrive today in advance of Sunday's $200,000 Maryland Classic -- richest of the Maryland Million races -- in which he'll pursue an unprecedented second straight victory. Founder Claims Two

Fappiano and The Minstrel, two of the nation's most recognized thoroughbred stallions, were destroyed Monday following laminitis-related complications, the Daily Racing Form reported.

Fappiano, 13, began to decline after he broke his right hind leg in a stall accident in June, after which he contracted laminitis -- a virtually incurable inflammation of the hoof -- in his left hind foot. He was put down at Lane's End Farm in Versailles, Ky.

A son of Mr. Prospector and the Dr. Fager mare Killaloe, Fappiano produced 1990 Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled as well as Cryptoclearance, Tappiano, Tasso, Aptostar and Some Romance. As a racehorse, he won 10 of 17 starts and more than $370,000.

The Minstrel, 16, was destroyed at a veterinary clinic in Lexington, Ky., and buried at Overbrook Farm, where he had stood for two years. After being named horse of the year in England and Ireland as a 3-year-old, The Minstrel was retired to Windfields Farm in Maryland, residing there 10 years until the division's breeding operations were discontinued.

The Minstrel's progeny include L'Emigrant, Palace Music, Silver Voice, Opening Verse and many stakes horses in Europe.