Double Booked and Housebuster figure as heavy favorites on today's 12-race Pimlico Race Course program.
Double Booked, in the $50,000-added Damascus Handicap, and Housebuster, in the $200,000 Vosburgh Stakes simulcast from Belmont Park, likely will be making their final starts before the Breeders' Cup championships at Churchill Downs on Nov. 2.
Double Booked, one of the top turf horses in the nation this year, has won all three of his starts at Maryland tracks this year. After switching jockeys several times already this season, Aaron Gryder will ride him today in the 1 1/8 -mile grass event.
Housebuster, winner of the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash at Laurel Race Course in July, drew the No. 1 post in a field of seven in the Vosburgh, traditionally the most important sprint race of the fall in New York.
With no live stakes or simulcasts carded tomorrow, the races represent the only major events at Pimlico and the Laurel intertrack outlet this weekend.
* At least 399 horses remain eligible to run in the five-race International Turf Festival at Laurel on the Oct. 19-20 weekend.
Late nominations, or supplementary entries, due today could increase the total.
From 989 original nominees, sustaining payments of various denominations have been paid to maintain eligibility. For the $750,000 International, 72 horses were kept eligible with a $1,250 sustaining payment.
For the other four races: 60 are still named to the $300,000 All Along Stakes (by $650 sustaining payment); 43 to the $250,000 Laurel Dash ($600); 121 to the $200,000 Laurel Futurity ($300); and 103 to the $200,000 Selima Stakes ($300).