LAUREL -- In sync with a busy weekend for area racing, Laurel Race Course has a full agenda today.
Laurel offers a new twist to its Double Triple wager, the simulcast of the Champagne Stakes, the Stefanita Handicap and a variety of specials that commemorate the track's 80th anniversary.
The Double Triple, a staple at Laurel and Pimlico since 1986, has always been a $3 wager -- until today, when a $100,000 jackpot guarantee and $5 minimum wager are initiated.
The $500,000 Champagne, the definitive pre-Breeders' Cup race for the East's 2-year-olds, has drawn 15 runners to Belmont Park. In a highly contentious betting event, Lure and Caller I.D. will vie for favoritism.
The $40,000-added Stefanita, for fillies and mares, drew a field of seven. Channel Three, with a mere 113 pounds, is the starting high-weight.
To celebrate its 1911 inauguration, Laurel today will be host to an antique car show and other attractions. The track has lowered some concession prices and is giving away other items.
The 12-race card will be competing for patrons with Fair Hill, Morven Park, the evening Rosecroft harness program, and other thoroughbred tracks in the East.
NOTES: Ritchie Trail, ridden by Mario Pino, won yesterday's $20,000 allowance feature at Laurel. Michael Hunter was the riding star of the card, booting in 3 winners from 5 mounts. Pino and Mike Luzzi each rode 2 winners. . . . Pino has been suspended 7 days for his ride Thursday aboard Smart Alec in the Challedon Handicap. Smart Alec was disqualified from first to ninth for a bumping incident.