The Maryland steeplechase season will open today with the Howard County-Iron Bridge race meet at the Meriwether Farm in Glenelg.
Featured on a seven-event card is the Howard County Cup, a three-mile, open-timber race that will be the first to count in the Governors Cup competition for horse of the year.
Post time is 1 p.m. with the gates opening at 10 a.m. General admission tickets may be purchased at the gate.
Shining Beacon and Florida Law are considered among the early favorites in the feature and most of the top local riders will participate.
Also are on the program is The Founders Cup, the only fox-hunter timber race in the state, and the Cattail River pony races to be run in four divisions for youngsters.
"We're trying to create the next generation of race-goers," said Harvey Goolsby, co-racing secretary, about the pony division. "Once they've traveled to the other side of a snow fence, they don't want to come back."