First Baltimore, then Del Mar.
That's the schedule for Canadian trainer David Bell, who livens up today's opener at Pimlico Race Course with the entry of John Franks' Brook of Knowledge in the Park Heights Handicap.
The chestnut filly is so overpowering that she looks like a colt. But she'll need that strength to overhaul the speedy frontrunners this afternoon in the $50,000 5-furlong grass --.
Especially tough could be Peter Angelos' Cormorant's Flight, who looks like she finally might be rounding into winning form for her most recent trainer, Bill Donovan.
Clever Clever, who makes a habit of winning these turf sprints, will be heavily favored.
But Mark Dunn, Bell's assistant, said he thinks Brook of Knowledge will be a factor.
"She's changed her running style this year and likes to lay near the front," Dunn said. The horse has been effective in high-class Canadian claimers at a distance and Dunn says she'll be able to lay just off the pace today and then pack a wallop in the stretch.
Bell, who is best known for winning the Haskell Handicap a couple of years ago with Franks' Kissin Kris and then finishing third with the horse in the Breeders' Cup Classic, will return Brook of Knowledge immediately to his home base at Woodbine Race Course near Toronto.
But Bell soon will be venturing farther afield, taking his current stable star, Native Regent, to California for turf stakes at Del Mar. Canadian shippers have fared well this year at Pimlico. A couple of months ago, Canadian-based Bold n' Flashy won the five-furlong Roman Stakes.
Post time for today's live card is 1 p.m. The current Pimlico meet runs through Aug. 25. Action then switches for 10 days to Timonium for the Maryland State Fair.