Maryland Million Attracts 188 Pre-Entries
Photo: Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club
Among those nominated to the Classic is defending winner Eighttofasttocatch.
The Jim McKay Maryland Million has attracted 188 pre-entries to the nine stakes races on the Oct. 18 card at Laurel Park
 
The post-position draw for the $1 million day, anchored by the $150,000 Classic, will be held at noon, Wednesday, Oct. 15 EDT in Laurel Park's Tips Restaurant. First post on Maryland Million Day is 12:15 p.m. EDT. 
 
The Maryland Million is a program of races restricted to the offspring of Maryland-based stallions and was first introduced in 1986. Maryland-sired Thoroughbreds are nominated before they become 2-year-olds and remain eligible for life to run in the Maryland Million races. 
 
Forty-six of the nominees are Maryland-breds who will be allowed to run only if there is a field of less than six.
 
"The Maryland-bred horses might come in handy for the Classic," said Maryland Jockey Club stakes coordinator Coley Blind. "In that race only three runners were not cross-entered. We went to the Maryland Million board and asked for the condition change because we anticipated a short field in the Classic."
Race-by-race nominations are as follows:
$150,000 Classic      16 nominations
$125,000 Turf       26 nominations
$125,000 Ladies       22 nominations
$100,000 Sprint       19 nominations
$100,000 Distaff 22 nominations
$100,000 Lassie 23 nominations
$100,000 Nursery 15 nominations
$50,000 Starter Handicap 22 nominations
$50,000 Distaff Starter Handicap 23 nominations
 
There were no pre-entries taken for the two $50,000 maiden races on the turf.
 
Among  those nominated to the Classic is defending winner Eighttofasttocatch, who also won the race in 2011. The son of Not For Love finished off the board in his only start this year, but the 8-year-old has nine career stakes victories at Laurel Park. A win in the Classic would push earnings for the Tim Keefe trainee over $1 million.
 
Ben's Cat is looking to become the first horse to win four Maryland Million races. After victories three straight years (2010-12) in the Turf Sprint, the King Leatherbury homebred finished second in the Turf a year ago after the Turf Sprint was eliminated. Leatherbury cross-entered his star in the Sprint and Turf. The 8-year-old son of Parker's Storm Cat has won 27-of-43 starts with earnings of $2,175,990. 
 
Roadhog beat Ben's Cat by a neck in the Turf a year ago for his second straight victory in the race. The 7-year-old son of Bowman's Band has a win and three second place finishes in six starts this year for trainer Lizzie Merryman. The 7-year-old is 10-of-35 lifetime with earnings over $600,000.
 
Five additional previous Maryland Million winners are nominated, including Monster Sleeping, the defending winner of the Ladies. 
 
"I really like the Ladies, Distaff and Nursery," said Blind. "Todd Pletcher has not run a horse on Maryland Million day in many years but he nominated Bullheaded Boy to the Nursery. That horse broke his maiden first time out at Saratoga then finished on the board in a pair of stakes races." 
 
Hall of Fame broadcaster Jim McKay originally proposed the concept of the Maryland Million and remained chairman of the board until his death six years ago. Twenty-two times attendance figures have topped 20,000 for the event. After 28 runnings, 222 stallions have been represented in Maryland Million races.
 
On-track entertainment between races will include two pony races, Special Olympics Maryland, Suttler Clydesdales, Goshen Foxhounds, Side Saddle Ladies, and Roman and trick riding by Rachel Jackson. 
 
HRTV will have a live presence for the entire card with hosts Dick Jerardi and Caton Bredar on site.

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