Four defending champions and six other past winners are among the 185 nominees to nine stakes on the 31st annual Jim McKay Maryland Million Day program Oct. 22 at Laurel Park.
A total of 11 races will be run during "Maryland's Day at the Races," including four over Laurel's world-class turf course. Entries close and post positions will be drawn Wednesday, Oct. 19.
Leading the nominations are multiple Maryland Million winners Ben's Cat and Monster Sleeping.
A 26-time stakes winner and earner of more than $2.6 million over his storied career, 10-year-old gelding Ben's Cat won the Turf Sprint from 2010-2012 and was second in the Turf in 2013 and 2014 and the 2015 Sprint. Bred, owned, and trained by Hall of Fame horseman King Leatherbury, he is among 19 nominees in the $100,000 Sprint for 3-year-olds and up at six furlongs on the dirt and one of 25 nominated to the $125,000 Turf for 3-year-olds and up at one mile.
Monster Sleeping won the $125,000 Maryland Million Ladies for females 3 and up at 1 1/8 miles on the grass in 2013 and 2015 and was fifth in 2014. The 7-year-old mare is one of four defending champions nominated to return, along with Admirals War Chest in the $150,000 Classic, Phlash Phelps in the Turf and Stolen Love in the $50,000 Starter Handicap.
Along with Ben's Cat, other past Maryland Millions winners nominated to stakes are Corvus (2015 Nursery) in the Turf; D C Dancer (2014 Sprint) and Outbacker (2014 Starter Handicap) in the Sprint; Lexington Street (2015 Lassie) in the $125,000 Ladies and $100,000 Distaff; and It's a Boy (2013 Nursery) in the Starter Handicap.