Delegate Sandy Rosenberg, is planning to propose to the Maryland Legislature that, with a joint resolution, Jim McKay’s name be adopted by Maryland Million board of directors for the annual racing program for Maryland-sired horses. The announcement was Sept. 19 at a news conference at the Baltimore Museum of Art.
McKay, who was the founder and primary standard bearer for the event, was chairman up until the time of his death in June of this year.
“He was a great ambassador for the state of Maryland and his contributions to the horse breeding and racing community are celebrated annually on Maryland Million Day,” Rosenberg said. “I believe that adding his name to the event is a fitting honor.”
The 23rd running of the event is scheduled for Oct. 4 at Laurel Park, and this year there will be a tribute to McKay. In the future, with legislative approval during the 2009 session, the racing event will known as Jim McKay Maryland Million Day and the trophy for the Classic will be the Jim McKay trophy in perpetuity.
McKay was responsible for the creation of the Maryland Million program, modeling it on the first Breeders’ Cup, run in 1984. In 1985 he championed the idea with local industry groups. His efforts resulted in the first running Oct. 18, 1986 at Laurel Park.
“So today we want announce with pride the intention to make Maryland Million Day a time to remember that this event, second only to the Preakness in popularity, was the result of Jim McKay’s vision and persistence,” said executive director Cricket Goodall.