Cherokee Boy Favored in 'Million Send-Off

The 21st Maryland Million, a festive homecoming for Marylanders and the offspring of Maryland sires, attracted 117 entrants to the twelve race program to be presented Saturday at Laurel Park.

In the feature event, the $250,000 Maryland Million Classic, Cherokee's Boy, in his final career race is the overwhelming 1-2 morning line favorite. Travis Dunkelberger will ride the 6-year-old horse for trainer Gary Capuano.

The son of Citidancer will stand at Maryland Stallion Station in Baltimore County. He currently ranks 13th on the all-time list of Maryland-breds with $1,170,446 in earnings during his 47-race career. A victory Saturday would move him up three places.

"He's a hard hitter. He goes out every time. You know he's going to run. What more can you ask for?" co-owner Foard Wilgis said the post position draw. "Everything about him is Maryland and I really, really wanted him here (to stand stud). I want to know what is going on."

Cherokee's Boy has won 19 career races, including 14 stakes, and has finished in the money 37 times. Wilgis and co-owner Dave Picarello have collected a check in every race but one, the 2003 Preakness Stakes (gr. I).

"We've been involved in his family since day one, 1992, when we bought his mother (Cherokee Wonder)," added Wilgis. I've had horses in their family ever since. If we can get one more win out of him we'll all be happy."

The Classic is the 11th race on the twelve race card with a post time of 5:40 p.m.

$250,000 Maryland Million Classic, 3 & Up, 1 1/16 Miles
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, ML Odds
1. Meadow Blue (NJ), Jose A. Velez, Jr., 116, 8/1
2. Wanaka (KY), Ryan Fogelsonger, 119, 8/1
3. Due (MD), A. R. Napravnik, 119, 10/1
4. Evil Storm (MD), Anthony S. Black, 119, 10/1
5. Cherokee's Boy (MD), Travis L. Dunkelberger, 123, 1/2
6. Diamond David (MD), Dane Kobiskie, 119, 15/1
7. Baby League (PA), Jeremy Rose, 119, 20/1