A total of 167 horses, the offspring of Maryland stallions, have been pre-entered in the 12 races which comprise the 2006 Maryland Million to be held Oct. 14 at Laurel Park. The post position draw will be held Oct. 11. Expected to headline the $250,000 Maryland Million Classic is Cherokee's Boy, who is scheduled to run in his final career race before heading off to a stud career at Maryland Stallion Station. The 6-year-old has won 14 career stakes races, including the 2002 Nursery. The Gary Capuano trainee currently ranks 13th on the all-time list of Maryland-breds with $1,170,446 in earnings. A victory in the Classic would move the son of Citidancer into tenth place.As always the $150,000 Sprint will be a highly contested race with multiple stakes winner Celtic Innis, an improving Ironton and Diamonds In Style, who owns the track record at 5 ½ furlongs, all expected to run. Other races to be contested are the $150,000 Turf, the $150,000 Distaff, $150,000 Ladies, the $150,000 Oaks, the $125,000 Lassie, the $125,000 Nursery, the $100,000 Turf Sprint, the $50,000 Distaff Starter Handicap, the $50,000 Starter Handicap and the $30,000 Sprint Starter Handicap. Former winners Deer Run (2002 Sprint), Drum Roll Please (2004 Sprint Starter), Hunca Munca (2004 Distaff Starter), Namequest (2004 Turf Sprint), Silmaril (2004 Oaks), Smart And Fancy (2005 Lassie), Sticky (2005 Oaks) and Surf Light (2005 Ladies) were also nominated to races.
This year the Maryland Lottery has joined forces with the Maryland Million, introducing a Maryland Million scratch off that hit sales stands in mid-July. Next Saturday 12 contestants will have a chance to be crowned Maryland's newest millionaire during a series of drawings at Laurel Park. An additional $5,000 consolation winner will also be selected during the afternoon.