A Field of Eight to Challenge Maryland Million Classic

A field of eight will break from the gates for Saturday's Maryland Million Classic Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. The Classic is the highlight of the 12-race card devoted to the offspring of Maryland-based stallions. Post time for the first race is 12:35 p.m.

Other races featured on the Maryland Million card include: Oaks; Turf; Lassie; Turf Sprint Handicap; Nursery Stakes; Distaff Handicap; Sprint Handicap; Ladies Stakes; and three starter races.

Presidentialaffair, 2003 Classic runner-up, is listed as the 4-5 morning line favorite for the 1 3/16-mile Classic test. The 5-year-old Not for Love gelding has won eight of 20 lifetime starts for earnings of $385,970. Trained by Marty Ciresa, Presidentalaffair has won a pair of stakes this year and was runner-up to Ghostzapper in the Iselin Handicap (gr. II).

The Pennsylvania-bred Presidentialaffair will have the services of jockey Stewart Elliott, best known as the pilot of Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, both grade I, winner Smarty Jones. The pair will break from post eight.

Challenging Presidnetialaffair will be Cherokee's Boy, a Maryland-bred son of Citidancer. The winner of the 2002 Maryland Million Nursery, Cherokee's Boy will break from post seven under 2002 Eclipse Award winner and top Maryland-based jockey Ryan Fogelsonger.

Trained by leading Maryland conditioner Gary Capuano, Cherokee's Boy has two stakes wins to his credit this year, and most recently finished fourth in the Taking Risks Stakes at Timonium.

In other Maryland Million Notes
The six-horse Maryland Million Turf is led by, Slew Valley, a Maryland-bred son of Valley Crossing. Under 126 pounds, Slew Valley will break from post four under Elliott. Trained by Reade Baker, Slew Valley most recently finished unplaced in pair of graded stakes at Woodbine after posting back-to-back wins in the King Edward Breeders' Cup Handicap (Can-II) and Connaught Handicap (Can-III) at Woodbine.

Ten fillies and mares are running in the Maryland Million Oaks, including multiple stakes winner Richetta, who won the Lassie a year ago, and the ultra consistent Silmaril.

The newest race on the menu, Maryland Million Turf Sprint, drew interest from the connections of 11 horses, including a three-headed monster from the barn of Ben Feliciano, Jr. who could start Namequest, Nortouch or Quest Of Fate. Two former Maryland Million Turf winners Elberton (2001) and Move Those Chains (2003) are also expected to run.

Thirteen fillies and mares are entered (12 can start) in the Maryland Million Ladies, including defending champion Hail Hillary and stakes winners River Cruise, Coquettish, Shiny Sheet, Chrusciki and True Sensation.

The field for the $200,000 Maryland Million Classic includes:
1-- Irish Colony (Steve Hamilton), 12-1
2-- Off The Glass (Jozbin Santana), 10-1
3-- Bada Bam Bada Boom (Eddie King), 20-1
4-- Aggadan (Mario Pino), 7-2
5-- Donald's Pride (Anthony Mawing), 8-1
6-- Fire Hero (Roberto Alvarado), 30-1
7-- Cherokee's Boy (Ryan Fogelsonger), 6-1
8-- Presidentialaffair (Stewart Elliott), 4-5