A total of 171 horses, all the offspring of Maryland-based stallions, have been pre-entered in the dozen races that will make up the 2004 Maryland Million Day Oct. 9 at Pimlico Race Course. The post-position draw will be held Oct. 6 at the racetrack.
In the $200,000 Cosamin DS Maryland Million Classic, 2003 runner-up Presidentialaffair will be the likely favorite. 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). Eleven horses have been nominated, including multiple stakes winners Cherokee's Boy and Aggadan.
The $100,000 Ladies attracted 21 nominees and appears to be the most competitive race on the card with stakes winners Allens Blessing, Angela's Love, Chrusciki, Coquettish, Grace Bay, Ribbon Cane, River Cruise, Shiny Sheet, and True Sensation all pre-entered.
The inaugural $100,000 Turf Sprint drew interest from the connections of 16 horses, including a trio of runners -- Namequest, Nortouch, and Quest of Fate -- from the barn of trainer Ben Feliciano, Jr. A pair of former Maryland Million Turf winners, Elberton (2001) and Move Those Chains (2003) are also expected to run. In other Maryland Million Notes
Headlining the $100,000 Sprint is the 2002 winner Deer Run and Crossing Point. The $100,000 Turf will see La Reine's Terms and Class Concern, winner of the Schapiro Handicap at Pimlico two weeks earlier. The $100,000 Oaks will see a continuation of the rivalry between He Loves Me and Richetta. Bonze Abe will stand out in the $100,000 Distaff.
The other stakes races to be contested at $100,000 Lassie, $100,000 Nursery, $50,000 Distaff Starter Handicap, $50,000 Starter Handicap, and $25,000 Sprint Starter Handicap.