Plenty of Puzzles on Maryland Million Card

(Track Report)
After early scratches 116 were entered Thursday for the 10 races on Maryland's Million Day at Old Hilltop.

Seven of the eight scratches came off the also eligible list.

"It was extremely difficult setting the line because of the quality of each race," said Pimilico morning line handicapper Frank Carulli. "None of the four defending champs are morning line favorites and I have stakes-winning horses with double digits odds. It should be a great day for bettors with nine of the 10 races attracting double-digit entries."

$50,000 Maryland Million Starter Handicap
(1st race – 1 1/8 miles)
Star Slugger, a winner of two straight including a convincing victory at Pimlico earlier in the month, is the 5-2 favorite in the 12-horse field. Defending champion Blazing Colors is 15-1.

$50,000 Maryland Million Distaff Starter Handicap
(2nd race – 1 1/16 miles)
Valley Parking, who has five wins in 10 starts this year, is the 5-2 morning line choice in the 13-horse field for fillies and mares.

$100,000 Maryland Million Oaks
(3rd race – 1 1/16 miles)
Madame X Ski, who won the Caesars Wish at Pimlico in April, is the 6-5 morning choice over five quality rivals.

$100,000 Maryland Million Nursery
(4th race – 6 furlongs)
Cherokee's Boy is the 5-2 favorite over 11 other two-year old colts and geldings.

$100,000 Maryland Million Lassie
(5th race – 6 furlongs)
ButIWillFlySomeday is the overwhelming 3-2 choice in the 14-horse field of two-year old fillies.

$100,000 Maryland Million Ladies
(6th race – 1 1/16 miles on Turf)
Your Out, the 2000 two-year old Maryland filly of the year, is the 9-5 pick despite the fact she has never been on the turf in her 15 race career. The other 13 horses in the race have combined for 37 wins on the grass.

$100,000 Maryland Million Distaff
(7th race – 6 furlongs)
Politely Stakes winner Urban Dancer is the slight 5-2 selection over defending champion Case Of The Blues (3-1) in the tightly contested 11 horse field for fillies and mares.

$100,000 Maryland Million Turf
(8th race – 1 1/8 miles on Turf)
La Reine's Terms is the 3-2 selection ahead of defending champion Elberton (5-1), 2000 winner Cynics Beware (12-1) and 1999 frontrunner Private Slip (10-1). The 10 turf specialists in the field have combined for 46 victories on the grass.

$100,000 Maryland Million Sprint
(9th race – 6 furlongs)
In a field full of stakes winners the morning line favorite is Deer Run (5-2) who has been first or second in five of his six races at Old Hilltop. The 14 horse field is so deep that P Day who was third in last year's Classic is 10-1.

$200,000 Maryland Million Classic
(10th race – 1 3/16 miles)
Multiple stakes winner Duckhorn is the 6-5 morning line choice in the 10 horse main event. The grandson of 1983 Preakness winner Deputed Testamony won a pair of Grade III's this spring. Defending champ Sumerset, who won at odds of 30-1 a year ago, is 8-1.