Tag Archive | "Jim McKay Maryland Million"

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Eighttofasttocatch leads entire way in Maryland Million Classic victory

Posted on 19 October 2013 by WNST Staff


LAUREL, MD. 10-19-13—Sylvia E. Heft’s Eighttofasttocatch led from start to finish and won the $150,000 Maryland Million Classic for the second time in the past three years. Last year the son of Not For Love finished a fifth in the Classic as the betting favorite but this year things were completely different.

The Maryland Million is the one of the most important racing days at Laurel Park with 11 events for runners sired by Maryland-based stallions for combined purses totaling $1 million. The 28th annual event drew a crowd of 18,036 on a cool, crisp Saturdayafternoon in central Maryland.

Garrison Forest High School graduate Forest Boyce sent the 7-year old to the lead from his advantageous rail position and was able to nurse him around on the lead in 1:50.42 for the 1-1/8th mile distance. Eighttofasttocatch won under a drive by 3-1/4 lengths over Romancing the Gold, with Wild Louis taking third.

“It worked out great. We got away well,” Boyce said. “I thought someone might try us early, soften us up but it didn’t happen. My whole family is from here. My ninety year old grandmother came out today, which was really cool.”

Eighttofasttocatch is 2-for-6 this year, which includes a score in the Henry Clark Stakes and a gutsy second in the Pimlico Special (G3) on Preakness weekend. The 7-year-old now has seven career stakes victories at Laurel Park and has earned $794,585.

“I was very comfortable with where I had him coming into this race, but my concern was that I was comfortable last year and it didn’t go quite as well,” said winning trainer Tim Keefe. “I didn’t think I needed a prep for this race because we all felt that he was right. I guess my only concern now is that he is seven and we may only have him for another year or two. He will be hard to replace in our barn.”

The winner paid $2.60 as the popular favorite.

“I guess winning feels like I was pitching in the World Series,” said Arnold Heft, the husband of the winning owner. “The only thing bad is, I don’t know where I’ll be tomorrow. My wife is not well. I’m just sorry she’s not here. She was here the last time. Racing keeps me going right now. When Eighttofasttocatch runs his race, he won’t get beat.”

Travis Dunkelberger (jockey, Romancing the Gold-2nd), “He tried hard and ran good. I wanted to push more but I didn’t want to cost us second.”

Trevor McCarthy (jockey, Wild Louis-3rd), “He ran his butt off today. The winner was much the best. This was his first time at the distance and he loved it but Eighttofasttocatch was just too fast.”

J.D. Acosta (jockey, Big Branch-4th), “I was in a comfortable spot and happy with the way he ran but the winner is just too classy.”

Xavier Perez (jockey, Talk Show Man-5th), “We didn’t get a good break. We came out nose first out of the gate. Then he relaxed and when I asked for more he ran well. We lost a lot of ground at the beginning which cost us the race.”

Kendrick Carmouche (jockey, Seventeenohsix-6th), “I was sitting in a perfect spot but there was no speed in the race other than the winner. You can’t do much about that.”

Julian Pimentel (jockey, Count to Seven-7th), ““He tried to make a little run at the end but they just ran away from him.”

Introduced in 1986, the Maryland Million has been duplicated by more than 20 other states. Hall of Fame TV Broadcaster Jim McKay originally proposed the Maryland Million concept and remained the Chairman of the Board until his death on June 7, 2008.

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Not Aboard claims Maryland Million Classic

Posted on 07 October 2012 by WNST Staff


LAUREL, MD. 10-06-12—Jockey Nick Petro and his mount Not Abroad saw an inviting opening along the rail as they circled the far turn. They galloped through the gaping hole, came out the clear leader and drew off to win the $150,000 Jim McKay Maryland Million Classic at Laurel Park.

The Maryland Million is the most important racing day at Laurel Park with 11 races for runners sired by Maryland-based stallions for combined purses totaling $1.05 million. The 27th annual event drew a crowd of 18,420 on Saturday afternoon.

Trained by Petro’s brother Michael, Not Abroad is owned by Tim Cunningham and is a son of the Maryland stallion Not For Love. Regal Warrior, who led from the start, held for second while Tujoes rallied to finish third. The also-rans were Cactus Charlie (4th), defending champion Eighttofasttocatch (5th) and In the Juice (6th).

“I was happy with his performance,” said jockey Petro. “Real early we got stuck on the inside and I wasn’t happy with my spot. But we got closer and closer and everything worked out. We figured there would be a few horses outside of us with speed so we went in thinking, ‘sit’. We did and it worked out great when it was time to go. He was good. Real good.”

Not Abroad finished second in the Classic two years ago and was third last year.

“We had been in this race the last several years,” said trainer Petro. “We felt coming in today that we had a very good chance to win. He has been doing very well lately and we looked forward to this race. We had a great race and at the 3/8th’s pole everything opened up for us. My brother ran a very good race.”

This was his second stakes win of the year for Not Abroad after capturing the Jim French Memorial at Delaware in May. Not Abroad is an eight time winner from thirty-two starts and a winner of over $600,000.

Not Abroad paid $9.40. The exacta returned $63.80 and the triple paid $444.10.

Julian Pimentel (jockey, Regal Warrior-2nd) said, “He broke good. No problems. He tried hard we just ran into a better horse, I guess. Just couldn’t keep up down the lane with the winner.”

Angel Arroyo (jockey, Tujoes-3rd) said, “Good trip. Everything was fine. The horse finished up well.”

Shannon Uske (jockey, Cactus Charlie- 4th) said, “We were in a nice spot. He just didn’t fire down the lane. We had the trip we wanted. He just didn’t have the kick like we thought he would.”

Sheldon Russell (jockey, Eighttofasttocatch-5th) said, “I was happy with the trip but disappointed when I asked him to pick it up at the half-mile pole. We were struggling and he never got comfortable today. It was not our day.”

Tim Keefe (trainer, (jockey, Eighttofasttocatch-5th) said, “I am disappointed, obviously. I thought I had everything going in the right direction with him and said earlier in the week if he gets beat it would be by a better horse. Unfortunately he got beat by four better horses. I thought he would run a great race today. This was uncharacteristic of him.”

Wesley Ho (jockey, In The Juice-6th) said, “He tried hard but he got tired at the end.”

Introduced in 1986, the Maryland Million has been duplicated by more than 20 other states. Hall of Fame TV Broadcaster Jim McKay originally proposed the Maryland Million concept and remained the Chairman of the Board until his death on June 7, 2008.

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Jim McKay’s Maryland Million Day at Laurel Park Preview

Posted on 02 October 2012 by Gary Quill

This Saturday (October 6th) at Laurel Park is Maryland’s Day At The Race. Better known as Jim McKay’s Maryland Million, It’s the one racing day of the year in Maryland where owners of runners either bred in Maryland or their sire was state bred, qualify to run on this great day of celebrating thoroughbred horse racing in Maryland. The Laurel Park racing office announced that a total of 155 pre-entries (137 horses as 17 were cross-entered including Steady Warrior who is nominated to three races) were named to the 11 races for the 27th running of this event. First post is 12:35 p.m.

2012 Maryland Million Logo

The post position draw for the $1.05 million day will be held at noon on Wednesday, Oct. 3 in Laurel’s Terrace Dining Room.

Overall 11 previous “Million Day” winners are nominated, including three defending champions: Eighttofasttocatch (Classic), Sloane Ranger (Sprint) and Ben’s Cat (Turf Sprint).

The most decorated of the 137 horses pre-entered is Ben’s Cat. The 6 year old will attempt a three-peat in the Maryland Million Turf Sprint champ. Only Safely Kept (Distaff, ’89-91), Countus In (Ladies, ’89-91) and Mz. Zill Bear (Ladies, ’93-95) have won a MD Million race three (3) consecutive years. Ben’s Cat became owner-trainer King T. Leatherbury’s first millionaire with a repeat victory in the Turf Monster Handicap (G3) at Parx Racing last month.

Ben's Cat and King T. Leatherbury

Leatherbury is tied with Dale Capuano for the top spot in the Maryland Million trainer standings. Both conditioners have saddled nine (9) winners. On Saturday Capuano has two runners entered (Lunar Rock in Nursery and Hero’s Reward in Turf Sprint) while Leatherbury’s lone entry is Ben’s Cat.

HRTV will have a live presence for the entire card with hosts Dick Jerardi (from Philly) and Jill Byrne (a Kentuckian) on site. It’s ashamed that HRTV didn’t have the foresight to contract a native Marylander who closely follows Maryland racing and could provide far superior insight on Maryland’s Day At The Races. Now who (GQ) could they have (GQ) possibly (GQ) have gotten (GQ)?

Dick Jerardi of Phila Daily News + Jill Byrne racing analyst < Gary Quill at Preakness Press Box

An additional promotion on “Million Day” features a FREE Maryland Million cap to the first 4,000 full-paid admissions.

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Timonium Closing Day Selections at Maryland State Fair; Laurel Park opens on Wednesday

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Timonium Closing Day Selections at Maryland State Fair; Laurel Park opens on Wednesday

Posted on 02 September 2012 by Gary Quill

Closing Day of the Maryland State Fair on Monday not only means the end to the annual 7 days of live racing, but no more racing in the Baltimore metro area until Spring of 2013, when Pimlico opens for their couple dozen or so days leading up to the 138th running of the Preakness Stakes (May 18th).

On Wednesday (Sept. 5th) Laurel Park opens with live racing scheduled every Wednesday thru Saturday, with two exceptions. Live racing will be conducted on Monday, October 8th (Columbus Day) instead of Wednesday, October 10th. And to take advantage of the fact many fans who take time off between Christmas Day and New Years Day, live racing will be held Monday, December 31st to bring the fall meet and 2012 to a close.

The Maryland Jockey Club will host more stakes races for higher purses this fall at Laurel Park, boosted by additional revenue from state casinos. The race course will host 32 stakes races over 69 days — for a total of five more races than it hosted last autumn. At least half of the prize money in stakes races come from the owners of the horses entered. Stakes races usually attract higher purse values.

The average daily purse at Laurel Park will also increase this fall. The average purse will bring in $240,000, up from $210,000 last year. The $30,000 increase is due mainly to revenue from slot machines in the state, the Maryland Jockey Club said.

The fall meet concludes on December 31st, which is highlighted by the 27th running of the Jim McKay Maryland Million Day on Oct. 6th.

Recapping Day 6 (Sunday 2nd) selections at the Maryland State Fair (Timonium) Meet had 7 winners (4 Top Selections; payoffs in BOLD) having $2 WIN pay-offs being $4.80 (1st race), $3.60 (2nd), $14.80 (3rd), $4.00 (5th), $6.00 (7th), $4.40 (9th) and $5.00 (10th).

The Best Bet was sent off the 3-1 3rd betting choice, took the early lead and held it until weakening the final furlong, to salvage 3rd, returning $2.60 to SHOW.
Best Bet pick scorecard from 5 Timonium selections: 2 WIN – 1 PLACE – 1 SHOW.

The Longshot Pick won “from Go to Whoa” in dominating fashion, but either the word was out on him OR there are plenty of my readers who took my advise. I like to think the latter, but I doubt that is why the Longshot pick was bet down to the 1-1 favorite and only returned $4.00 to WIN, $2.80 to PLACE and $2.40 to SHOW.
Longshot pick scorecard from 5 Timonium selections: 1 WIN – 1 PLACE – 1 SHOW

SHOW Parlay Play of the Day took the early lead and never looked back, even though the rains held off and the track was fast, scoring the victory as the 3-2 2nd choice, paying $5.00 to WIN and $2.60 to PLACE but the $2.40 to SHOW helped increase the SHOW Parlay bankroll by $12.40 to bring the bankroll total to $74.90 so we can “Let It Ride” on Closing Day of the Maryland State Fair.

For Maryland State Fair Closing Day of the meet at Timonium, (Monday, September 3rd) posted below reflect early scratches.

1st race – $10,000 Maiden Claiming for 3 y.o. and up – 4 furlongs
#5 – Money Drive (3-1)
#1 – Cross Rd Rocketman (7-5)
#3 – Absolute Russian (15-1)

2nd race – $4,000 Claiming for 3 y.o. and up – 4 furlongs
#3 – B L’s Noise (2-1) SCRATCHED
#8 – Big Champ (7-2)
#7 – Am So Happy (7-2)

3rd race – $5,000 Claiming NW3L for fillies and mares 3 y.o. and up – 4 furlongs
#6 – American Spice (5-2)
#2 – Riley’s Rampage (2-1)
#1 – Stormy Combo (3-1)

4th race – $5,000 Claiming NW3L for 3 y.o. and up – 1 1/16 mile
#1 – Wingo Star (2-1)
#2 – Red Thorn (8-5) SCRATCHED
#5 – Mo’s Bro (6-1)

5th race – $5,000 Claiming NW2L for 3 y.o. and up – 6½ furlongs
#5 – Airstream Driver (7-2)
#4 – High Gross (5-1)
#8 – Flankers Flag (4-1)

6th race – $5,000 Claiming NW2L for 3 y.o. and up – 4 furlongs
#1 – Faro Moro (9-2) $$$ LONGSHOT PLAY $$$
#4 – Private Person (3-1)
#3 – Love Those Cds (4-1)

7th race – $5,000 Starter Allowance for fillies and mares 3 y.o. and up – 4 furlongs
#4 – Grandanna (5-2) $$$ BEST BET $$$
#3 – You’re Kinda Neat (5-1)
#6 – Whatsnottolike (2-1)

8th race – $27,000 Allowance N1X for 3 y.o. and up – 6½ furlongs
#6 – Wolfcamp (5-2)
#1/1A – Talented Whiz / College Grad (2-1)
#2 – Silent Tap (5-1)

9th race – $27,000 Allowance N1X for fillies and mares 3 y.o. and up – 4 furlongs
#2 – Dazzling Display (7-2)
#7 – Give You Glory (5-1)
#4 – Love Like Ours (4-1)

10th race – $5,000 Maiden Claiming for fillies and mares 3 y.o. and up – 4 furlongs
#4 – Dear Rachel (9-5)
#10 – Coc Delite (30-1)
#6 – One Dancing Chic (4-1) SCRATCHED

SHOW Parlay available bankroll: $74.90 ($62.50 bankroll – $62 wagered + $74.40 returned)

SHOW Parlay Play of the Day: $74 on #4 Grandanna (7th race; 5-2) is M/L 2nd choice in a field of 7, has never been off the board in 6 tries at today’s distance. If the track comes up sloppy, her chances should increase as she’s 1 for 1 on an off track, while earning a career best Brisnet Speed figure to boot.

Hopefully Mother Nature will allow the sun to shine brightly on the final day of live racing at the State Fair, so enjoy the exciting chase scenes Maryland thoroughbred horse racing has to offer. Good Luck!

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Slots Revenue Helps Laurel Park Fall Meet Schedule Increase Number Of Stakes Races And Richer Purses

Posted on 17 July 2012 by Gary Quill

LAUREL, MD. 07-17-12—The Maryland Jockey Club (MJC) unveiled the 2012 Laurel Park fall schedule on Tuesday after reaching agreement with both the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and Maryland Horse Breeders Association. The schedule was approved by the Maryland Racing Commission hours earlier at its monthly meeting.

After a 15-week break, which will include seven (7) live days of racing at Timonium during the State Fair in late August and early September, live racing will resume at the major tracks two days after Labor Day. Racing will take place four (4) days a week through the end of the year on a Wednesday through Saturday schedule, holidays excluded.

The 69-day fall meeting, which begins Wednesday, Sept. 5 and concludes Monday, Dec. 31, includes 32 stakes races, 5 more than a year ago. The average daily purse will be increased from $210,000 to $240,000, thanks to revenue from slot machines in the state. Like the 60’s cartoon character Mighty Mouse, “revenue from slots” has (finally) come to save the day. In the cartoon below, the cats represent Delaware, West Virginia and Pennsylvania terrorizing and threatening to (financially) devour the MJC, Maryland horsemen, owners, breeders and track employees. Hopefully, it will only get better when a state special session approves the expansion of gaming in the state, in order to keep pace with surrounding states that already offer table games.

“It is important to have stakes races bolster our Saturday cards,” said Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas. “To build our business from a handle standpoint, races need to be more attractive to simulcast players. We are in the process of finalizing the promotional schedule for the fall, which we expect will bring more fans into the building.”

Headlining the stand will be the 27th running of the Jim McKay Maryland Million Day for the offspring of Maryland-based stallions on Saturday, Oct. 6 and the return of the Fall Festival of Racing three weeks later. That card will feature five stakes races on the turf as well as the $350,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash.

Laurel Park Fall Meeting Dates:

• September 5-6-7-8
• September 12-13-14-15
• September 19-20-21-22
• September 26-27-28-29

• October 3-4-5-6
• October 8-11-12-13
• October 17-18-19-20
• October 24-25-26-27

• October 31-November 1-2-3
• November 7-8-9-10
• November 14-15-16-17
• November 21-22-23-24
• November 28-29-30-December 1

• December 5-6-7-8
• December 12-13-14-15
• December 19-20-21-22
• December 26-27-28-29
• December 31

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