Tag Archive | "Jim McKay’s Maryland Million"


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Opinions on the 28th Jim McKay’s Maryland Million at Laurel Park

Posted on 19 October 2013 by Gary Quill

Jim McKay’s Maryland Million takes place at Laurel Park on Saturday. There will be a collection of 11 races with total purses exceeding $1 million

The most celebrated Maryland-bred currently in training, Ben’s Cat, will try to become the first four-time winner of Maryland Million races after winning the Turf Sprint the last three years. That race was eliminated by Maryland Million officials earlier this year.

The son of Parker’s Storm Cat, who became trainer King T. Leatherbury’s first millionaire last year, has won 23-of-35 starts for earnings of $1,695,640. But without a turf sprint, Leatherbury cross-entered the 7 year-old in the 6 furlong dirt Sprint Handicap and the one mile Turf.

After the entries were posted, Leatherbury handicapped both races in order to decide which one to run Ben’s Cat.

The Sprint has some really fast horses in it,” Leatherbury said. “With the weight I was given (124 pounds-four to 11 more than the rest of the field), I think there were three that could beat me. I am the best horse in the Turf. The only question mark is the one-mile distance. Handicapping these races was fun. Before doing so I thought I would be running in the Sprint but after looking at the numbers, I changed my mind.”

Ben’s Cat will be the 6-5 morning line favorite in the Turf, which also features Roadhog and Change of Command, the 1-2 finishers from last year. Julian Pimentel will be aboard Ben’s Cat for the 24th time. The duo has teamed up for 15 victories.

For Saturday races the weather forecast calls Partly Cloudy skies, with just a 10% chance of showers, so I’m anticipating a FAST MAIN TRACK and FIRM TURF. Selections for the Jim McKay’s MARYLAND MILLION DAY at Laurel Park, Saturday, Oct. 19th are posted below. Selections posted were handicapped based on making multi-race wagers such as DOUBLE’s, Pick-3’s and Pick-4’s using all three (3) listed for each race in each leg.

1st race – $100,000 MD Million Nursery for 2 y.o. – 6 furlongs
#3 – It’s a Bang (8-5)
#7 – Springs R Loaded (5-1)
#1 – Joint Custody (7-5)

2nd race – $100,000 MD Million Lassie for 2 y.o. fillies – 6 furlongs
#3 – Jonesin for Jerry (4-5)
#7 – Steady N Love (8-1)
#8 – Weekends for Love (5-1)

3rd race – $50,000 Maiden for F&M 3 y.o. and up – 1 1/16 mile on Turf
#8 – Tanka (5-1) *** BEST BET ***
#10 – See What Happens (8-1)
#6 – Very Few Details (3-1)

4th race – $100,000 MD Million Sprint Hcp for 3 y.o. and up – 6 furlongs
#1 – Ribo Bobo (7-2)
#6 – Pitch N Roll (10-1)
#5 – Action Andy (7-2)

5th race – $50,000 Maiden MD Million for 3 y.o. and up – 1 1/16 mile on Turf
#9 – Love Me Du (7-2)
#10 – Star Crossed Lover (12-1)
#14 – Petie’s Boy (15-1)

6th race – $50,000 MD Million Distaff Starter Hcp for F&M 3 y.o. and up – One Mile
#3 – Sister Sharon (8-1)
#13 – Will N Pat (15-1)
#6 – Motherload Hipster (9-2)

7th race – $125,000 MD Million Ladies for F&M 3 y.o.and up – 1 1/8 mile on Turf
#1 – Pagan Priestess (4-1)
#5 – Dance With Gio (15-1)
#2 – Moral High Ground (12-1)

8th race – $100,000 MD Million Distaff Hcp for F&M 3 y.o. and up – 7 furlongs
#2 – Maddy’s Dance (15-1) $$$ LONGSHOT PLAY $$$
#5 – Ju Ju Eyeballs (8-5)
#3 – Classy Coco (4-1)

9th race – $125,000 MD Million Turf for 3 y.o. and up – One mile on Turf
#9 – Change of Command (4-1)
#1 – Target Sighted (12-1)
#7 – Roadhog (9-2)

10th race – $150,000 MD Million Classic for 3 y.o. and up – 1 1/8 mile
#5 – Seventeenohsix (5-1)
#1 – Eighttofasttocatch (2-5)
#3 – Talk Show Man (15-1)

11thr race – $50,000 MD Million Starter Hcp for 3 y.o. and up – One Mile
#11 – Tooth N Claw (20-1)
#8 – Who Dat Boy (6-1)
#9 – Q’s Jack (10-1)

It’s a beautiful day to go to lovely Laurel Park and celebrate this rich thoroughbred horse racing tradition in Maryland. Good Luck!

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Ben's Cat-2013 Mister Diz Stakes

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Jim McKay’s Maryland Million Preview: Ben’s Cat – Turf or Dirt?

Posted on 17 October 2013 by Gary Quill

Introduced in 1986, the Maryland Million, a program of races restricted to the offspring of Maryland-based stallions, has been duplicated by more than 20 other states. Maryland-sired thoroughbreds are nominated before they become 2-year-olds and remain eligible for life to run in the Maryland Million races. After twenty-seven runnings, more than 220 stallions have been represented in Maryland Million races.

Thanks to Jim McKay’s love of his home state and thoroughbred horse racing, Maryland breeders have one day a year that they can stand proud and potentially pickup a few new clients. McKay originally proposed the concept and remained Chairman of the Board until his death five years ago. Twenty-two times attendance figures have topped 20,000 for the event.

Twenty-seven horses have won more than one Maryland Million event. Nine former winners are entered Saturday, including five runners looking for back-to-back scores: Action Andy (Sprint), Roadhog (Turf), Pagan Priestess (Ladies), Varborough (Starter Handicap), Motherload Hipster (Distaff Starter Handicap).

Only five (5) runners have won three (3) times on Million Million Day… Safely Kept  Distaff-1989-90-91), Countus In (Ladies-1989-90-91), Mz. Zill Bear (Ladies-1993-94-95), Docent (Sweepstakes-2001 & Classic-2002-03) and Ben’s Cat (Turf Sprint-2010-2011-2012).

Ben’s Cat has a chance to move into the record books. Owner/trainer King T. Leatherbury cross-entered the 7-year-old son of Parker’s Storm Cat into both the $125,000 Turf and $100,000 Sprint.

Leatherbury said Thursday morning the decision would go “down to the wire” (he’s expected to decide by Friday afternoon), but may have tipped his hand adding, “A mile is not my choice. If I was writing the race myself it would strictly be sprints. He’s won distance races but they weren’t impressive. He just won them. It wasn’t one of those wows.”.

The first 4,000 full-paid admissions and Maryland-licensed owners and trainers will each receive a free Maryland Million Sport Cap. On-track entertainment between races will include two pony races, Suttler Clydesdales, Goshen Foxhounds, Great Falls Vaulters and Special Olympics Maryland and a visit from Joey of War Horse fame, brought to life by puppeteers. What?! No wiener (Dashsund) dog races?

Party at the Park, located trackside in Paddock Park, will feature food truck fare, a full bar cornhole as well as Jeremy Plonk and Brian Nadeau from Horse Player Now’s Night School providing expert analysis of the card.

HRTV will have a live presence for the entire card with hosts Caton Bredar and Dick Jerardi on site. First post for Saturday’s 11-race program is 12:15 p.m. EDT at Laurel Park.

A few weeks ago, Jose Villegas, an exercise rider at Laurel Park was involved in a training accident which left him paralyzed from the waist down. With the local horse racing focus on Maryland Million Day, Frank Vespe founder of The Racing Biz website spearheaded an online handicapping contest to help Jose and his family.

Please join me as there’s a voluntary/optional $5 contribution to participate. Click HERE for more information.

It’s a beautiful day to go to lovely Laurel Park and celebrate this rich thoroughbred horse racing tradition in Maryland. Good Luck!

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