We take a break in the action over at #WIHSturns60 to bring you some highlights from last Saturday’s Maryland Million.
Hall of Fame jockey Edgar Prado made history on Saturday when he notched his 18th Maryland Million win, which is one more than the previous record holding jockey, fellow Hall of Famer Ramon Dominquez. Prado’s win came aboard the three-year-old gelding Saratoga Bob, owned by Wayne Harrison, Robert Manfuso and Katharine Voss. The son of Friesan Fire was bred by Voss and Manfuso and currently trained by Voss. “I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to have success right here earlier in my career and to come back and win,” Prado said. “This is the cream on the top of the cake.”
The $100,000 Maryland Million Distaff looked like a repeat of last year’s race with the favorite Crabcakes beating My Magician by a half-length two years in a row. Ridden by Maryland-based jockey Forest Boyce, the four-year-old mare is trained by Bernie Houghton. The daughter of Great Notion, Crabcakes is owned by Morgan’s Ford Farm but raced in the colors of her late owner/breeder Binnie Houghton’s Buckingham Farm.
Ridden for the first time by jockey Jevian Toledo, the four-year-old gelding Lewisfield won the $100,000 Maryland Million Sprint by a whopping 8 1/4 lengths. Lewisfield is trained by Jeff Runco and owned by Linda Zang. The gelding is also by Great Notion, who stands at Northview Stallion Station in Chesapeake City.
Follow the Dog, a two year old colt, won the $100,000 Maryland Million Nursery with a time of 1:10.14. He was ridden by Julian Pimental and is trained by Marya Montoya. Follow the Dog is the son of Grade 3 winner Bandbox and is out of the Cozzene mare Two’s Cozy. He is owned by Waldorf Racing Stables.
Two-year-old filly My Star Potential made her stakes debut with a win the $100,000 Maryland Million Lassie. Ridden by Jomar Torres, Tritap filly was bred by Carry Frommer and is trained by Laurel Park fall meet leading trainer Claudio Gonzalez. My Star Potential is out of the Cuvee mare Cheers Darling and is owned by Euro Stable.
The biggest upset of the day was when Talk Show Man ran down the favorite Phlash Phelps to win the $125,000 Maryland Million Turf. The three-year-old gelding won this race in 2014 as well. Ridden by Jevian Toledo, the Great Notion gelding was blocked most of the way by a wall of horses but found room when turning for home to win by half a length. Trained by Hamilton Smith, Talk Show Man is owned and bred by Dr. Michael Harrison.
My Sisterledge defended her $125,000 Maryland Million Ladies title with her second straight victory in this race. This year, the four-year-old mare ridden by Julian Pimentel won by a neck over 60-1 long shot My Vixen. Trained by Mike Trombetta, she is by Etched and out of the Miesque’s Son mare Blushing Pride. My Sistersledge is owned and bred by John and Cheryl Banner.
Overall, the 33th Jim McKay Maryland Million Day at Laurel Park showed a total handle of $5.704 million, which was an increase of 30.3% over 2017. It was also the largest handle on Maryland Million Day since 2007, which was also the last time the handle was over $5 million. An estimated 22,000 people attended, including the thousands of new fans who came to watch Grammy nominated Steve Aoki perform at the inaugural Clubhouse Festival.