In a press release from Maryland Million Ltd., the Maryland
Million board has approved three significant changes for the 28th Jim McKay
Maryland Million, to be run on Saturday, Oct. 19 at Laurel Park.
The day of racing for the offspring of eligible Maryland-based
stallions will no longer card the Oaks and the Turf Sprint. And the distance of
the Turf has been modified to one mile.
The Oaks, a one mile event for 3-year-old fillies had been run
since Maryland Million’s inception in 1986. The Turf Sprint, won the past three
years by Ben’s Cat, was first contested in 2004.
With the elimination of the 5 furlong Turf Sprint, the distance of
the Turf has been shortened to one mile. To be run for the 28th time, the race
was initially a mile and a sixteenth test until the 1993 running, when it was
lengthened to a mile and an eighth.
Maryland Racing Secretary Georganne Hale offered this explanation,
“The two races were deleted because it was diluting the horse population which
caused smaller fields in the dirt sprint, boys turf, distaff, and ladies turf.”
Hale added, “We had too many race options that the same amount of horses could
run in. We do not have more horses. We shortened the boys turf to draw a horse
that might have been in the turf sprint and really can't dirt.”
This year’s Maryland Million Day will have two new opportunities
for maiden turf runners, offering purses of $50,000 for each. Maryland Million
and/or Maryland-bred horses will be eligible for the mile and a sixteenth races
for 3-year-olds and up, with Maryland Million eligible horses preferred. Second
preference will be for horses had to have run for at least $12,500 in their
last three starts.
When asked about the two new races, Hale expressed, “The two added
maiden races we knew, or hope, would draw big fields which in turn increases
the day's handle. We also opened up the maiden races to include Maryland Breds
Two words that are music to horseplayers ears, “big fields”. There’s nothing
less attractive about a racing card, then to see multiple races having 6 horses
entered. This is exactly what these changes are intended to combat.
Bravo Maryland Million Ltd. for making these changes for the
bettor, with an “o” not an “e”.
Here are the eleven (11) Maryland Million races:
$150,000 Maryland Million Classic 3-year-olds & up, 1 1/8 mile
$125,000 Maryland Million Turf 3-year-olds & up, 1 mile turf
$125,000 Maryland Million Ladies F&M 3-year-olds & up, 1
1/18 mile turf
$100,000 Maryland Million Distaff (a handicap) for F&M,
3-year-olds & up, 7f
$100,000 Maryland Million Sprint (a handicap) for 3-year-olds
& up, 6f
$100,000 Maryland Million Lassie Fillies, 2-year-olds, 6f
$100,000 Maryland Million Nursery 2-year-olds, 6f
$50,000 Maryland Million Starter Handicap 3-year-olds & up who have started for a claiming price of
$12,500 or less since October 1, 2011, 1 mile. This is a Sweepstakes.
$50,000 Maryland Million Distaff Starter Handicap F&M 3-year-olds & up who have started for a claiming price
of $12,500 or less since October 1, 2011, 1 mile. This is a Sweepstakes.
$50,000 Maryland Million/Maryland-bred Maiden Turf F&M 3-year-olds & up. First preference to Maryland
Million-eligible horses. Second preference to horses who have not run for less
$50,000 Maryland Million/Maryland-bred Maiden Turf 3-year-olds & up. First preference to
Maryland Million-eligible horses. Second preference to horses who have not run
for less than $12,500.