Robb is best known for conditioning Little Bold John, who retired in
1993 with 38 wins in 105 starts and earnings of nearly $2 million. LBJ’s
26 career stakes victories represents a Maryland-bred record. His
victories included the Donn Handicap (G1) and the 1987 Maryland Million Classic.
Saturday, the 61-year-old will saddle three Maryland Million runners,
including the morning line favorites in the first two races on the card,
the $100,000 Nursery and the $100,000 Lassie.
the Nursery, Robb will send out Joint Custody (7-5), who is a perfect
two-for-two. The son of Outflanker will face six other 2-year-old boys
and drew the rail.
have rather had an outside post,” Robb said. “He has speed so we’ll
just have to do with what we get. It took a long time to even to get him
to breeze. He’s a big lazy horse, wouldn’t do anything. Since we’ve put
the blinkers on him he’s really woken up. I think he’ll be better going
longer and the older he gets the better he’ll be.”
for Jerry, a daughter of Great Notion, who has finished first or second
in four of six lifetime starts is the prohibitive 4-5 favorite over
seven other 2-year-old fillies in the Lassie.
has six Maryland Million victories during his career and is tied for
seventh on the all-time win list. Four of his other five wins were with
2-year-olds: Ameri Allen (Lassie, 1990); Carnirainbow (Lassie, 1992);
Run Alden Run (Nursery, 1993) and Glib (Nursery, 2011).
FIVE LOOKING FOR REPEAT PERFORMANCES
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).
of Famer 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) are the only runners to win three times on
Maryland Million day.
Cat has a chance to move into the record books. Owner/trainer King
Leatherbury cross-entered his star into both the $125,000 Turf and
$100,000 Sprint. Action Andy or Roadhog will be facing Ben’s Cat, the
highest-profile runner on Saturday’s 11-race card.
Maryland Jockey club handicapper Keith Feustle made the son of Parker’s Storm Cat the morning line choice in both races.
said Thursday morning the decision would go “down to the wire” but
expects to decide which race to start on Friday afternoon.
comes into the race in fine form. The son of Bowman’s Band has captured
a pair of stakes races in Pennsylvania since mid-July for trainer
Elizabeth Merryman. The 6-year-old gelding is the 9-2 third choice in
Andy has not run since finishing eighth in the Maryland Sprint Handicap
(G3) on the Preakness undercard. Trainer Carlos Garcia gave the son of
Gators N Bears the summer off. Since returning in August, he has logged
three bullet workouts. The 6-year-old is the 7-2 third choice in the
Bobo, who has won eight straight, is the second choice in the Sprint
and an overwhelming 2-5 pick to dethrone Varborough in the $50,000
Starter Handicap, the last race on the program. The defending champ, who
is two-of-12 this year, is 15-1.
Priestess is the 4-1 second choice in the $125,000 Ladies, a
contentious 10-horse field. The daughter of Oratory is winless in five
starts as a 5-year-old, but has finished on the board in three of her
last four. Forest Boyce has been aboard all three in the money finishes
and has the riding assignment Saturday.
save some ground with her breaking from the inside post,” Boyce said.
“The last couple trips with her were pretty rough. Last time (Oct. 3 at
Delaware Park) we were up against some tough company but she really ran
great. I think she ran a winning race that day. She’s been running well.
We will just save ground and make one run.”
Hipster is the 7-2 second choice in the $50,000 Distaff Starter
Handicap. Lisa Guerrero claimed the daughter of Dance With Ravens out of
her last start with this spot in mind.
other previous winners on the program are Eighttofasttocatch, who is
looking to win the Classic for the second time in three years, 2009 Turf
winner Target Sighted and Classy Coco, who took the Lassie a year ago.