Ten races were run during the Jim McKay Maryland Million Day at Laurel Park on Saturday. Here's a look at how they finished.
Race 1 - Maryland Million Nursery – Six Furlongs – Winner: It's a Bang (1:10.48)
Walter Vieser II’s It’s a Bang remained perfect in his young career, winning the $100,000 Maryland Million Nursery for 2-year-olds after fighting off post-time favorite Joint Custody. It was the Country Roads-bred prospect’s second race, after winning his debut nine days ago. He carried Richard Monterrey and was trained by Donald Barr.
"Donald Barr and his staff really deserve a lot of credit for bringing this horse along after racing nine days ago," Monterrey said. "He broke very sharp out of the gate and my job was to get him to relax and be as comfortable as possible. At the top of the stretch, it was time to go. My horse drew away and I had plenty left at the finish."
Race 2 – Maryland Million Lassie – Six Furlongs – Winner: Jonesin for Jerry (1:11.04)
Jonesin for Jerry was the morning line favorite in the $100,000 Maryland Million Lassie for 2-year-old fillies, but the experienced racer got everything she could handle early on. Weekends for Love led the backstretch, but Jonesin for Jerry took the lead and won by 5-1/2 lengths. She carried Abel Castellano and earned trainer Jerry Robb his seventh victory at Maryland Million, which tied him for fourth-place on the event’s all-time win list.
"She was pretty wound up in the paddock and I was pretty worried,” Robb said. “I was really worried when she was coming down the backstretch because she doesn’t like to be rated. She threw her head up but the jockey did a great job settling her."
Race 3 – Apple Ford Maryland Million Maiden – 1 1/16 Mile (Turf) – Winner: Mavourneen (1:47.11)
Mavourneen, trained and owned by Mr. and Mrs. Thomas H. Voss, won the $50,000 Maryland Maiden for 3-years-and-older fillies and mares. Very Few Details finished second and Dorchester County finished third. Mavourneen carried Horacio Karamanos.
Race 4 – Maryland Million Sprint – Six Furlongs – Winner: Ribo Bobo (1:08.64)
Mr. Amore Stable’s Ribo Bobo led the way over Action Andy, Fersmiley and Mass Destruction in the $100,000 Maryland Million Sprint. The 5-year-old has nine straight wins this year in races spanning Florida, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. Ben’s Cat was an early scratch after trainer/owner King Leatherbury decided on Friday to take the favorite out of the sprint. After Pitch N Roll also withdrew, there were only four horses left for the sprint.
“I was just trying to slow him down a bit,” said Julian Pimentel, Ribo Bobo’s jockey. “I didn’t have to do much, just keep him in as he came around the final turn because he was going so fast and running so easily. He is remarkable, winning so many in a row.”
Race 5 – Maryland Horse Industry Board Maryland Million Maiden – 1 1/16 Mile (Turf) – Winner: Love Me Du (1:47.91)
Love Me Du trailed after taking a deep first turn, but drifted in at the eighth pole and held up to carry Carlos Marquez Jr. across the finish of the $50,000 Maryland Horse Industry Board MM Maiden. Star Crossed Lover, with a 12-1 line, finished second and had a chance for the win, but briefly lost her left iron while leaving the backstretch. Richard F. Blue, Jr.’s Scrapple finished third.
Race 6 – Maryland Million Distaff Starter Handicap – 1 Mile – Winner: Vianney Lane (1:39.16)
Vianney Lane, claimed recently by trainer Ben Feliciano Jr., gave immediate return by pulling ahead of the competition at the $50,000 Maryland Million Starter Handicap. The 5-year-old carried Julian Pimentel, who earned his second victory of the day after earlier winning the Maryland Million Sprint. Two longshots, Centripetal Motion and Touring Hong Kong, finished second and third, respectively.
"I’ve been watching this horse a long time,” said Cindy Miccio, Vianney Lane’s co-owner. “I love this filly. She’s very versatile. She can win on grass, dirt and all weather surfaces.”
Race 7 – Special Olympics Maryland MM Ladies – 1 1/8 Mile – Winner: Monster Sleeping (1:53.54)
Charles J. Reed’s Monster Sleeping led the way during the $125,000 Maryland Millions Ladies on the turf, giving trainer Dale Capuano his 10th career win at Maryland Million, which tied King Leatherbury’s trainer record. The filly carried Jose Garcia while winning the race by two lengths, as defending champion Pagan Priestess trailed in third.
“We had been preparing for this race quite a while,” Capuano said. “She usually breaks well and today she broke sharp and raced like we hoped she would. We put a lot of time and effort into getting her ready and it paid off today.”
Race 8 – Maryland Million Distaff – Seven Furlongs – Winer: Maddy's Dance (1:23.65)
Maddy’s Dance had a final stretch kick that left favorites Ann’s Smart Dancer and Ju Ju Eyeballs trailing, giving the Dennis J. Federico-owned horse a victory in the $100,000 Maryland Million Distaff. The longshot, who had 15-1 morning line odds, carried Daniel Centeno and was trained by John Rigattieri.
“She’s in good form and with her momentum 30 yards from the wire, I thought she had it,” Rigattieri said. “The jockey rode a good race. It was his first time on her. I told him she does not like to get hit, so he hand rode her and did a very good job.”
Race 9 – Maryland Million Turf – One Mile (Turf) – Winner: Roadhog (1:27.06)
Ben’s Cat came within a neck of setting a new Maryland Million record for victories, but fell short as Ellendale Racing’s Roadhog pulled ahead for a photo finish in the $125,000 Maryland Million Turf. Both horses finished the one-mile course in 1:27.06. Ben’s Cat trailed early after drawing a rail start, but was second going into the turn. In the final stretch, Ben’s Cat pulled ahead but was outpaced by the lunging Roadhog.
“We knew the competition was tough coming into this race,” said Elizabeth Merryman, Roadhog’s trainer. “We are all very happy with how well he ran today.”
Race 10 – Maryland Million Classic – 1 1/8 Mile – Winner: Eighttofasttocatch (1:50.42)
Eighttofasttocatch, the favorite, controlled the pace even while drawing the rail, rocking forward and leading the whole race. He was trailed by Romancing the Gold, who bobbled at the break but recovered for second, and Wild Louis, who closed the final gap to finish third.
“It worked out great. We got away well,” said Forest Boyce, the jockey. “I thought someone might try us early, soften us up, but it didn’t happen.”
Race 11 – Maryland Million Starter Handicap – 1 Mile – Winner: Tooth and Claw (1:37.14)
Richard F. Blue’s Tooth and Claw had a stunning last-to-first finish to cap off Maryland Million Day, winning the $50,000 Maryland Million Starter Handicap. Apprentice Chelsey Keiser was aboard Tooth and Claw, who won over Spicer Cub and Who Dat Boy. Trainer Ann Merryman, who had two Maryland Million victories, said she loved the way the jockey rode.
“She has nerves of steel,” Merryman said. “She takes a horse back further than I’ve ever seen but the horses love her and they come running.”