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Digest (Oct. 11): Six defending champs entered for Maryland Million Day at Laurel Park

Three Diamonds Farm's Bonus Points, whose last stakes victory came in the 2017 Classic, is one of six defending champions and 13 past winners among 224 horses pre-entered in 11 stakes that help comprise the 33rd annual Jim McKay Maryland Million Day program Oct. 20 at Laurel Park . Four of the 12 races on the Maryland Million program, which also attracted seven past Maryland-bred champions led by 2017 Horse of the Year Just Howard, are scheduled to be contested over Laurel's turf course. Entries and post positions will be drawn Wednesday. First race post time on Maryland Million Day is noon. This year's festivities will include the inaugural Clubhouse Festival featuring Grammy nominated headliners Deadmau5 and Steve Aoki. Trained by seven-time Eclipse Award winner Todd Pletcher, Bonus Points spoiled a bid by Admirals War Chest last year to become just the second three-time Classic winner and first to do so in successive years. Now, the 4-year-old Majestic Warrior colt will attempt to join Admirals War Chest, Eighttofasttocatch (2013-14), Docent (2002-03), Algar (1997-98) and Timely Warning (1990-91) as just the sixth back-to-back Classic winner. Bonus Points has made three of his five starts this year at Laurel, winning a second-level optional claiming allowance June 9 and finishing second by a neck July 14 and by a nose in his most recent start going one mile Sept. 16. Multiple stakes winner John Jones, beaten as the 9-5 favorite last year, is among five horses from last year's Classic to pre-enter, along with Clubman, Flash McCaul and Legend's Hope. The richest race on the Maryland Million program at $150,000, the 11/8-mile Classic for 3-year-olds and up also attracted multiple stakes winners Talk Show Man and Sonny Inspired. Talk Show Man (2014 Turf) is one of seven past Maryland Million winners pre-entered this year along with My Magician (2014 Lassie), Phlash Phelps (2015, 2016 Turf), Item (2016 Lassie), Greatbullsoffire (2016 Nursery), Chapel of Chimes (2016 Distaff Starter) and Who Stole My Sock (2016 Starter). Item and My Magician are each among 22 horses pre-entered in the $100,000 Distaff for fillies and mares 3 and up at 7 furlongs including defending champion Crabcakes. Other defending champions pre-entered are My Sistersledge in the $125,000 Ladies at 11/8 miles on turf; Spartianos in the $125,000 Turf at 1 mile; Participate in the $60,000 Turf Distaff Starter Handicap; and Helloitsme in the $50,000 Starter Handicap.

Colleges

Army-Navy soccer matchkicks off Star weekend

The Navy men's soccer team (1-9-1, 0-4-0 Patriot League ) continues its league schedule tonight at 7 against Army (4-6-1, 1-3-0 PL) in the seventh annual Army-Navy Cup at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pa.. Tonight's match is a Star Match and is part of the Army-Navy Star Series. The men's soccer match will be one of four Army-Navy Star competitions this weekend. Through the first three Star competitions, Army has earned two Stars (men's golf and sprint football), while Navy won the last Star in volleyball. The Black Knights and Midshipmen will also have Star competitions in women's soccer, women's cross country and men's cross country this weekend.

Men's basketball: Towson served as host of the "Islands of the Bahamas Showcase" press conference at SECU Arena on Thursday. The event featured international dignitaries, athletic administrators and sponsors of the third annual tournament. The Tigers are one of eight programs along with Montana, Incarnate Word, North Dakota State, Miami (Ohio), Florida Atlantic, Georgia Southern and Pepperdine that will compete in the Showcase, which begins Nov. 16.

From Sun staff and news services

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