RACE 1: MARYLAND MILLION HANDICAP Gayquare has been a different racehorse since his return after a long time on the shelf. He hasn't been worse than second in five starts while compiling three victories. Blue Highways left Pimlico on a high note by eking out a neck victory in a very game effort. Can easily handle the mile and one-eighth opener. Asserche's latest score came over the Pimlico turf course at a mile and a half.
Pickering's pick: Gayquare. Upset threat: Have You Testified.
Ross Peddicord's pick: Gayquare.
RACE 2: MARYLAND MILLION STEEPLECHASE HANDICAP Lonesome Jubilee suddenly got it all together last spring and has become a consistent jumper but perhaps faces the toughest assignment of his life today. Dum Crambo, an old pro at this game, could go postward as the choice after making several appearances on the major-league circuit. Rolling Cart, another
old-timer, will not be disgraced by any means.
Pickering's pick: Dum Crambo.
Peddicord's pick: Rolling Cart.
RACE 3: MARYLAND MILLION LASSIE Smart'n Noble, already a multi-stakes winner, has a shot at a real nice pot. Her last effort was a failure, but it was her first crack around two turns. Should fit this middle distance perfectly. Waqueen has fallen to the top pick several times, but has the benefit of Lasix here. Rock The Nest is a New York shipper who broke her maiden on a sloppy strip, but the time wasn't much to write home about.
Pickering's pick: Smart'n Noble. Upset threat: Rock The Nest.
Peddicord's pick: Frigid Coed.
RACE 4: MARYLAND MILLION STARTER HANDICAP Over Fly turned everything around early this spring and has been a roll since. She meets colts today but seems to be getting stronger with each race. This mare takes on all surfaces, fast, muddy and sloppy. Auntienan'sbrother's best efforts seem to come over this strip and he should get a lot of play off his latest effort at Pimlico. He'll be pouring it on at the finish. Score Thirty Eight's stock is on the rise again after winning two in a row in the claiming ranks.
Pickering's pick: Over Fly. Upset threat: Score Thirty Eight.
Peddicord's pick: Auntienan'sbrother.
RACE 5: MARYLAND MILLION NURSERY Canton River logged a pretty decent figure when he scored a length-and-three-quarters victory in the mud the other day. This gelding may develop into a very good one. Don's Sho is an unbeaten colt shipping in from Rockingham Park. He gets the services of jockey Edgar Prado, who is off to a terrific start at
Laurel. Sir Wollaston has two top efforts to his credit in New York, the latest a winning effort in the slop at Belmont Park.
Pickering's pick: Canton River. Upset threat: Sir Wollaston.
Peddicord's pick: Canton River.
RACE 6: MARYLAND MILLION OAKS Champion Jay seems to be peaking at the right time. Her best efforts are at shorter distances but a perfectly executed ride by Prado will make this filly dangerous. Key to the Hill's first attempt on the turf course developed pretty much as expected and can be completely overlooked. Metallic Rose's first effort around two turns surprised many when she failed to tire in the stretch and was three lengths in front at the wire.
Pickering's pick: Champion Jay. Upset threat: Metallic Rose.
Peddicord's pick: Vallation.
RACE 7: MARYLAND MILLION TURF Grade I stakes-winner Awad should have everything his way negotiating a mile and one-eighth on the turf. Just prior to winning Arlington's Secretariat, he banked first money locally in the Humphrey Finney stakes over this course. Dancing Douglas became a different horse since being introduced to turf and will give this bunch a run for the money. Pescagani can get awfully good at times as attested by his victory in the Sir Ivor Stakes here in August.
Pickering's pick: Awad.
Peddicord's pick: Awad.
RACE 8: MARYLAND MILLION DISTAFF HANDICAP No matter what happens, Wood So goes to the post the sentimental favorite. She's in foal to a Kentucky stallion named Homebuilder and this will probably be the last race of her life. She has been an extremely honest mare and has the credentials to win here. Ritchie Trail is another mare who has a heart of gold and is there when it counts. Star Minister probably will be on the wing early and can hang up some pretty torrid fractions. The key here is to put this filly away early.
Pickering's pick: Wood So. Upset threat: Star Minister.
Peddicord's pick: Ritchie Trail.
RACE 9: MARYLAND MILLION SPRINT HANDICAP Jest Punching has to be one of the bargain claims of '92. Trainer Gary Capuano picked up this runner for $20,000 and has developed him into one of the top sprinters on the circuit. He's in excellent shape coming into this race. One Tuff Oop blew them away at Pimlico when hanging up six furlongs in 1:09 4/5ths over a track rated only good. This can not be ignored. Longest Drive has been another bargain claim who has blossomed only recently.
Pickering's pick: Jest Punching. Upset threat: Longest Drive.
Peddicord's pick: Coolin It.
RACE 10: MARYLAND MILLION LADIES Rain or shine Mz. Zill Bear is the one to beat. She can be even more effective should the race be forced off the turf. This filly started her '93 campaign on the sluggish side, but has come on very strong after just four starts. Ratings' claim to fame this year is Saratoga's Diane Handicap, which she won by a neck over a "yielding" course. That race alone could make her the post-time favorite. If Heed is in a contending position when they hit the final turf, she could fire at a nice mutuel.
Pickering's pick: Mz. Zill Bear. Upset threat: Heed.
Peddicord's pick: Ratings.
RACE 11: MARYLAND MILLION CLASSIC Root Boy's rally fell a bit short in Monmouth's Salvator Mile but that distance didn't do him any favors. He's a stronger horse when he's stretched out and today's mile and three-sixteenths is more to his liking. Ameri Valay will get stronger as winter rolls around but already this colt has found a winning stride. Baron de Vaux hasn't been the same horse lately but could turn this race upside down if the Lasix kicks in.
Pickering's pick: Root Boy. Upset threat: Baron de Vaux.
el,1 Peddicord's pick: Root Boy.
RACE 12: MARYLAND MILLION JUVENILE TURF Although many members of this field are untested on grass, Lady Beware is the only entrant who is a winner on the turf at today's distance. Bewarned's debut at Belmont Park ended up on a muddy main track after being taken off the turf. Melissa's Quickie was disqualified from purse money in Philadelphia but has since banked a pair of place purses. This grandson of Northern Dancer could easily adjust to the infield.
Pickering's pick: Lady Beware. Upset threat: Melissa's Quickie.
Peddicord's pick: Bewarned.