Besides Taking Risks, Prenup was the only other horse on yesterday's Maryland Million card who had captured a Grade I stakes.
He upheld his reputation in the $100,000 Sprint Handicap at 4-5 odds with a length victory over the game long shot Who Wouldn't.
The win was the fourth straight for the New York-based Prenup, who flashed to the wire in 1 minute, 9 seconds for six furlongs, a stakes record and only a second off the track record.
"I want to see how this horse comes out of the race. We may end up going to the Breeders' Cup," said Prenup's trainer Mark Hennig. Mr. [Edward] Evans indicated some interest in the Breeders' Cup, so I thought it would be best to drop him back.
"I thought this was his most competitive race of the year. Because he's a 3-year-old with limited experience going against some talented older horses, I just didn't think he'd go as fast."
In the process, Prenup beat two previous winners of the Million Sprint, Military Look (seventh) and Smart Alec (fourth).
Sam's Quest takes Nursery
The 8-year-old stallion Norquestor got off to a swift start in his breeding career when one of the members of his first crop of foals, Sam's Quest, won the $100,000 Maryland Million Nursery.
"This makes the gamble we took in acquiring this horse [for $600,000 in 1990] all worthwhile," said Audrey Murray, owner of Murmur Farm in Darlington, where Norquestor stands at stud.
Sam's Quest is owned and was bred by Frank Giardina of Glen Arm, who also owns the horse's dam, Roxie Larose. Giardina's trainer, Frannie Campitelli, expressly pointed the colt to the Maryland Million race, Giardina said.
Offspring of freshman sires swept the first three places in the race. American Wolf, a son of Corbett Farm stallion Northern Wolf, finished second in the Nursery, and Speedquestor, another son of Norquestor, was third. Earlier, a daughter of freshman sire Citidancer finished third in the Maryland Million Lassie.
Norquestor, currently 25th in the national freshman sire rankings, is expected to jump to about sixth in the standings after yesterday's success.
Alice Dear wins steeplechase
Alice Dear outfought Rippleton Road by a head under Jonathan Smart to win the $25,000, 2 1/4 -mile Steeplechase Handicap in the slowest time of its four runnings, 4:18 1/5, over a yielding turf course.
The only female in the nine-horse field took the early jumps
cautiously under Smart, but jumped confidently in the late going and prevailed in a head-to-head stretch duel over the favorite, ridden by Blythe Miller.
Alice Dear, sent off at 11-1 odds, is conditioned by Smart's wife, Annie Weeden-Smart, who won the Laurel Turf Cup two years ago with Master Dreamer.
( They train at Fair Hill.
Both gubernatorial candidates, Parris Glendening and Ellen Sauerbrey, were in attendance at Laurel. . . . The final handle, including the off-track betting and commingled pools, was $5,001,898, a Million record, but the attendance was down to 21,284. However, that total does not include the OTB sites, where attendance is difficult to calculate because of its transient nature. . . . The National Best Seven was a chalk-player's paradise yesterday as 332 tickets were sold with all seven winners. They were worth $456.85. There were 10,558 tickets with six of seven winners, each returning $6.80 for a 50-cent wager.
Simulcasting from Philadelphia Park was canceled at the Maryland outlets yesterday after a strike was called by employees of the Auto-Tote mutuels company at the Pennsylvania track. . . . In addition to Peter Angelos, owners of Lassie winner Prospector's Fuel include such other well-known Maryland owners as Howard and Sondra Bender, Herb and Arlene Kushner and Alvin Akman. . . . The Million race results were largely predictable. Favorites won seven of the 12 races. . . . Mike Smith's Lassie mount, Verdant Valley, bled in the race. . . Scott Miller, who rode Distaff Handicap winner Alcovy, rides on the Kentucky circuit. The horse's owner, Riley Mangum, is an ink manufacturer from Dacula, Ga., and operates the 155-acre Dacula Farm in Lexington, Ky. . . . Taking Risks is the first Maryland Million winner sired by the stallion Two Punch and is also jockey Mark Johnston's first Million winner.