When preliminary entries for the Oct. 28 Breeders' Cup are released today, at least one surprise entry with a Maryland connection will be on the list.
The state's top sprinter, 6-year-old gelding Goldminer's Dream, who is based at Pimlico Race Course with trainer Ann Merryman, has been entered to run in the $1 million Sprint.
"Some people might think we're crazy, but you know the old saying: 'You gotta play to win,' " said David Hayden, the Baltimore County horseman who owns Goldminer's Dream in partnership with his wife, Joanne; her uncle, Charles Major of Towson; and Jim Stankovic of Baltimore.
Goldminer's Dream, who accumulated three points in two Breeders' Cup stakes this year, ranks 17th on the list of Sprint eligibles. Only 14 horses are allowed to run, which means three animals must drop out if Goldminer's Dream is to get a chance to run.
It seems a good possibility because several horses, such as French Deputy and Da Hoss, are entered in the Sprint as well as the Classic or Mile.
"If we were 18th or 19th, I'd say forget it," Hayden said. "But there's a real chance we'll get in. Of course, we might look at the field today when it's released, see how tough it is and say forget it.
"But Ann tells me this horse couldn't be doing any better. He just came off of running the fastest six furlongs of the Laurel meet [1 minute 9 seconds on opening day, Oct. 3]. And why not be risk-takers? There are times in life when you have to shoot craps."
Hayden is no stranger to the Breeders' Cup. He bred the filly Safely Kept, who won the $1 million Sprint in 1990.
rTC "That was a phenomenal feeling," he said. "But to own the winner would be more financially rewarding."
Goldminer's Dream is a Maryland-bred son of Crafty Prospector and was bred by Jerry Hoffberger and Bernard Davidson. He has won four of eight starts this year and earned $164,489, including a win in the Housebuster Stakes at Laurel.
Other Maryland-breds expected to be pre-entered are Cigar and Concern in the Classic; Awad in the Turf; and Unfinished Symph in the Mile.
Maryland Million Lassie winner Mystic Rhythms, a New Jersey-bred daughter of Maryland stallion Citidancer, is expected to be pre-entered in the $1 million Juvenile Filly stakes. And Da Hoss, although not a Maryland-bred, trains at Fair Hill