Digest (Oct. 17): Maryland Million entrant hoping to flash classic form at Laurel Park

Country Life Farm's 5-year-old Flash McCaul will look to recapture his solid early form as he takes aim at the $150,000 Maryland Million Classic for a third consecutive year Saturday at Laurel Park . Run at 11/8 miles over the main track, the Classic for 3-year-olds and up serves as the highlight of the 33rd annual Jim McKay Maryland Million Day program, one of seven stakes and four starter stakes that help comprise "Maryland's Day at the Races," named for the late Hall of Fame broadcaster who helped launch the groundbreaking concept in 1986. Post time for the first of 12 races is noon. Among the Maryland Million festivities this year is the inaugural Clubhouse Festival headlined by Grammy nominated musical artist Steve Aoki . A total of 151 horses were entered on the program, an average of 12.6 per race. Five races are scheduled for Laurel's world-class turf course, attracting 62 entries, an average of 12.4 per race. Carded as Race 11, the Classic attracted a competitive field of 10 Maryland Million-certified horses and three Maryland-bred also-eligibles led by defending champion and 7-5 program favorite Bonus Points. The AE horses can only draw into the race if the main body falls below six Maryland Million-certified horses. Flash McCaul drew Post 4 and was assigned morning-line odds of 6-1 during Wednesday's live post-position draw for the Classic at TIPS Restaurant in Laurel's second-floor clubhouse. The post time favorite is likely to be Saratoga Bob, fifth most recently in the 1-mile off-the-turf Find Sept. 29 at Laurel, his stakes debut and the first time he had been worse than third in eight career starts. He is fourth choice overall at 3-1. Trained by seven-time Maryland Million winner Mike Trombetta, Flash McCaul – like Saratoga Bob – is by multiple graded-stakes winner Friesan Fire. His grandsire is Cryptoclearance, the Belmont Stakes (G1) runner-up and Preakness (G1) third-place finisher in 1987 and a four-time Grade 1 winner and earner of more than $3.3 million. Flash McCaul has won at least once in each of his first three racing seasons and has bankrolled $212,121 in career purses, but is 0-for-2 in 2018 and still seeking his first career stakes victory. He raced twice in 23 days last month after going more than eight months between starts, returning to be fifth in a one-mile optional claiming allowance Sept. 6 at Delaware Park.

Et Cetera

Terps freshman Wigginsnamed to Erving watch list

Maryland freshman Aaron Wiggins was one of 20 players named to the 2019 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award watch list announced Wednesday. Named after Class of 1993 Hall of Famer and 16-year professional basketball player Julius Erving, the annual honor in its fifth year recognizes the top small forwards in Division I men's college basketball. A national committee comprising top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates. Wiggins is a 6-foot-6 guard from Greensboro, N.C., and a consensus four-star recruit.

More men's college basketball: Defending tournament champion UMBC was picked to finish third place in the America East in the 2018-19 preseason poll. Vermont, last year's regular-season champion, received six-first place votes and topped the poll with 62 points while Hartford matched its best predicted finish, coming in second after earning the other three first-place votes and 59 points. UMBC earned 44 points, edging Albany and Stony Brook , who tied for fourth with 40 apiece.

Men's college soccer: Paul Bin scored in his second-consecutive match as Maryland (5-5-3, 2-3 Big Ten) knocked off No. 7 Denver (10-2-2, 2-0-1 Summit), 1-0, on Tuesday night. Bin's fifth-minute goal proved to be the difference, as the Maryland defense held Denver to just seven shots. ... Trevor Brookhart (Liberty) made a season-high seven saves and Robbie Budd scored on Salisbury's only shot in a 1-0 victory over Christopher Newport.

Women's college soccer: Mount St. Mary's sophomore goalkeeper Maggie Barron was named Northeast Conference Defensive Player of the Week for the second consecutive week. Barron made eight saves, including one on a penalty kick in the second half, to lead the Mount to a 1-0 victory over Sacred Heart on Sunday.

Men's college cross country: Mount St. Mary's runners Nicolas Fransham (North Harford) and Will Merritt were named Northeast Conference Men's Cross Country Athlete and Rookie of the Week, respectively. Fransham won his third career NEC Athlete of the Week award after finishing in second place at the Gettysburg Invitational on Saturday. Merritt broke out with a fourth place result at the Gettysburg Invitational.

From Sun staff and news services

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