From a Maryland Racing Media Association release
Page McKenney, who spent the early part of his career amid complete anonymity but has since developed into a genuine stakes horse with lifetime earnings over $1 million, was named the Maryland-based horse of the year by the Maryland Racing Media Association at the group’s January meeting.
Page McKenney will be honored by the group Saturday at Laurel Park on a day that includes the $75,000 Maryland Racing Media Stakes and is highlighted by the $300,000, Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie Handicap for older filly and mare sprinters.
Page McKenney himself will run in the day’s seventh race, the $75,000 John B. Campbell Handicap, and is expected to be the favorite.
Page McKenney, a six-year-old Eavesdropper gelding trained by Mary Eppler for owners Adam Staple and Jalin Stable, won five of 10 starts and earned nearly $600,000 last year. All five of his wins came against stakes company, including the John B. Campbell and Harrison E. Johnson Memorial Handicaps and the Richard W. Small Stakes at Laurel Park. He was also third in the Grade II, $1.5 million Charles Town Classic, second in the Grade III Pimlico Special and third in the Grade III Cornhusker Handicap at Prairie Meadows. He was bred in Pennsylvania by Dr. James Bryant and Linda Davis.
“We are pleased to honor Page McKenney as Maryland-based Horse of the Year,” said Maryland Racing Media Association president Ted Black. “His class and consistency epitomize the kind of hard-hitting Maryland runners that we’ve become so familiar with over the years. And we especially commend trainer Mary Eppler, owners Adam Staple and Jalin Stable, and the whole team on their marvelous job of managing most of Page’s splendid career.”
Page McKenney garnered the Maryland-based horse of the year title over Lady Sabelia, who won three of five starts and earned nearly $330,000 last year for trainer Robin Graham and owner-breeder Mrs. Frank Wright, capped by a victory in the Grade II, $300,000 Barbara Fritchie Handicap at Laurel.