Md. Million Classic champ Bonus Points returns in Laurel allowance

by | Jun 7, 2018 | Breaking, Maryland, MD Racing, Racing

Bonus Points was all by his lonesome when he crossed the line in the 2017 Maryland Million Classic. Photo by Laurei Asseo.

From a Maryland Jockey Club release

Three Diamonds Farm’s Bonus Points returns to Maryland for the first time since his impressive victory in the 2017 Maryland Million Classic as the 2-1 program favorite in Saturday’s co-featured ninth race at Laurel Park.

A 4-year-old Maryland-bred son of Majestic Warrior, based in New York with leading trainer Todd Pletcher, Bonus Points drew Post 4 and will be ridden by Feargal Lynch in the $45,000 second-level optional claiming allowance going about 1 1/16 miles on the main track.

Pletcher said he is hoping to use the race as the next step in a progression designed to bring Bonus Points back to defend his title on Jim McKay Maryland Million Day, the ground-breaking racing event set to its 33rd year Oct. 20 at Laurel.

“We’ve been trying to get him in some type of spot. We entered him a couple weeks ago and the race didn’t go, but it seemed logical being a Maryland-bred to get him back there,” Pletcher said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to get him back to the Maryland Million Classic again. That would be our ultimate goal.”

Bonus Points was bumped at the start and forced to rally from far back to win last year’s Maryland Million Classic by 2 ¾ lengths. Twice Grade 3-placed, he was second in his only previous starts in Maryland – the 2016 Maryland Juvenile Futurity and 2017 Caveat Stakes.

This year, Bonus Points has made one start finishing fifth following a wide trip in a one-mile optional claiming allowance April 20 at Aqueduct. It was his first race in five months, since running third in the Discovery (G3) last fall.

“It was a tough field and he might have needed the race. It’s something we feel like will bring him forward, hopefully,” Pletcher said. “He’s been training consistently well and we look forward to an improvement in his second race off the layoff.”