Maryland Million, more: The week in social media
Forest Fire narrowly proved best in the Maryland Million Classic. Photo by Laurie Asseo.
The annual Jim McKay Maryland Million Day took place last weekend, a local runner hopes to be Breeders’ Cup-bound, and the 2019 race meet at Monmouth Park is drawing to an end.
Here is the buzz on what racing fans on social media have been talking about in the Mid-Atlantic region this week:
Looking like a Million
The 34th Jim McKay Maryland Million Day lit up the Mid-Atlantic region this past weekend at Laurel Park. It was an action-packed day of racing showcasing the offspring of Maryland’s stallions. A crowd of approximately 20,000 flocked to Laurel Park to take part in the festivities, creating a total handle of $5.783 million, a 1.4 percent increase over 2018.
Along with a 12-race program, the Jim McKay Maryland Million Day had a variety of dining options, kid-friendly activities, a visit from the Suttler Post Clydesdales, pony racing, a hat contest, an award ceremony to honor the recipient of the Joe Kelly Maryland Million Unsung Hero Award and the MHIB Touch of Class Award, and performance entertainment from both equine and human athletes.
The highlight of the race card for the Jim McKay Maryland Million Day was perhaps the Maryland Million Classic. Forest Fire, a bay son of Friesan Fire, pounded over the wire in the 1 1/8-mile challenge by half a length over tenacious rival Prendimi. It was the third consecutive victory for John Servis trainee and his seventh overall from a 13-race career.
Piloted by jockey Paco Lopez, Forest Fire completed the $153,000 Maryland Million Classic in a final time of 1:50.42 for his owner and breeder, Shirley Lojeski. The 4-year-old Pennsylvania-bred gelding returned $8 for his win to those who supported him with $2 win bet. To date, Forest Fire has banked current career earnings of $269,490.
On to the Breeders’ Cup (maybe)
Local runner Miss J McKay may be Breeders’ Cup-bound. A winner of two races from three starts, including a 5-length score in the Anne Arundel County Stakes at Laurel Park, Miss J McKay has been pre-entered in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G1) on November 1.
Miss J McKay has not, however, drawn into the main body of the race. She is third on the list of also-eligibiles.
Not originally nominated for the event, owners Sidney Karmia’s Maxis Stable, Sol Kumin’s Madaket Stable and Marc and Joe Lore of Wonder Stables had to pay a $100,000 supplemental fee in order to enter their filly in the race, paying testament to their faith in her ability.
Bred in Maryland by Linda Oliff Rohleder, Miss J McKay is by Hangover Kid and is out of the Street Boss mare, Ballykiss. The bay filly is trained by Cathal Lynch and was piloted to her latest victory by jockey Trevor McCarthy. Named in honor of the late Jim McKay, who was a Hall of Famer and 13-time Emmy Award-winning broadcaster, as well as the founder of Maryland Million Day, Miss J McKay has current career earnings of $91,953.
Excited to hear that Maryland-bred Miss J McKay has been supplemented to run @BreedersCup Juvenile Turf Sprint. It’ll be the first starter for @LaurelPark-based @clynchracing and @trevormmccarthy. Filly is named after the legendary Jim McKay. pic.twitter.com/N9cjYeBiDc
— Danonymous Man (@DanonymousMan) October 20, 2019
This Sunday, October 27, is will be the end of the 2019 racing meet at Monmouth Park. Closing day at the track will see a 10-race program, with first post commencing at 1:15 p.m. EST. There will be required payouts in all betting pools on closing day, and as usual, parking and admission will be free.
While the race meet for Monmouth Park will be wrapping up this Sunday, guests will still be able to attend the track on November 2, for their Breeders’ Cup Viewing Party. The event will take place from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. and will be held in Monmouth Park’s Turf Club where guests can watch and wager on the Breeders’ Cup, which will take place at Santa Anita Park. Tickets for the event are $45 a person, and include a $10 betting voucher, a Breeders’ Cup program and selection sheet, and a delicious lunch buffet.
Reservations to the Breeders’ Cup Viewing Party are required, as seating is limited. Tickets can be purchased online through Monmouth Park’s website.
LATEST RACING NEWS
The fatal injury last week of Charles Town sprinter Dr. Feelgood left trainer Crystal Pickett and jockey Darius Thorpe saddened, and reflective.
Over the weekend, trainer Flint Stites recorded the 2,000th victory of his career, while Hugh McMahon notched win number 1,000.
Half of the eight races on Laurel Park’s Sunday card are restricted to two-year-olds, including an allowance contest and a maiden special weight.
Laurel Park will host six stakes November 28, and those have drawn more than 150 nominations, including 29 to the Safely Kept and Whiteley Stakes.
Karan’s Notion, upset winner of the Maryland Million Sprint last month, was easily best in an allowance at Laurel Park Thursday in his first start since.
Karan’s Notion, an upset winner of the Maryland Million Sprint October 24, is the lukewarm morning line favorite in a Laurel Park allowance Thursday.