Maryland Million
Racing on 2018 Maryland Million day. Photo by Dottie Miller.

If Maryland Million pre-entries turn into entries, there’s a pretty good chance that Great Notion, the 20-year-old stallion standing at Northview Stallion Station, will add to his career mark of 13 Million day winners.

If he does, he’ll snap a tie for third overall with the late Two Punch. Those two are well behind the top pair of Not for Love (36 wins) and Allen’s Prospect (22).

Great Notion is the sire of 16 different horses pre-entered for major Million day stakes (that is, excluding the starter races). That’s the most of any sire, and six more than his nearest competitor, Street Magician, who has 10 pre-entered.

Among Great Notion’s offspring pre-entered for the big day are two in the Lassie, for two-year-old fillies, and no fewer than five (though one is cross-entered) in the Nursery, for two-year-olds. Only freshman sire Mosler has as many runners entered in the two juvenile races, suggesting that it may be quite a while before any other stallions get close to the son of Elusive Quality.

The young Great Notions include Kenny Had a Notion. The Dale Capuano trainee has won two of three in his young career and was the easiest kind of winner in the grassy Jamestown Stakes, a Virginia restricted stake, on October 9.

Other sires with large numbers of runners pre-entered include Street Magician, with 10; Seville and Golden Lad, with nine each; and Bandbox, with eight. Street Magician is the sire of two prior Maryland Million winners, while the other three have one each.

Golden Lad, whose oldest are three-year-olds, is currently Maryland’s second-leading sire by earnings. Bandbox, with his third crop of runners, is fourth by earnings; and the veteran Street Magician is ninth, though he is one of just five Maryland stallions to sire a stakes winner this year. Seville died in 2017.

Mosler, standing at Country Life Farm, is the only first-crop sire to be Maryland Million-eligible. He has four pre-entered in the Lassie and three more in the Nursery.

Maryland Million races are generally limited to Maryland-sired horses. However, if the number of Maryland-sired runners drops below eight, then Maryland-breds are allowed to run “for the sole purpose of maintaining a field size of eight,” according to the pre-entry book.

All eight of the major stakes have more than eight Maryland-sired horses pre-entered. The $150,000 Classic has nine, the fewest of any of the races, while the Ladies, for fillies and mares on the turf, and the six-furlong Sprint both have 11.

The largest groups of Maryland-sired pre-entries are in the Distaff and the Turf Sprint; both have 20.

Entries for the 2020 Maryland Million come out October 21, and the races take place October 24.