ON BREEDING: FIRST MARYLAND MILLION WINNERS

Monday Morning Qb
Monday Morning Qb was a dominant winner of the Maryland Million Classic. Photo by Allison Janezic.

A trifecta of Maryland stallions scored their first Maryland Million winners October 24.

Imagining, who stands at Anchor & Hope Farm in Port Deposit, sired Monday Morning Qb, winner of the Maryland Million Classic; Mosler, who stands at Country Life Farm in Bel Air, sired Miss Nondescript, who prevailed in the Maryland Million Lassie, and Baltimore Bob, who holds court at Shamrock Farm in Woodbine, sired Beltway Bob, who won the Maryland Million Turf Starter.

Last year, Cash is King LLC and LC Racing’s Monday Morning Qb was voted top 2-year-old colt or gelding by the Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association at Parx Racing, thanks to his victory in the Heft Stakes at Laurel Park.

The Maryland-bred son of Imagining, bred by Bowman & Higgins Stable and Cary Frommer,

showed his affinity for the Laurel surface when he captured the $150,000 Maryland Million Classic by nearly four lengths, despite bobbling at the start of the 1-⅛ mile race.

Monday Morning Qb, who improved his earnings to $225,155, is the first Maryland Million winner for Imagining, a regally-bred son of champion Giant’s Causeway, who was a leading sire and leading juvenile sire several times during his years at stud.

By Storm Cat out of the Rahy mare Mariah’s Storm, Giant’s Causeway sired 190 stakes winners and multiple champions both here and abroad.

Imagining, a Grade 1 winner and millionaire on the turf whose average winning distance was 10 furlongs, hails from a deep Phipps female family. He is out of Gr. 2 winner Daydreaming, a full sister to Gr. 1 winner Girolamo as well as Gr. 3 winner Accelerator. Daydreaming, out of the graded stakes-winning A. P. Indy mare Get Lucky, is also a half-sister to Supercharger, dam of Gr. 1 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver, and She’s a Winner, the dam of Gr. 1 Haskell Invitational winner Bluegrass Cat.

Second dam Get Lucky is a full sister to champion Rhythm as well as to Not For Love, one of the most prolific Maryland stallions.

“Even though Imagining did his best running going long on the turf, he has a dirt pedigree,” said Grace Merryman, who owns Anchor & Hope Farm with her husband, Louis. “(Trainer) Shug McGaughey decided to switch him to turf because he was a big-bodied horse, and he came into himself naturally. Yet there are more than 20 graded stakes winners under his first three dams, and he’s the only turf horse. If you look at his progeny, most of them are dirt horses.”

Merryman said that, thus far, mares by Not for Love have shown to be an excellent cross with Imagining, as well as Two Punch mares. Monday Morning QB’s dam, How My Heart Works, is by Not For Love, thus making him inbred 4 X 3 to Dance Number, who is the dam of Not For Love.

Nicking statistics provided by Equineline shows that mares by Not For Love, when bred to Imagining, have produced six foals, of which five have started (83%) and three have won (50%), with earnings of $417,821.

Imagining stood the 2020 season for $7,500, live foal. According to a pedigree analysis on Anchor & Hope’s website, mares by sons of A. P. Indy , Candy Ride (ARG), Speightstown, Lemon Drop Kid, Street Sense, Northern Afleet, Smart Strike, as well as mares by Distorted Humor, are all good matches for the stallion.

Mosler’s first crop has come out running. Through November 11, he was the leading freshman sire in the Mid-Atlantic region, with five winners from 18 starters, and total earnings of $273,303, according to Bloodhorse.com statistics.

And Barak Farm’s homebred Miss Nondescript came out running, too. She broke her maiden in her debut at Monmouth Park, covering five furlongs in :58.15. Sent to Laurel Park and trainer Mike Trombetta, she uncorked a furious rally to nail favorite Street Lute at the wire in 1:10.61 for six furlongs in the Maryland Million Lassie. The victory increased her earnings to $84,090.

Mosler, a $1,050,000 yearling bred by Cherry Valley Farm and owned by longtime Claiborne Farm client Adele B. Dilschneider, broke his maiden going one mile on the dirt at Belmont Park as a 2-year-old, but did his best running in sprints and middle-distance races on the turf at ages 4 and 5.

He captured the Elusive Quality Stakes at seven furlongs on grass at Belmont Park as a 4-year-old, as well as the Laurel Dash at six furlongs on that surface, in which he sizzled the distance in 1:08.26. Mosler was also graded stakes-placed, having finished a game third in the Highlander Stakes (G2T) at Woodbine despite being blocked in midstretch.

He retired to the Pons family’s Country Life Farm in Bel Air with earnings of $341,396, where he stands for $4,000, live foal.

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Leading sire and chef-de-race Danzig appears prominently in Mosler’s pedigree. Mosler’s sire, War Front, is by Danzig, and his dam Gold Vault is by Arch. Arch’s dam Aurora is by Danzig out of champion Althea.

In the pedigree of Miss Nondescript, Danzig appears again as the broodmare sire of Fusaichi Pegasus, the sire of her dam, She’s Funomenal.

Mares by stallions that cross well with War Front, and thus are candidates for Mosler, include those by sons of A. P. Indy, Forty Niner, Smart Strike, Street Cry, and Speightstown, as well as mares sired by Malibu Moon and those from the Sadler’s Wells line, including Medaglia d’Oro and Kitten’s Joy.

After Miss Nondescript’s victory in the Maryland Million Lassie, trainer Mike Trombetta said the progeny of Mosler showed ability on different surfaces.

“From what I’m seeing of these guys, I think they’ll run on whatever you ask,” said Trombetta.


Read more of Linda Dougherty’s On Breeding columns here.


Owner-trainer Gregory L. Wilson’s Beltway Bob gave his sire, Baltimore Bob, his first winner at the Maryland Million when he prevailed in the 1-⅛ mile Turf Starter Handicap over 11 rivals at odds of 20-1.

A 6-year-old gelding out of the Awesome Again mare Freeway Fun, bred by Robert Gerczak, Beltway Bob has won six of 36 starts, and $175,469.

Maryland-bred Baltimore Bob is by Malibu Moon, who stood at Country Life Farm before being relocated to Kentucky the same year Baltimore Bob was conceived after siring Eclipse champion Declan’s Moon and graded stakes winner Perfect Moon.

Upon his relocation, Malibu Moon became one of the premier sires in the country; through November 11, he has sired two champions, 48 graded winners, and 122 blacktype winners, with total progeny earnings of nearly $130 million. He has become, however, more known as a broodmare sire, as his daughters have produced 50 stakes winners, including multiple Grade 1 winner Stellar Wind ($2,903,200).

Baltimore Bob’s bottom line is Maryland breeding through-and-through. He is out of Gabby’s Love ($108,276), a daughter of Perkin Warbeck who placed in the Maryland Million Ladies during her career. Perkin Warbeck sired several hard-knocking horses from just 77 foals of racing age, many for the Gaudet family, including multiple stakes winner War Hostage ($223,889), Carnie’s Secret ($196,447) and Cammie’s Star ($144,873), who placed in the Maryland Million Distaff.

From limited opportunities at stud, Baltimore Bob’s best progeny have been out of mares from the Storm Cat line, including Stormy Atlantic and D’Wildcat, and the In Reality line (Honour and Glory). He stands at Shamrock Farm for $3,000, live foal.

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