Karan's Notion
Karan’s Notion won the Maryland Million Sprint. Photo by Allison Janezic.

Karan’s Notion, bred, owned and trained by Nancy Heil, starts for the first time since his 16-1 upset of the Maryland Million Sprint Oct. 24 when live racing returns to Laurel Park with a nine-race program Thursday.

First race post time is 12:25 p.m.

Karan’s Notion drew Post 8 under regular rider Yomar Ortiz and is the narrow 7-2 program favorite in Thursday’s fifth race, a six-furlong optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds and up which attracted a field of 12. The gelded sophomore son of Great Notion exits a front-running victory in the Sprint over the likes of multiple stakes winner Lewisfield and multiple stakes-placed Onemoregreattime.

The Sprint was the third win from eight starts for Karan’s Notion and marked the first Maryland Million starter for Heil, who has trained horses in Maryland for more than 50 years including Fighting Notion, fifth in the 1990 Preakness (G1).

Second choice at 9-2 is Jeremiah Kane homebred Moose Lodge, a maiden special weight winner Aug. 8 at Monmouth Park who returned to the Jersey Shore to be third in an optional claimer Sept. 26, both at six furlongs. Trevor McCarthy rides from Post 5.

Thursday’s card kicks off with a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight for fillies and mares 3 and older led by 8-5 program favorite Dance for the Gold. Bred and owned by Colts Neck Stables, the daughter of Medaglia d’Oro has been second in each of her last two starts by less than a length combined, most recently Oct. 22 at Laurel. Trainer Graham Motion entered a pair of homebreds in Morgans Ford Farm’s Back Roads and Isabelle Haskell de Tomaso’s Irish Charmer, a half-sister to multiple graded-stakes winning millionaire Irish War Cry.

Juveniles will be in the spotlight Thursday in the sixth race, an entry-level optional claiming allowance sprinting 5 ½ furlongs. Trip to Freedom and Unrequited Love, respectively third and fourth in the Maryland Million Lassie, are among the field of nine.

The 20-cent Rainbow 6 spans Races 4-9 and begins with a carryover jackpot of $1,198.35.

Nine races are on tap for Friday, Nov. 20 with the feature coming in Race 8, a third-level optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds and up going one mile. Among the field of 11 are Grade 3 winner Golden Brown, fellow multiple stakes-winning gelding John Jones, 2019 Maryland Million Sprint winner Taco Supream and Saratoga Jack, a stakes winner racing for the first time in 14 months.

Highlighting the Saturday, Nov. 21 program of nine races is a 1 1/16-mile optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds and up that includes Big City Bob, winner of the 2019 Sapling who ran third in the Champagne (G1) at Belmont Park and the 2020 Federico Tesio at Laurel; 2019 Sapling runner-up Skyscanner; Galerio, first or second in 10 of 11 starts this year with seven wins entered for the $35,000 tag; and Tattooed, most recently third in the Maryland Million Classic.

Nominations close Thursday, Nov. 19 for Laurel’s Fall Festival of Racing featuring six $100,000 stakes – the Frank Whiteley Jr. and Primonetta for sprinters 3 and up; Concern and Safely Kept for sophomores sprinting seven furlongs; and Richard W. Small and Thirty Eight Go Go for 3-year-olds and up going about 1 1/16 miles.