ELKTON -- Augustin Stables' 8-year-old, Maigret, is the favorite in the featured event at Fair Hill Race Course today, a $20,000 claiming race for a $7,500 purse.
Maigret faces a strong challenge from two 9-year-old horses, Jet Wave and Tostadero.
Maigret, trained by Bruce Miller and ridden by his daughter, Blythe, comes off two second-place finishes at Saratoga last month. Purchased at a steeplechase-only auction held at Fair Hill last year, Maigret could give the Augustin-Miller team a repeat of this spring's feature victory by stablemate My Lear.
The New Zealand-bred will carry 151 pounds in the 2 1/16-mile race over national fences.
Besides Jet Wave and Tostadero, Maigret will have to beat Riposto, who comes from the stable of owner-trainer Charlie Fenwick Jr. Second choice at 2-1, Riposto gets in with 148 pounds under jockey Victoria Schlesinger.
The rest of the field includes Hogan's Wave (Jeff Teter), Jet Wave (Sean Clancy) and Tostadero (James Lawrence).
The day's second race, a turf event restricted to amateur riders, could be the most interesting. Milesius, a multiple stakes-winning turf star with more than $700,000 in career earnings, begins what could be a steeplechase career.
Trained by Miller for owner Virginia Kraft Payson, Milesius is being pointed to a career over jumps much like Payson's Uptown Swell. That horse won more than $700,000 on the flat before being switched to steeplechasing by Miller and earning another $283,000 from 1988-90.
Milesius, to be ridden by Blythe Miller, is the 4-5 favorite among a field of 10 in the 1 3/8 -mile race.
The first race gets off at 1 p.m. Eight races -- four turf and four steeplechase -- make up the day. General admission is $5 with full pari-mutuel wagering available. The course is at the intersection of state routes 273 and 213, just north of Elkton.