Kent Desormeaux is returning to ride in the Maryland Million.
The California-based jockey, who won three Maryland Million races last year, is set to ride at least four of trainer Charlie Hadry's horses on the 12-race Oct. 9 card at Laurel Race Course, Hadry said yesterday.
"I'm pretty sure he's coming in just for the one day," Hadry said. "I got hold of his agent [Gene Short] two weeks ago and he told me Kent would be here to ride for me."
Hadry is planning on running Ritchie Trail in the Maryland Million Distaff, Military Look in the Turf or Sprint Handicap, Warning Glance in the Nursery or Juvenile Turf and Grace Creek in the Maryland Million Lassie.
Desormeaux, the country's leading rider in 1992 and currently second in the national standings, is also expected to defend his title in the featured $150,000 Maryland Million Classic on Reputed Testamony.
The 6-year-old horse tuned up for the race yesterday, finishing second under Andrea Seefeldt to another Classic probable, Ameri Valay, in the $25,000 Pimlico Race Course feature. Forry Cow How, also expected to race in the Classic, finished third.
Desormeaux ranks second to Julie Krone as the winningest Maryland Million rider. Krone has won eight races compared to six for Desormeaux, but broke her leg at Saratoga last month and won't be competing again this year.
Maryland Million founder Jim McKay kicks off this year's festivities Friday at an Inner Harbor ceremony. Preliminary entries for the 12 races will be taken Sept. 30, and final entries will be drawn on Oct. 7.
Luzzi rides five winners
Despite winning five Pimlico races yesterday, Mike Luzzi looked a bit dejected after his third-place finish on Whenyourshipscomesin in the 10th and final race.
"I've won five races in one day lots of times before," Luzzi said. "But I've never won six on a single card and I thought this filly had an excellent shot. But I guess it just wasn't meant to be. She broke slow and I had to circle the field."
Luzzi's winners were Spoonbread (first race), Like A Rock (third), Santa Is My Sister (fourth), Lt. Hill (sixth) and Maple Lyph (seventh).
Luzzi's grandfather, Virgil "Buddy" Raines, ships in with a dozen head tomorrow and runs two-time Maryland Million Classic winner Timely Warning in Friday's feature.
Dr. Zoom broke down after setting the early pace in yesterday's Pimlico feature and later was euthanized. He is the ninth horse fatality at the current meet. . . . The first day of Philadelphia Park simulcasting yesterday was a success. A total of $336,844 was bet on the Philadelphia card and overall in-state handle of $1,241,738 represented an increase from last year. Last Tuesday, without any out-of-state full-card simulcasts, gross handle declined 16 percent. . . . Mea Culpa Stables' Mz. Zill Bear won the Grade III Violet Handicap at The Meadowlands last weekend and should be favored for the Maryland Million Ladies turf race. She is trained by Ron Cartwright and was ridden in the Violet by Edgar Prado. . . . Trainer Dale Capuano purchased five yearlings at the Keeneland (Ky.) sales, including offspring sired by Silver Hawk, High Brite, Risen Star, Java Gold and Arctic Tern.