Ribbon Cane seeks Million first

Daughter of `Angelina' one of 127 entrants Saturday

Horse Racing

October 07, 2004|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

Carey K. Miller knows the euphoria of winning a Maryland Million race. She did it in 1987, when her homebred Angelina County won the Maryland Million Oaks.

Yesterday, Miller attended the post-position draw at Pimlico for the 19th Maryland Million races Saturday because Ribbon Cane, Angelina County's daughter, is entered in the $100,000 Distaff Sprint.

If Ribbon Cane wins - and she's riding a four-race win streak - then the 5-year-old would become the first offspring of a Maryland Million winner to win a Maryland Million race.

"It's always been very special," Miller said of the Maryland Million. "It's Maryland's big showcase day. It's particularly important this year, because we've kind of been picked on."

The Maryland breeding program has taken its lumps because it has fallen behind those in neighboring states where programs are subsidized by slot machines.

But Maryland still boasts the strongest stallion roster in the region - by far - and the Maryland Million is the state's day to promote its powerful studs.

Only horses sired by Maryland stallions can compete in the 12 Maryland Million races. A total of 127 horses have been entered, including 11 in the Turf Sprint, which will be run for the first time.

Purses range from $25,000 to $200,000, and the day becomes a frantically paced series of winner's circle celebrations. Nine straight races, the third through the 11th, offer purses of at least $100,000.

Ribbon Cane will be one of the favorites in the Distaff Sprint, a six-furlong test for fillies and mares. Her mother, Angelina County, captured the Maryland Million Oaks 17 years ago and became an excellent broodmare for Miller at her farm in Boyds in Montgomery County.

Angelina County died four years ago at 18 from complications during foaling. And Ribbon Cane's father, Allen's Prospect, died last year at 21 after a stellar career at Country Life Farm near Bel Air. He has sired more Maryland Million winners - 15 - than any stallion.

The richest Maryland Million race will be the $200,000 Classic at the Preakness distance of 1 3/16 miles. Frank Carulli, Pimlico oddsmaker, anointed Presidentialaffair the 4-5 favorite.

A gelded son of the state's leading Sire, Not For Love, the 5-year-old Presidentialaffair most recently finished seventh in the Grade I Woodward Stakes at Belmont Park. But earlier, he ran a distant second to the highly regarded Ghostzapper in the Grade III Iselin Breeders' Cup Handicap at Monmouth Park.

In addition to the dozen races, the Maryland Million is a social affair with tents and the inaugural "Maryland Million Microbrewfest" in the infield, children's activities on the apron and on-track, between-race activities such as trick riding and Jack Russell terrier races.

Md. Million Classic field

PP Horse Sire Trainer Jockey Odds

1 Irish Colony Larrupin' Ron Cartwright Steve Hamilton 12-1

2 Off the Glass Press Card Linda Albert Jozbin Santana 10-1

3 Bada Bam Bada Boom In Case John Zimmerman Eddie King 20-1

4 Aggadan Carnivalay Richard Dutrow Jr. Mario Pino 7-2

5 Donald's Pride Deputed Testamony Gregg McCarron Anthony Mawing 8-1

6 Fire Hero Partner's Hero Joe Aquilino Roberto Alvarado 30-1

7 Cherokee's Boy Citidancer Gary Capuano Ryan Fogelsonger 6-1

8 Presidentialaffair Not For Love Marty Ciresa Stewart Elliott 4-5

Maryland Million

What: Twelve races for horses sired by Maryland stallions

When: Saturday

Where: Pimlico

First race: 12:35 p.m.

Purses: $1,125,000

Richest race: $200,000 Maryland Million Classic

Post time for Classic: 5:42 p.m.

TV: Channel 54, 4-6 p.m. (four races live, eight on tape)

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