Anne Arundel History

October 09, 2005

1986: Maryland Million Day

The first Maryland Million Day was held at Laurel Race Course on Oct. 18, 1986, with 110 horses sired by Maryland stallions entered in nine races.

More than 20,000 fans attended and bet more than $2.65 million. The purses totaled $1 million, and the richest race of the day, the $200,000 Maryland Classic, was won by Herat, a son of Northern Dancer.

The Maryland Million was the brainchild of ABC Sports broadcaster Jim McKay, who patterned it after the Breeders Cup series. McKay has broadcast horse races around the world, starting with his first TV appearance from Pimlico Race Course over Baltimore's WMAR-TV in 1947.He entered the sport in 1980, when his wife purchased a filly. That led to the purchase of a farm and a move back to their native Maryland. Two McKay horses won 12 races last year.

[Research by Jean Packard, Sun library]

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