Cherokee's Boy 1-2 favorite

`Blue,' Wanaka are 8-1 for Classic

October 12, 2006|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN REPORTER

Cherokee's Boy, who is scheduled to be retired to stud after the race, has been installed as an overwhelming 1-2 favorite on the overnight line for the $250,000 Maryland Million Classic on Saturday at Laurel Park.

The Classic is the headliner on the 21st annual Maryland Million Day program, which drew 117 starters for 12 races with purses worth nearly $1.5 million.

With the assistance of good weather, Million officials are hoping for an on-track crowd approaching 25,000 for a card with a first post of 12:35 p.m.

The racing is limited to the offspring of Maryland sires - a concept originated by Jim McKay.

Meadow Blue and Wanaka both are listed at 8-1 behind Cherokee's Boy in the eight-horse Classic lineup. Following are Due and Evil Storm at 10-1; Diamond David, a half brother to Magic Weisner, at 15-1; Baby League at 20-1; and Quantico Joe, who is cross-entered in the Million Turf, at 30-1.

Cherokee's Boy ranks 13th on the all-time list of money winners among Maryland-breds and would advance to 10th with a victory. Winner of 14 stakes races, he will be ridden by Travis Dunkelberger for trainer Gary Capuano.

Three races, including the Classic, will be telecast live on Channel 45 with sports director Bruce Cunningham as the host and Michelle Matz adding commentary.

The rest of the card

Sprint Starter Handicap --First race, six furlongs, $30,000 purse - Nine horses are expected, including 2004 winner Drum Roll Please and the improving P.J. Steve.

Starter Handicap -- Second race, 1 1/8 miles, $50,000 - Nine horses are expected, including Off The Glass, who competed in the Maryland Million Classic the past two years, and Deer Run, who won the 2002 Maryland Million Sprint.

Distaff -- Third race, seven furlongs, $150,000 - Six fillies and mares are running, including Yolanda B. Too, who has a second and third in graded company, and Silmaril, a six-time stakes winner.

Nursery -- Fourth race, seven furlongs, $125,000 - Eight 2-year-olds will start, including the 1-2 finishers from the Oliver's Twist Stakes: Clifton Park and Six String.

Turf Sprint -- Fifth race, five furlongs, turf, $100,000 - Twelve are expected, including 2004 winner Namequest and stakes winners Bingobear, Shades of Sunny, Satan's Code and Pagan Moon.

Sprint -- Sixth race, six furlongs, $150,000 - Multiple stakes winner Celtic Innis will be tough to beat. Others to watch include Ironton and Love's Strong Hart.

Ladies -- Seventh race, 1 1/8 miles, turf, $150,000 - The top three finishers from 2005 return: Surf Light, Sassy Love and Rowdy. 2005 Maryland Million Oaks winner Sticky could be a factor.

Lassie -- Eighth race, seven furlongs, $125,000 - Thirteen 2-year-old fillies will run, including two impressive runners from Mike Trombetta's powerful stable: What Time It Is and Spectacular Malibu.

Oaks -- Ninth race, mile, $150,000 - Multiple stakes winner Smart And Fancy, who took the 2005 Maryland Million Lassie, should be the favorite.

Turf -- 10th race, 1 1/8 miles, turf, $150,000 -Expect a full field of 14.

Distaff Starter Handicap --12th race, mile, $50,000 - Fourteen fillies and mares are entered, including 2004 winner Hunca Munca.

[SOURCE: Maryland Jockey Club]

Maryland Million Classic field

Data: 11th race, 1 3/16 miles, approximately 5:38 p.m.

PP Horse Jockey Trainer Odds Note

1 Meadow Blue Jose Velez Kelly Breen 8-1 Won three of seven in 2006 2 Quantico Joe Ryan Fogelsonger Carlos Garcia 30-1 Cross-entered in Turf 3 Wanaka Ryan Fogelsonger Howard Wolfendale 8-1 Won two straight 4 Due Anna "Rosie" Napravnik Dale Capuano 10-1 Has three wins this year 5 Evil Storm Tony Black Mike Gorham 10-1 In the money 19 times 6 Cherokee's Boy Travis Dunkelberger Gary Capuano 1-2 14 career stakes victories 7 Diamond David Dane Kobiskie Nancy Alberts 15-1 Half brother to Magic Weisner 8 Baby League Jeremy Rose Jonathan Sheppard 20-1 Winless this year

[ SOURCE: Maryland Jockey Club]

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