In the words of Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred editor Timothy Capps, the 13th Maryland Million Day was “absolutely, irrefutably, stone-cold perfection.”
Jockey Edgar Prado won five of the 10 Maryland Million flat races, the richest when guiding Barbara Graham’s homebred Algar (by Horatius) to a second consecutive victory in the $200,000 Cosamin DS Maryland Million Classic. Records were set for attendance and handle. Maryland Million founder Jim McKay said, “This is just the way we always envisioned it. The atmosphere is perfect –the crowd, all the activities, the fields –this is the way Maryland Million is supposed to be.
- A $400,000 Dehere filly smashed the record for the most expensive Thoroughbred sold at Timonium, and became the highest-priced horse sold by longtime Virginia consignors Sam and Carolyn Rogers. The top-selling colt was a $220,000 son of Not For Love consigned by Walnut Green (Jones Bros.) for breeders Katherine and Art Willson. The Maryland-bred was the first foal out of Three Grand (by Assert-Ire), a mare Art co-bred and sold and Katherine eventually bought back for $2,800. Not For Love’s stud fee was $3,500.
From the first crop of Not For Love, the May colt sold the following April at Keeneland for $2 million, equaling the world record for a 2-year-old sold at public auction. Purchased by Demi O’Byrne and named La Salle Street, he ran second once in three starts.
The Casey family dominated the West Virginia Breeders Classics, and recorded a seventh win in 12 runnings of the state’s richest race. Step Out Dancing, by the Caseys’ former stallion Dancing Czar, won the 1998 Classic; he was a half-brother to the previous year’s winner, Take Aim. Other Casey family winners of the featured event were Taylor Mountain (1989 and ’90), Coin Collector (1992 and ’93) and Nice Ainit (1991).
- Crowd Pleaser lived up to his name in the inaugural Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs for owner/breeder George Strawbridge and trainer Jonathan Sheppard. Sent off at 7-5, the Pennsylvania-bred took command in the stretch and scored by 3 lengths in a course record of 2:00 1⁄5 for 1 1⁄4 miles.|
Military, a Virginia-bred colt by Danzig bred by Morven Stud and sold as a yearling to Prince Ahmed bin Salman’s The Thoroughbred Corp., won the Oak Tree Turf Championship-G1. At Keeneland, Tenski, a Maryland-bred daughter of Polish Numbers, established herself as the top 3-year-old turf filly in the country with her victory in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Invitational Stakes.
A Nureyev colt who set a record as the most expensive yearling sold in Europe, bringing $5,386,500, was out of a Philadelphia Park claimer named Go Solo. Go Solo was owned by former New Jersey breeder Larry Littman, best known as the breeder of 1992 Kentucky Derby winner Lil E. Tee. Littman claimed Go Solo for $20,000 at Philadelphia Park in 1986 and retired the daughter of Riverman as a broodmare. Her first two foals were graded stakes winner Gold Fleece (by Deputed Testamony) and stakes winner Don’t Touch Lil (by Caveat).