An annual tradition is back at Laurel Park Oct. 19 with the 34th Jim McKay Maryland Million Day, which celebrates and continues the history of thoroughbred racing in the state of Maryland.
Maryland Million Day began in 1986 and has evolved into a one-day event with a total purse of $1 million spread out across 11 stakes races.
“What’s unique about it is that it’s the one time in the year where all the of the horses running, just about, are the children of stallions that are actually based and located in farms throughout Maryland,” Daniel Tordjman of America’s Best Racing said on Glenn Clark Radio Oct. 17.
The day culminates with the Maryland Million Classic, the big-money race of the day with a $150,000 purse. The event traces back to the rich thoroughbred racing roots in the state.
“For the people who do hold the sport together in Maryland and who have done so for decades, Maryland Million Day is the celebration of that Maryland heritage in racing and the history of the sport within the state,” Tordjman said.
Of course, one cannot discuss horse racing without mentioning betting, and with 11 stakes races throughout the day, there are plenty of horses to put money on, but all eyes point toward the Classic. Eleven horses will run in the Classic, while three other horses are eligible and could draw into the race later. The entire field can be found here.
Tordjman, a betting man at heart, threw out a few horses to watch out for, including last year’s winner, Saratoga Bob.
“You’ll probably get a decent price on him because he hasn’t been as consistent this last year,” Tordjman said.
He also mentioned the No. 3 horse, Prendimi, who is being shipped in from New Jersey but is the prodigy of a Maryland sire. Prendimi is sitting at 8/1 going into the race, but Tordjman’s longshot pick is the No. 6 horse, Tattooed, sitting at 15/1.
It will be a great day for racing, and this year, Maryland Million Day comes shortly after an agreement was announced to renovate Pimlico and Laurel in the coming years with the hope of keeping the Preakness in Baltimore for years to come.
“I think what they’re discussing is a more comprehensive plan that really does consider the people who are impacted by racing within the sport and also the people who are on the perimeter there around Pimlico,” Tordjman said.
To hear more from Tordjman, listen to the full interview here:
Photo Credit: Jacyln Borowski/PressBox