Maryland Million runners can and do come from everywhere!
To be eligible for the Maryland Million, a horse must be sired by a stallion who stands in Maryland. And that stallion must, himself, be nominated to the Maryland Million on a seasonal basis. The fee to nominate a stallion to the Maryland Million is an amount equal to the stallions stud fee.
To remain eligible, a stallion must be renominated every year. When his nomination fee is paid each year, all foals conceived in that breeding season are eligible for nomination to the Maryland Million.
From the launch of the program in 1985 until the breeding season of 2007 (foals of 2008), owners nominated their foals to the Maryland Million. And once nominated, a horse would be eligible to compete throughout his or her racing career. Starting with the 2008 breeding season (2009 foals), foals no longer need to be nominated – they are automatically certified to run as long as their sire was nominated to the Maryland Million in the year they were conceived.
Nominator awards totaling 10 percent of the purse for each race are paid to the original foal and stallion nominators. The amount is divided 2 percent to first; 1.5 percent to second; 1 percent to third; and .5 percent to fourth.
Often these awards come several years down the road, after a race horse is no longer owned by the individual who paid the nomination fee.