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35th Annual Jim McKay Maryland Million Day a bright light amidst unique year

In a year forever changed by the Covid-19 pandemic, Maryland Million Day coordinators managed to keep hope alive by hosting a unique version of Jim McKay Maryland Million Day, on Saturday, Oct. 24 at Laurel Park. Though attendance for the 35th renewal was limited to licensed owners and 250 fans, there was no shortage of excitement on the track. 

On a day devoted to showcasing Maryland sires, Anchor and Hope Farm’s Imagining got his first Maryland Million winner as 3-year-old Monday Morning Qb, a Maryland-bred from his first crop, took the $150,000 Maryland Million Classic, winning by three and a quarter lengths over Pimlico Special-G3 winner Harpers First Ride. Without 2019 winner Forest Fire entered, 2020 marked just the ninth time in Maryland Million history that the Classic did not have the previous year’s winner or a past champion compete.

Northview Stallion Station’s Great Notion had a total of four winners this year: Epic Idea in the $100,000 Ladies; Kenny Had a Notion in the $100,000 Nursery; Pretty Good Year in the $100,000 Turf; and Karan’s Notion in the $100,000 Sprint. Great Notion joined Rollicking (1988), Allen’s Prospect (2000) and Not For Love (2009, 11, 14) to sire as many winners on a Maryland Million Day card. It was also Great Notion’s 11th consecutive year with a winner (or winners) and he increased his lead among living sires to 17, ranking third on the list of leading Maryland Million sires. Northview’s all-time leading sire, the late Not For Love, holds the record with 36 Maryland Million wins and the late Allen’s Prospect is second with 22.

Three current Maryland sires got their first Maryland Million winners: freshman sire Mosler (Country Life Farm), Lassie; Imagining (Anchor and Hope Farm), Classic; and Baltimore Bob (Shamrock Farm), Turf Starter Handicap.

Winners of Maryland Million Day:

Monday Morning Qb (Imagining) - $150,000 Maryland Million Classic

Epic Idea (Great Notion) - $100,000 Maryland Million Ladies

Hello Beautiful (Golden Lad) - $100,000 Maryland Million Distaff

Karan’s Notion (Great Notion) - $100,000 Maryland Million Sprint

Miss Nondescript (Mosler) - $100,000 Maryland Million Lassie

Pretty Good Year (Great Notion) - $100,000 Maryland Million Turf

Kenny Had a Notion (Great Notion) - $100,000 Maryland Million Nursery 

Fiya (Friesan Fire) - $75,000 Maryland Million Turf Sprint Handicap

Beltway Bob (Baltimore Bob) - $50,000 Maryland Million Turf Starter Handicap

Jumpstartmyheart (MD-Bred) - $50,000 Maryland Million Turf Distaff Starter Handicap

Glengar (Freedom Child) - $40,000 Maryland Million Starter Handicap

Odd Gal (Despite the Odds) - $40,000 Maryland Million Distaff Starter Handicap