Maryland Million Set for Saturday
LAUREL, Md. (AP) _ For trainer Joanne Hughes, Saturday’s Maryland Million at Laurel will offer more than a chance to showcase her horses. It also will present an opportunity for revenge.
The featured $200,000 Maryland Million Classic will pit Hughes’ Mary’s Buckaroo against the horse that upset him in last year’s Classic, Algar.
``I’d like to beat that horse,″ said Hughes, whose 7-year-old also will have to contend with nine other horses in the 1 3-16 mile race, including proven stakes performers Testafly, Wicapi, Testing, Waited and Prince Quistino.
Testafly is the early favorite, despite a third-place finish during the summer at Monmouth, after which he tested positive for clenbuterol. That test is being appealed. Algar is winless since last fall’s Laurel Turf Cup
``Hopefully, we’ll get some early speed (from Testafly or Wicapi),″ Hughes said. ``If they’ll go out and kill the pace, and if War and Peace and I don’t get tied up trying to get out of there, hopefully we’ll win the race from behind.″
Mary’s Buckaroo is coming off an allowance win at Colonial Downs following what Hughes called ``the worst race of his life,″ in September at Delaware Park. She said that race was an aberration, and the horse has gotten better with age.
``He’s getting very manly in his old age,″ Hughes said. ``He’s seven now, so he’s starting to put on weight and round out like a big horse. He has been training well.″
Also on the card are seven other races worth $100,000 each. They are the Lassie, for 2-year-old fillies; the Nursery, for 2-year-old colts and geldings; the Turf, for 3-year olds and up; the Oaks, for 3-year-old fillies; the Sprint Handicap, for 3-year olds and up, and a pair of races for fillies and mares in the Distaff Handicap and Ladies.