10/18/2014 2:49PM

Bear Access scores huge upset in Maryland Million Ladies


LAUREL, Md. - Bear Access won the $127,500 Maryland Million Ladies as the longest price in the 10-horse field and paid $134.20.

Devilish Love, the 9-10 favorite, had dead aim on the winner through the stretch run of the 1 1/16-mile turf race but could not get by. The exacta paid $442.

Bear Access went went to the lead and set an average opening quarter-mile of 24.70 seconds over the good course, but jockey Horacio Karamanos was able to slow down the pace thereafter, getting a half in 50.17 and six furlongs in 1:15.29.

Devilish Love stalked the winner while saving ground to the stretch turn, came out for the drive, but had to settle for second, a half-length in front of the third-place finisher Pagan Priestess.

Bear Access, trained by Lawrence Murray, completed the distance in 1:54.83 following a mile in 1:41.57. She finished sixth in her last start but had finished third or better in her prior four starts.

“This filly always tries,” said Murray. “When I looked at the program, I didn’t see much speed. At 50 or 60 to 1, I told Horacio you might be on the front end, and they might forget about you. I thought if she does 50, she has a chance, and that’s exactly what she did, and then she spurted away at the three-eighths pole, and I said, ‘My gosh, they won’t catch her.’ ”

Bear Access, a 4-year-old daughter of Gators n Bears, is owned by Howard Bender and was bred by Bender and his late wife, Sondra.

Gators n Bears stood at Shamrock Farms in Woodbine, Md. He died in 2012.

Sprint: D C Dancer continues Not for Love streak

D C Dancer scored the first stakes win of his career in the $100,000 Maryland Million Sprint.

Like the winners of the first two stakes of the day, D C Dancer was sired by Not for Love, the perennial leading stallion in Maryland. Not for Love, now 24, is the all-time leading sire of Maryland Million winners with 31 victories from 198 starters.

D C Dancer, broke a bit slowly, steadily advanced under jockey Angel Serpa, opened a clear lead in mid-stretch, and held off Always Smiling by 1 1/4 lengths. He is owned by TomRus LLC and trained by Michael Trombetta.

D C Dancer paid $15 and was timed in 1:09.93 for six furlongs.

Distaff: Classy Coco finishes strong for win

Classy Coco, reserved early by leading rider Trevor McCarthy through a fast opening half-mile, finished strongest to take the $100,000 Maryland Million Distaff by six lengths.

Classy Coco, a 4-year-old Pennsylvania-bred daughter of Maryland stallion Not for Love, now has won 5 of 19 career starts for trainer T. Bernard Houghton and owner Michael Cox. She was fourth in this race last year as a 3-year-old.

Classy Coco launched her rally three wide on the far turn and took the lead in upper stretch. After a 45.17 opening half, she completed seven furlongs in 1:23.93 and paid $5 to win.

Steady N Love finished second and was three lengths clear of Jonesin for Jerry in third.

Nursery: Golden Years wins as heavy favorite

Golden Years turned back chief rival Legal Punch in the stretch to win the $100,000 Maryland Million Nursery by 1 1/2 lengths. The Nursery was the first of seven stakes for Maryland-sired horses Saturday at Laurel Park.

Golden Years now is 2 for 2 for trainer Roney Jenkins and owner Hillwood Stable. Golden Years, a son of Not for Love, covered six furlongs in 1:10.54 and paid $2.60. He was ridden by Victor Carrasco.

Not for Love stands at the Northview Stallion Station in Chesapeake, Md.