09/17/2002 11:00PM

Crowded fields for Million


Entries were drawn Wednesday at Pimlico for Saturday's 17th Maryland Million, the second most important day in racing in the state behind Preakness Day.

The Maryland Million is restricted to horses who are sired by Maryland-based stallions.

The 10 races, worth a total of $1 million, drew 124 runners. Last year, 98 were entered for 11 races.

The highlight of the card is the $200,000 Classic for 3-year-olds and up at 1 3/16 miles on the dirt. The likely favorite is graded stakes winner Duckhorn, a son of Not for Love trained by the Kentucky-based Patrick Byrne. Duckhorn, a front-runner, drew the rail in the 10-horse field and will be ridden by Richard Migliore. The 5-year-old Duckhorn carries 126 pounds as the highweight under the allowance conditions of the race.

Also entered in the Classic is last year's upset winner, Sumerset, who drew post 5 and will be ridden by Orlando Bocachica. Concerned Minister, who failed as the favorite in the last two runnings of the Classic, drew post 4 and will be ridden by Craig Perret.

The field is completed by Big Becker, Carney's Prospect, Docent, Get the Picture, Hay Getoutofmyway, Marciano, and Quiet Gratitude.

The $100,000 Ladies drew 17 fillies and mares, but only 14 will be permitted to start in the 1 1/8-mile grass race. Among the contenders are New York shippers Shopping for Love and Along Came Mary, who won last year's Oaks.

The $100,000 Turf drew 10 male turf runners, including the last three winners of the 1 1/8-mile race, Private Slip, Cynics Beware, and Elberton.

One of the most competitive races on the card is the $100,000 Sprint, which drew 17 runners, including five also-eligibles for the six-furlong handicap. P Day, third in two runnings of the Maryland Million Classic, has been entered.

Among the 11 fillies and mares entered in the $100,000 Distaff, a six-furlong race, is last year's winner, Case of the Blues.

The smallest field on the card is the $100,000 Oaks, a 1 1/16-mile dirt race, which drew six 3-year-old fillies.

The $100,000 Lassie for 2-year-old fillies drew 16. Twelve will be permitted to start in the six-furlong race.

The Lassie's counterpart, the $100,000 Nursery, drew 12 colts and geldings.

A pair of $50,000 starter handicaps round out the the card.

Post time for the first race on Maryland Million Day is 1:05 p.m. Eastern. The Classic will be run as the 10th and final event, with a 5:44 p.m. post.