Updated on 09/16/2011 8:18AM

Docent gives Ritchey a Classic repeat


BALTIMORE - Trainer Tim Ritchey won the Maryland Million Classic last fall with a 30-1 longshot named Sumerset, then lost control of the horse this year after a falling out with the owners. Yet, when the flashbulbs popped after Saturday's Classic at Pimlico, there was Ritchey again, smiling and holding the winner's trophy after Docent's charge from seventh place to the winner's circle.

Sumerset barely got involved in his title defense, finishing eighth, but Ritchey, a top trainer at Delaware Park, declined to take a shot at his former clients, Eric and Greg Fral of E & G Stables.

"Nah, it's like throwing salt in the wounds," Ritchey said. "We had a disagreement, and they went their way and I went my way."

Docent's two-length victory in the $200,000 Classic was the highlight of the 17th running of the Maryland Million, a 10-race showcase restricted to the progeny of Maryland stallions. The event, founded by ABC Sports announcer Jim McKay, has become the second-most important day in Maryland racing behind Preakness Day and drew a crowd of 15,252. Overall handle was $5,383,105.

Docent ($5), a gray 4-year-old son of Waquoit, inherited the role of favorite after multiple graded stakes winner Duckhorn scratched from the Classic on Friday with a hoof injury. With the free-running Duckhorn out, the pace scenario for the race changed dramatically.

When the gate opened on the 1 3/16-mile race, habitual front-runner Carney's Prospect went right to the lead, opening a two-length margin. The normally speedy Concerned Minister trailed in last place, leaving Carney's Prospect alone, and the expected battle up front never developed.

When the horses turned for home, Carney's Prospect had no more, and Ryan Fogelsonger on Hay Getoutofmyway bid for the lead. Jockey Jeremy Rose, meantime, sent Docent between two horses at the three-eighths pole and charged past the field to win in a time of 1:56.85, more than four seconds off the track record.

Ritchey said Docent, who won a starter handicap on last year's Maryland Million undercard, might make his next start in the Discovery Handicap at Aqueduct, a Grade 3, 1 1/8-mile race on Oct. 23.

The rest of the Maryland Million card:

* Sprint: Minutes after a winner's circle ceremony commemorating jockey Mario Pino's 5,000th victory, Pino climbed aboard Deer Run ($10.20) and survived a torrid pace battle to win the Sprint. Trained by Christopher Grove at Bowie Training Center, the 5-year-old Deer Run covered the six furlongs in 1:10.60.

* Turf: Bettors dismissed defending champion Elberton's chances to repeat, letting him go at odds of 6-1, and when he turned for home three lengths in front, he looked as if he would pull the upset. La Reine's Terms ($3.60), however, who finished 18 lengths behind Elberton in the Turf last year, reeled him in at the wire with a relentless rush under jockey Horatio Karamanos. A 7-year-old son of Private Terms, La Reine's Terms has now won five straight for trainer Lawrence Murray.

* Distaff: Blinded by Love ($13), a Monmouth Park-based filly who had never run in a stakes race, dominated a strong field and won the six-furlong race for fillies and mares by 3 1/2 lengths for jockey Richard Migliore.

* Ladies: New York-based trainer Kenneth Nesky had only won 3 of the 51 races he had entered this year, but he brought his best horse, 5-year-old mare Shopping for Love ($4.60), to the Maryland Million and won by a commanding 7 1/4 lengths, again with Migliore. The big question going into the race was whether trainer Graham Motion's talented filly, Your Out, would take to the turf after winning more than $500,000 on the dirt. She lagged near the rear early and only could close to sixth place in the stretch.

* Lassie: Veteran jockey Craig Perrett couldn't find room along the rail to squeeze by front-runner Rachelle's Numbers, so shortly before the sixteenth pole he eased Object of Virtue ($26.40) outside and then rode hard to just get by at the finish line and win by a neck. Shipped in from Churchill Downs by trainer Gregory Foley, Object of Virtue won the six-furlong race for 2-year-old fillies in 1:13.72.

* Oaks: Pino made the lead, slowed down the pace and drove favored Undercover ($4.40) to her first stakes victory in the 1 1/16-mile dirt race restricted to 3-year-old fillies. Trained by Anthony Dutrow, Undercover pulled away to a 6 1U2-length win over late-running Tamayo in a time of 1:43.90.

* Nursery: Favorite Cherokee's Boy ($5.20), a son of stallion Citidancer, came back eight days after winning his maiden to take the Nursery for 2-year-olds, running the six furlongs in 1:11.21.

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