10/03/2012 4:30PM

Laurel Park: Three defending champions return on Maryland Million Day

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Defending champions Ben’s Cat, Eighttofasttocatch, and Sloane Ranger headline the fields that were finalized Wednesday for Saturday’s Jim McKay Maryland Million at Laurel Park.

The 11-race card will offer total purses of $1.05 million to the offspring of Maryland-based stallions. It’s the second biggest day of racing on the Maryland racing calendar, topped only by Preakness Day.

Eighttofasttocatch is a part of a six-horse field for the featured $150,000 Classic (race 10). The 6-year-old Eighttofasttocatch’s only win this season in five starts came in the Harrison Johnson Memorial Stakes in March. He has not hit the board in three subsequent starts, including a ninth-place finish in the Grade 3 Pimlico Special on Preakness weekend and a fifth in the Japan Racing Association last month on the Laurel turf.

Eighttofasttocatch is cross-entered against 11 rivals in the $100,000 Turf.

Ben’s Cat will seek to become the fourth horse to win a Maryland Million race three straight years when he faces 10 opponents in the $100,000 Turf Sprint. He became the first millionaire trained by long-time horseman King Leatherbury when he won last month’s Grade 3 Turf Monster Handicap at Parx.

Sloane Ranger edged 2010 Classic winner Regal Solo in last year’s Sprint and the two will square off again in Satuday’s $100,000 Sprint, which drew a field of nine.