04/04/2017 2:06PM

Leading Maryland sires: Great Notion fills top spot

Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Phlash Phelps led Great Notion's stakes winners again in 2016.

The pensioning of all-time leading Maryland sire Not For Love in 2015 and his death the following year left some colossal shoes to fill at the top of Maryland’s stallion ranks.

The most immediate heir to the throne to emerge is Great Notion, who leads Maryland’s returning active sires by general progeny earnings, juvenile earnings, and turf earnings. Great Notion, a 17-year-old son of Elusive Quality, stands at Northview Stallion Station in Chesapeake City for an advertised fee of $3,500.

The stallion was represented by 67 runners in 2016, with 35 winners and progeny earnings of $2,053,634. His seven stakes winners were led by Phlash Phelps, the winner of the Maryland Million Turf Stakes at Laurel Park with stakes placings in the Henry S. Clark Stakes at Laurel and the Find Stakes at Pimlico Race Course.

Phlash Phelps also was Great Notion’s top performer by Beyer Speed Figures of 90 or higher, with five. The gelding, owned by Ellen Charles’s Hillwood Stable, earned a 94 Beyer twice – in his Maryland Million win Oct. 22 and in an optional-claiming score on the turf May 20 at Pimlico.

In Maryland, Great Notion also had stakes winners Just Jack (who ran third in the Maryland Million Classic Stakes), Crabcakes, and Great Soul. His West Virginia stakes winners included Jacky’s Notion, Eutaw Street, and Follow the Notion.

Great Notion won 3 of 12 starts for earnings of $194,608, highlighted by a win in the then-ungraded Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park. He also finished second in the Grade 1 King’s Bishop Stakes and the Grade 2 Amsterdam Stakes.

Great Notion is out of the unraced Dayjur mare Evening Primrose and is a full brother to stakes winner Star’s Woman. His second dam, Grade 3 winner Water Lily, is the pivot point for runners including Grade 1 winner Talinum; international Group 1 winner Atlante; Group 2 winners Tajmeel and Notability; and Group 3 winners Croc Valley, Simon de Montfort, Waquaas, and Noble Rose.