09/30/2004 11:00PM

Maryland Million, fall yearling sale add up to big week


The Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall yearling sale on Monday and Tuesday starts the second-biggest week of the year on Maryland's Thoroughbred calendar, behind only Preakness Week.

First, the dedication and hard work of Maryland breeders is on display at the sale, then comes the 19th annual Maryland Million Day, for Maryland-sired runners, on Oct. 9.

The Eastern fall yearling sale's first of two sessions gets underway at 10 a.m. on Monday at the Timonium Sales Pavilion in Timonium. Of the 708 horses cataloged, 232 are Maryland-breds - nearly 25 percent of the Maryland-bred foal crop of 2003. The sale, deep with Maryland Million-nominated yearlings, includes youngsters by Maryland's top 10 sires. Allen's Prospect, who died last September at 21, leads all stallions in the sale with 29 offerings.

After the record-setting success of the Keeneland September sale, optimism is running high going into this sale, which in the past three years sold such stars as Belmont Stakes winner Sarava (in 2000), multiple Grade 1 winner Lion Heart and Pennsylvania Derby winner Love of Money (2002), and one of this year's top juveniles, Declan's Moon (2003).

"I would expect the market to remain strong for a quality horse," Fasig-Tipton Midlantic executive vice-president Mason Grasty said.

Among the Maryland-breds cataloged is a half-brother to Love of Money. Out of Mescalina, the dark bay colt by Our Emblem is also a half-brother to stakes winner Astrid and comes from the consignment of Becky Davis, agent, for breeders Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Bowman, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Sutton, and Milton P. Higgins III.

Declan's Moon's half-brother (out of Vee Vee Star) by Country Life Farm freshman sire Unbridled Jet will be offered by his breeder, Brice Ridgely's Spring Meadow Farm, with Bill Reightler, agent.

Yearlings with Maryland Million connections include a full sister to 2002 Maryland Million Distaff winner Blinded by Love (by 2004 leading Maryland sire Not for Love); a half-brother, by current leading Maryland freshman sire Lion Hearted, to Oaks winner Undercover; a colt from the final crop of Polish Numbers out of Ladies winner Caveat's Shot (by Caveat); a Meadow Monster filly out of stakes winner Capp the Power from the family of Distaff winner Capp It Off; and a colt by first-year sire Jazz Club out of stakes-placed I Smokin (by Two Punch), whose dam Smart 'n Quick won the inaugural Oaks.

First-crop Maryland sires represented, in addition to Maryland Stallion Station's Jazz Club (seven yearlings offered), are Murmur Farm's Disco Rico (six) and Bonita Farm's Mojave Moon (five).

Maryland Million pre-entries

Maryland Million Day this year drew a total of 170 pre-entries for the 12-race card, which will be run at Pimlico Oct. 9. Post positions will be drawn Wednesday.

Among the nominees are two runners who appear on this year's Eastern fall yearling sale catalog back cover - Presidentialaffair and Angela's Love. Both sired by Not for Love, they are being pointed for, respectively, the $200,000 Classic (a 1 3/16-mile race for 3-year-olds and up) and $100,000 Ladies (a 1 1/8-mile turf race for fillies and mares).

Earlier this year, Pennsylvania-bred Presidentialaffair set a track record for a mile and 70 yards at Monmouth Park. He also won the Grade 3 Salvator Mile there. A 5-year-old gelding who sold for $25,000 at the Eastern fall sale, Presidentialaffair looks for his first Maryland Million win after losing by a nose to Docent in last year's running. Docent, who would have been attempting a record fourth Maryland Million victory, is not entered this year.

The 4-year-old Maryland-bred Angela's Love, a $58,000 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic yearling sales purchase, has run exclusively in graded stakes since her last appearance at Pimlico, in May. She has since won the Grade 3 Gardenia Handicap at Ellis Park, and ran third in the Grade 3 Turfway Park Breeders' Cup Handicap last out.

Maryland Million Day, which drew crowds in excess of 20,000 six of the last seven years, will again have entertainment between races, a sport cap giveaway, and a microbrew fest. The races will be broadcast from 4 to 6 p.m. on WNUV-TV.