05/02/2002 11:00PM

Ward will serve as judge at yearling show

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Last year's Kentucky Derby-winning trainer John T. Ward Jr. will take on a new role when he steps into the show ring at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium to judge the Maryland Horse Breeders Association's 68th annual show for Maryland-bred yearlings on June 30.

Ward joins an elite gruop of trainers, many of them Hall of Fame members, who have taken on the task in the past, including Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons, Horatio Luro, Woody Stephens, Scotty Schulhofer, Allen Jerkens, Bill Mott, Bobby Frankel, and recent Hall of Fame inductee Bud Delp.

The MHBA yearling show has been an early debut for a number of Maryland's finest runners, including Eclipse Award winners Safely Kept and Smart Angle, and millionaire Urbane. The most recent crop to emerge from the yearling show includes multiple graded stakes-placed 2-year-old Heavyweight Champ and last year's Maryland-bred champion juvenile, Magic Weisner.

Cash prizes totaling more than $10,000 are presented to the yearlings placing in six classes - three for colts and three for fillies, divided by Maryland-sired or those sired by stallions standing outside of Maryland - as well as the championship class to determine the best overall yearling of the show.

In addition, all yearlings who are judged that day are eligible for a $40,000 purse award to be divided among the top four money earners at ages 2 and 3, regardless of their placement in the classes.

Entry fees of $25 are being accepted through May 29 at the offices of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association. For more information, call 410-252-2100.

Maryland Million stays at Pimlico

The Maryland Million will once again be held at Pimlico when Maryland racing's second biggest day of the year falls on Sept. 21. Last year's renewal was held at Pimlico for the first time since 1992.

The feature race of the 17th annual Maryland Million is the $200,000 Maryland Million Classic, for older horses, run at 1 3/16 miles on the main track. The Maryland Million is restricted to nominated offspring of nominated Maryland stallions, regardless of where they are foaled. Last year, the 11-race card produced winners bred in Maryland (four), Pennsylvania (four), Virginia (two), and New York (one).

Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Sale

The first horses are on the grounds for the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-olds in training sale to be held May 20-21 at the Timonium Sales Pavilion in Timonium.

The 520 juveniles cataloged include offspring by leading sires Storm Cat and Deputy Minister, as well as Saint Ballado, Unbridled, Unbridled's Song, Dehere, and Hennessy. Also represented are top Maryland sires Allen's Prospect, Two Punch, Polish Numbers, Citidancer, and Not for Love, as well as recent Maryland arrival Our Emblem.

A dozen horses brought a price of $100,000 or more in 2001, topped by a Thunder Gulch colt for $270,000. The 268 sold averaged $31,826. The record price for a juvenile sold at the May sale is $360,000, set by the Jolie's Halo filly Jolie's Princess in 1998 and equaled a year later with the purchase of Medal of Valor, a son of Polish Numbers.

The under tack shows begin at 10 a.m. Thursday, May 16 and Friday, May 17.