The 14-week stand will feature live racing on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoons (with Columbus holiday exception) through December 19. The eight Saturday programs in September and October will feature live music and drink specials.
Introduced in 1986, the Maryland Million is a program for the offspring of Maryland-based stallions. Hall of Fame TV Broadcaster Jim McKay originally proposed the concept and remained the Chairman of the Board until his death on June 7, 2008. The day has been officially re-named Jim McKay Maryland Million day. Maryland Delegate Sandy Rosenberg spearheaded the change, sponsoring legislation during the 2009 session of the Maryland General Assembly. The bill passed overwhelmingly in both the Senate and House of Delegates. Governor Martin O’Malley promptly signed it into law.
Possible runners for this year’s races include 2008 winners Cuba, Sweet Goodbye and Celtic Innis plus millionaire Heros Reward. Pre-entries will be announced September 18 with the post position draw held five days later.
The De Francis Dash is one of just three Grade I races contested in Maryland, along with the Preakness Stakes, the middle jewel of racing’s Triple Crown, and the historic Pimlico Special. Introduced in 1990, the De Francis Dash is one of the elite six-furlong sprints in the country with four of the 18 winners-Housebuster (1991), Cherokee Run (1994), Smoke Glacken (1997) and Thor’s Echo (2006)-earning Eclipse Award honors for champion sprinter.