The Maryland Million series is the highlight of this weekend's stakes action as excitement continues to build two weeks away from the Breeders' Cup World Championships. A series of stakes races held at Laurel Park on Saturday, the Maryland Million consists of an 11-race card which drew a total of 142 entries.
The $125,000 Maryland Million Turf drew 16 entries, a $50,000 starter on the turf drew 15, and the $100,000 Nursery and $100,000 Lassie drew a total of 29 juveniles. Then there's Admirals War Chest trying to win an unprecedented third consecutive $150,000 Classic, and he's listed at 10-1 on the morning line.
Kicking off the graded stakes action is the G3 Valley View at Keeneland on Friday, featuring sophomore fillies at 1 1/16 miles on the turf course. A field of 14 is expected to run in what should be a very good betting race, as the “favorite” on the morning line is listed at 5-1.
Saturday's Grade 2 Raven Run Stakes at Keeneland is a seven-furlong sprint for 3-year-old fillies on the main track. Another contentious field featuring 11 entrants, the Raven Run features Dorothy and Michael Matz homebred Tequilita, as well as multiple stakes-winning California-bred Miss Sunset.
On Sunday, Keeneland's card features the G3 Dowager for fillies and mares over 1 1/2 miles on the turf. Todd Pletcher trainee Grateful is the slight favorite on the morning line, though both Apple Betty and Lottie are expected to be tough as well.
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