Burning Daylight Farms Inc.'s Dothat Dance, who nearly sprung an upset at odds of 35-1 last fall, will be a long shot again as the 6-year-old gelding takes another crack at the $150,000 Maryland Million Classic Saturday at Laurel Park.
The 1 1/8-mile Classic for 3-year-olds and up serves to highlight the 34th Jim McKay Maryland Million Day program that includes seven stakes and four starter stakes worth $1.02 million in purses. First-race post time is noon, with the Classic carded as Race 10.
A bay son of 1996 Preakness (G1) winner and Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) runner-up Louis Quatorze, Dothat Dance drew Post 10 of 11 in the Classic and is listed at 20-1 on the morning line. Horacio Karamanos will ride.
Trainer Ferris Allen claimed Dothat Dance for $25,000 out of an optional claimer Sept. 7 at Colonial Downs, and ran him back 15 days later in a 1 ½-mile handicap over Laurel's world-class turf course, where he finished fifth.
The Classic will be Dothat Dance's 46th career start, 29 of which have come on grass. He was also pre-entered in the one-mile, $125,000 Maryland Million Turf, a race where he ran fifth by a half-length in a blanket finish in 2017.
“We liked the idea of putting in a claim for this horse to shoot for this race or possibly the turf. We're happy with how he is since he's come to us,” Allen said. “We ran him a mile and a half on the grass after we claimed him and he ran an even race.
“Last year, he ran a powerful race in the Classic and was second to Saratoga Bob,” he added. “I think the race has come up similarly this year and, although he's a long shot on paper, we think he's got a chance.”
Dothat Dance rallied to get within a half-length of Saratoga Bob in last year's Classic, and will face him and third-place finisher Clubman in this year's edition. Clubman is the 2-1 program favorite, with Saratoga Bob second at 9-2.
“The field is full of horses that have cranks in their armor,” Allen said. “There's no horse where you go, 'Well, this horse is really headed toward his very best race,' but one of them is and we're just hoping that it's us.”
Allen has trained one previous Maryland Million winner, filly Holdontothemoment in the 1997 Distaff Starter Handicap. He will also send out Love You Much, 9-2 second choice on the morning line, in the Turf.
“We've spent a long time here in the state of Maryland but we never really concentrated on the Maryland-sired horses in our barn,” Allen said. “This Maryland Million is such a nice thing and there's so many new Maryland sires coming along, our approach to that is going to continue to be a little different.”
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