- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 11, 2001

BALTIMORE The safe bet for Saturday's 16th Maryland Million is to back an offspring of Allen's Prospect. The problem is picking among 15 entered on the card, including five in one race.
Allen's Prospect has become the big horse in Maryland thanks to the Million, which was created in 1986 to promote the state's stallions through an annual afternoon devoted solely to Maryland-sired horses. Now 17 states have similar events.
Allen's Prospect is the alpha male of the Mid-Atlantic after a promising racing career ended because of injury. Allen's Prospect's bloodlines made him an attractive stallion, with 65 mares annually bred to him before the 1990 Million. However, two victories from Allen's Prospect's first foal crop steadily increased his demand to 121 mares this year.
"The Million is like Christmas every year," said Country Life Farm business manager Mike Pons. "We have to wait to see if we've been naughty or nice."
Allen's Prospect's 12 winners leads Million stallions and made him a national figure. Although his stud fee pales in comparison to Storm Cat's $500,000, Allen's Prospect has been the country's leading stallion in offspring victories for three years, with a fourth nearly assured. He is Maryland's career leading sire in earnings and victories.
"The Million launched him," Pons said. "It's like the event was made for Allen because his babies hit the track early and often. He's never looked back since then. They started winning in California and Florida and Maryland. Folks that wouldn't return my calls now call me."
In C C's Honor (3-1) may have the best chance among the Allen's Prospect offspring as the $100,000 Million Sprint Handicap favorite. Golden Made (7-2) faces four half-sisters in the $100,000 Million Distaff Handicap. Final Table (7-2) is the second choice in the $100,000 Million Nursery. The Million drew 98 entrants in 11 races at Pimlico Race Course yesterday, including the newly created $50,000 Million Sweepstakes for 3-year olds. While there are no marquee national stakes horses, the card is filled with competitive races.
"Each race has a slight favorite, but I've never seen races so even at every level," Pimlico oddsmaker Clem Florio said. "Just a break here and there and you'll have four-horse finishes."
P Day (3-1) is the slight morning-line favorite over Concerned Minister (7-2) in the $200,000 Classic. Named for jockey Pat Day, P Day was third in the 2000 Classic and has won three of six with second-place finishes this year. Concerned Minister took the $75,000 Owners Day Handicap on Sept. 8 at Delaware Park in his second start back after an eight-month layoff. Testing is 12-1 after winning the Classic last year.
The Million returns to Pimlico for the first time since 1992, when Laurel Park renovations delayed the fall meeting until yesterday. Million officials said the two tracks may now rotate the event.
"It will depend on how the racing dates fall out in the future," Million executive director Tim Capps said. "If the racing dates stay pretty constant, chances are it will rotate back and forth."

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