Mz. Zill Bear’s win in the $125,000 Ladies was a record-tying third Maryland Million victory for her and a record fifth win for owners Bill and Phyllis Dixon of Mea Culpa Stables. The 6-year-old Salutely mare, trained by Ronald Cartwright, had also won the Ladies in 1993 and ’94.
Leading female honors were shared with California shipper Urbane. A Grade 1 winner making her first start since finishing second in the Kentucky Oaks-G1 in May, she captured the $100,000 Oaks by 8 lengths. The 3-year-old Maryland-bred filly was one of three winners for sire Citidancer that day, along with Mystic Rhythms in the Lassie and Short Stay in the off-the-turf Turf.
- Foxie G gave trainer Dale Capuano his first Maryland Million win as he won the Sprint Handicap over a muddy 6 furlongs in 1:09.94. The 4-year-old gelding, owned by Phillip Capuano, finished ahead of Crumpton, both representing sire Horatius.
- After finishing on the board in 40 of 55 career starts, 7-year-old Friendly Lover won the Boojum Handicap-G2 at Belmont Park to become the fourth runner from his home state of New Jersey to pass the million-dollar mark. His lifetime total was $1,021,481.
“He’s no superhorse; he’s a good horse and if he gets some racing luck he’s honest,” said trainer Joseph H. Pierce Jr.
- Bebe Dalton’s homebred Cavada, a 4-year-old daughter of West Virginia-based Verification, provided a stakes record performance in the $150,000 West Virginia Breeders Classic Stakes. The even-money favorite and solo distaffer in the field of 12, Cavada won the night’s featured event by 2 lengths. The Florida-bred’s time was a full second faster than the stakes standard set by Coin Collector, who won the race in 1992 and ’93.
- The Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern Fall Yearling sale skyrocketed to new heights as the average for the selected portion of the sale rose 62 percent over the previous year, to $23,674, while a $210,000 colt by Citidancer out of Latin Puzzle smashed the record for a yearling sold in the state. Bred by Thomas “Tom Cat” Patterson, the bay colt already named Latin Dancer was purchased by Samantha Siegel of Santa Monica, Calif.
Owned by Jan, Mace and Samantha Siegel and trained by D. Wayne Lukas, Maryland-bred Latin Dancer won the Baldwin Stakes-G3 in 1997 and four other stakes, and retired in 1999 with a record of 7-5-1 from 22 starts and earnings of $422,333.