A full field of 14 fillies and mares aged 3 and up will go 7 furlongs as part of the Maryland Millions Distaff Starter Handicap. One of 12 races on the program, the event will test its competitors at 7 furlongs on the main track as they vie for the winner’s purse of $40K.

Maryland Million Distaff Starter Handicap Betting Preview

(1) Targe ML 9/2

Tepid morning live favorite comes in with two wins in a row and has hit the board 7 times in 10 starts this year. Since being claimed by Gina Perri, this gal has woken up, winning a pair of races and registering Beyers in the low to mid 70’s.

Early speed type stretched out some today going from 6 to 7 furlongs. Carrying 123 pounds, more than any filly or mare in the race. With a field this big, won’t be pinning our hopes on the favorite.

(2) Mejoramiga ML 30/1

Marco Salazar’s horse took a while to break her maiden taking nine times to graduate. Like Targe has won two in a row but against much less company and with much lighter speed figures than what they will face in the Maryland Millions. Pass.

(3) Mavilus ML 4/1

Has found a home in these starter allowance races. 10-for-11 on the board this year with a pair if wins. Seems to take money and compete against this type of company. First win of the year came at 40/1 odds but since then has been 7/1 or less. Despite always trying seems a bit allergic to the camera. Pass.

(4) Sick Pack Sara ML 10/1

Hard luck type who finished second three times in a row before being claimed in her last by Hugh McMahon. Has been readying for today’s test at Penn National. Is 4-for-13 at Laurel and is a speedball but has stamina issues which will be compromised significantly by the extra furlong. Pass.

(5) Startwithabang ML 12/1

Last nine races have been around 2 turns and at over one mile. Cuts back today for a barn that connects at 15% when making this type of move. Is more of a closer than an early speed type so conventional thinking would say the more ground the better and this gal has some back class, she cost $35K as a two-year old. Puzzling move on the cutback. Pass.

(6) Betcha By Golly ML 6/1

Another one that likes to be near of close to the front. Is just 1-for-16 over the Laurel strip and 3-for-24 in the past two years. Numbers are somewhat respectable but nothing spectacular. Just can’t back at this price in a race like the Maryland Millions. Pass.

(7) Unrequited Love ML 8/1

Kieron Magee trainee won her last, running a 58in the slop at Delaware going 5.5 furlongs. Is pretty one dimensional when it comes to running style, does best when she has her nose in front the entire way. The Jamie Rodriguez, a rider who won 8 in a row earlier this summer at Delaware jumps aboard. Thinking he can harness her early speed and be there in the end. The pick.

(8) Sheriff’s Kid ML 10/1

Comes from the bullring of Charles Town where races this distance are 2 turns given the configuration. A quick look at her record at Laurel (0-for-11) makes us think that she’s a horse for course….but not this one, the one in West Virginia. Pass.

(9) Bonfire Diva 20/1

Veteran conditioner-turned-jock agent-turned-conditioner again Gary Contessa sends this gal out. Carries just 109 pounds and has been working smartly in Delaware. Another speedball in a race chock full of them, just can’t see it given her past Beyer history and results. Pass.

(10) Dulce Kiara 15/1

Is 1-for-9 last year and while she looked good in the victory three back at a shorter distance in the slop she has struggled to compete at this level against this company in the Maryland Millions. Maybe the last two were to build fitness to have her go longer but we just don’t know. Pass.

(11) Sommer Velvet 8/1

Intriguing one from the barn of Anthony Farrior. Has won two in a row but those wins came around 2 turns at Charles Town at very, very short prices. Farrior certainly has this gal rolling since the claim but the outside draw will comprise this daughter of Dortmund’s chances. Granted she was under the care of other connections but is 0-for-6 at Laurel. Reluctantly not using on top.

(12) Spanikopita 20/1

Seemingly named for a spinach pie popular in Greece, this gal comes down from the Jersey Shore and her Monmouth Park base. Popped a career-best Beyer last out in the slop at Parx but hasn’t shown the ability to run back to that race in the dry going. Under previous connections, ran 5 times at Laurel, going 1-for-5. Pass.

(13) Chica Rabiosa 12/1

Training on her own for a little over one month, Joanne Shankle sends this one out. This gal did not perform well in her first start for Shankle losing by 24 lengths and running a 29 Beyer. They shorten her up to one turn today and she has shown flashes. Has changed hands a lot on this circuit and is somewhat tested but the 1-for-14 record at Laurel is a concern. Pass.

(14) Utterly Enchanting 30/1

The epitome of a consistently inconsistent horse, this gal lost her last race by 19, the race before she won by 11 and the time before that she lost by 16. The win by 11 was the only time she had her picture taken in the last two years as she’s 1-for-13. True, she can pop a good number and solid performance out of the blue but statistically speaking those efforts are few and far between. Pass.


Maryland Million Distaff Starter Handicap Free Pick: (7) Unrequited Love.


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