Epic Idea Returns For Another Shot In Maryland Million Ladies

Disqualified from a first-place finish in last year’s race, Vivan Rall’s homebred Epic Idea will get a second chance at becoming a Maryland Million winner in Saturday’s $100,000 Ladies.

A 5-year-old Great Notion mare, Epic Idea led every step of the way in the 2020 Ladies to edge Gennie Highway by three-quarters of a length. She survived a steward’s inquiry following the race but was placed second upon review of the Maryland Racing Commission in May.

Epic Idea made her 2021 debut in the $100,000 The Very One May 14 at historic Pimlico Race Course where she ran up against subsequent Grade 3 winner Caravel, finishing eighth by less than four lengths. She has run third in back-to-back turf sprints, including a half-length loss to next-out winner Polished Gal in a Laurel allowance Sept. 30.

“Epic Idea has been training great,” trainer Michael Merryman said. “Hopefully we have her ready to go two turns. The way the races set up, we sprinted the last two races and she ran well in both. It’s a bit tougher field than last year, so we’ll see how it plays out.”

Daniel Centeno gets the riding assignment from Post 4.

Hillwood Stable’s 3-year-old homebred filly Misty’s Banshee will be making just her third career start and first in a stakes in the Ladies for fall meet-leading trainer Brittany Russell. A daughter of Golden Lad out of the Malibu Moon mare Misty in Malibu, she exits a front-running triumph Sept. 23 at Laurel in a one-mile maiden claimer originally carded for the grass.

“The last time she ran great, and I think she’ll love the turf. I know it’s a lot to ask off a maiden win, but we’ve always thought highly of her ability. It’s a matter of getting her brain right,” Russell said. “We’ve always really liked this filly, but she has been a [challenge] to get to the races. She’s had a tough path, but I think we finally got her on the right track.

“Her mother was a turf horse and she trains like she would like the turf. She liked that tight, sealed track the day she broke her maiden when it came off, if that is any indication,” she added. “You hope she’s better on the turf.”

Kevin Gomez, up for each of her first two starts, both also against older horses, rides from Post 7.

Bonuccelli Racing’s Breviary will be racing first time off the claim for trainer Kenny Cox, who took the 4-year-old filly for $25,000 out of a one-mile event Oct. 7 at Laurel. She has three career wins but is 0-for-4 lifetime on turf including a sixth in last year’s Ladies, when she was beaten 3 ¾ lengths.

“When we went back and looked at her turf races, every time she ran it seemed like she was pretty far back and the winner went wire to wire and didn’t back up enough for her,” Cox said. “We’re going to go ahead and take a chance. We’re going to try and get her to lay a little closer. Last year she ran in it for the other connections and got beat [3 ¾] lengths to the horse that won that went wire to wire. She had to make up a lot of ground. I know we’re taking a shot but I don’t think it’s out of the question that she can’t run well in there.”

Jevian Toledo has the call in the Ladies for a second straight year, breaking from Post 2.

The 5-2 program favorite is Burke, Campbell and Picarello’s I Love You, coming out of a 7 ¼-length open allowance romp going one mile Sept. 11 on the Laurel turf. She owns four wins and two seconds from eight lifetime tries on the grass and has a record of 2-2-1 in five starts since being claimed for $160,000 in February.

Holly’s Lady, Maldives Model, Tipsy Chatter, Artful Splatter, Sally’s Mustang, Fool Yourself, Amplio Esquema, Judi Blue Eyes, Brushing and also-eligibles Awesome Jazz and Good Life Cider complete the field.

The post Epic Idea Returns For Another Shot In Maryland Million Ladies appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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