GREAT NOTION kicked off the 28th annual Maryland Million in rousing fashion, as the first two winners of the day were from his current crop of 2-year-olds!
Making only his second start, IT’S A BANG battled even-money favorite Joint Custody through fast fractions in the first race, the $100,000 Nursery, and drew off to win by one and a half lengths. Walter Vieser II’s dark bay gelding trained by Donald Barr broke his maiden just nine days earlier by a dazzling nine and a half lengths.
“He broke very sharp out of the gate and my job was to get him to relax and be as comfortable as possible,” said Richard Monterrey, who has been aboard for both wins. “At the top of the stretch it was time to go. My horse drew away and I had plenty left at the finish.”
Bred by Country Roads Ltd., IT’S A BANG is a full brother to stakes-placed Mass Destruction, who was fourth in the Sprint Handicap three races later.
The two GREAT NOTION fillies were in the field of eight sent out for the $100,000 Lassie, and they finished first and third. Brad Gould Jr. and Hidden Hill Farm’s JONESIN FOR JERRY ran to her 1-2 odds, cruising home five and a half lengths over the NOT FOR LOVE filly Steady N Love, who bested the GREAT NOTION filly Pocket Gift by a neck for second.
“She really made my job easy,” said Abel Castellano. “When I got out to the stretch I didn’t have to ask her. I let her do what she needed to do and she did it.”
JONESIN FOR JERRY, bred by Roland Farm and purchased for $5,500 by trainer John Robb at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic fall yearling sale, has had a busy season, making seven starts and finishing first or second five times while earning $128,040. And her three wins have been by a combined 23 1/2 lengths!
GREAT NOTION has had eight juvenile starters to date this year - his three winners all boast black-type! For his career, nearly 20 percent of his juvenile starters are stakes horses. Talented, tough and quick - they strutted their stuff on Maryland Million Day.