By Will Kitching  

In September, Gov. Larry Hogan proclaimed October as Maryland Horse Month and one reason why is Maryland’s Day at the Races, a program of 12 races also known as the Jim McKay Maryland Million Day. On Oct. 22, the 37th Jim McKay Maryland Million Day was held at Laurel Park.

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Horses lineup before a race on Maryland Million Day.
Photo Credit: Will Kitching

The race day is named in honor of Jim McKay, founder of the Maryland Million and a well-known sports broadcaster, who traveled the world but always returned to his horse farm in Baltimore County before his death in 2008. 

The first race of the day, the $50,000 Gulfstream Park Maryland Million Turf Starter Handicap, was won by Beltway Bob, ridden by female jockey Lauralea Glaser, owned and trained by Gregory L Wilson. Beltway Bob was not the favorite, leaving the gate at 12-1 odds, paying $27.20 on a $2 bet. 

Aside from the competitive races, there were numerous other forms of on-track entertainment between races, including pony racing, the Suttler Post Clydesdales and Goshen fox hounds. In The  Paddock, there was a pony kissing booth, a hands-on grooming station, face painting, a caricature artist, a wandering juggler and magician, color your own stick horse  and cornhole.