Ain’t Da Beer Cold Promoted Winner of $150,000 Maryland Million Classic

Ain’t Da Beer Cold Promoted Winner of $150,000 Maryland Million Classic

Richest of Eight Stakes, Four Starter Stakes, on ‘Maryland’s Day at the Races’

LAUREL, MD – Matt Spencer, Kelly Jo Cox and Bonuccelli Racing’s Ain’t Da Beer Cold, longest shot in the field at 35-1, was promoted to the win after the disqualification of first-place finisher Market Maven in Saturday’s $150,000 Maryland Million Classic at Laurel Park.

The 1 1/8-mile Classic for 3-year-olds and up headlined the 38th Jim McKay Maryland Million Day program of 12 races featuring eight stakes and four starter stakes on ‘Maryland’s Day at the Races,’ celebrating the progeny of stallions standing in the state.

It was the fourth win of the day for jockey Jevian Toledo including victories in the $100,000 Turf Sprint with Witty and $100,000 Distaff aboard Intrepid Daydream, and his 17th in Maryland Million history, moving him into a tie with Ramon Dominguez for second all time behind fellow Hall of Famer Edgar Prado (18).

Trainer Kenny Cox earned his first Maryland Million win with Ain’t Da Beer Cold ($75), who ran eighth in the Classic in 2021 and 2022.

“We just went in there hoping he would show up,” Cox said. “He’s had terrible form. We’ve had a bunch of excuses, and I don’t like making excuses. If he doesn’t show up today, give us an effort, we would go ahead and turn him out. It wasn’t the toughest Maryland Million Classic, so we have to take a shot and turn him out after this.

“Me and Jevian talked about it and he’s like, ‘I want to send him today,’” he added. “I said ‘Put him on the lead. That’s exactly my thoughts. We got nothing to lose and take it from there.’”

Toledo hustled Ain’t Da Beer Cold, a 5-year-old homebred gelding by Freedom Child, to the front from Post 7 and went the opening quarter-mile in 23.59 seconds with Market Maven in pursuit, 19-1 long shot Dolice Vita saving ground inside and 6-5 favorite Double Crown in the clear three wide in fourth.

Market Maven continued to track the leader through a half in 48.40 when Grade 3 winner Double Crown moved up to be third. The two front-runners straightened for home together and raced side-by-side through the lane, with Ain’t Da Beer Cold grudgingly giving way approaching the wire. Following an objection lodged by Toledo, Market Maven was disqualified and placed second for interference.

“I had no idea, to be honest,” Cox said of the objection. “I went back to congratulate him, what a great effort, and he’s like, ‘I got to run in here,’ and I knew there was something at that point. I didn’t know what had happened. I just wanted to watch it. I saw some bumping and I said it could go either way on this call. You know, I just hope there was some luck on my side today.”

Double Crown finished third, followed by Dolice Vita, All Threes, Loose Ends, Rhumjar and Ournationonparade. Maryland-bred also-eligibles Super Accelerate, Frightland and Big Blue Line were scratched.

Ournationonparade was trying to become the first repeat winner of the Classic since Admirals War Chest in 2015-16 and just the seventh horse with three lifetime Maryland Million wins.

Ain’t Da Beer Cold had placed in three prior stakes, the most recent in the Feb. 18 John B. Campbell, when he ran third behind multiple stakes winners Nimitz Class and Ournationonparade. He now has six wins, five seconds and four thirds from 32 career starts.

“I don’t know what to say. This is better than the Preakness,” breeder-owner Matt Spencer said. “It’s a dream come true. This horse is all heart. Toledo says he’s going to the lead and let’s see what happens. Let’s see how far he can go. Thankfully we got put up. I didn’t think it was going to happen. The racing gods were good to us today.”