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Karan's Notion Pulls off 16-1 in Maryland Million Sprint
“Never Give Up”
LAUREL, MD – Owner/trainer/breeder Nancy Heil’s Karan’s Notion pulled off a 16-1 upset victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Maryland Million Sprint at Laurel Park.
The Sprint, a six-furlong dash for 3-year-olds and up, was one of eight stakes and four starter stakes on the 35th Jim McKay Maryland Million program for offspring of stallions standing in Maryland.
“I don’t believe it’s real yet. I’ve been training 50-some years, but I’ve never had a [Maryland Million] eligible horse,” Heil said. “When he was a baby – he had these long legs, like spider legs – and we said, ‘I think he’s going to be the one.’”
Karan’s Notion did all the work himself while winning his stakes debut, setting a strong early pace and continuing on to register a length victory under Yomar Ortiz in 1:09.15.
Karan’s Notion broke his maiden in his third career start by 13 lengths in a July 20 maiden race for $40,000 claimers. He went on to win a state-bred allowance two races later before finishing in the money in two open-company allowance races.
“I never knew how fast he could run. When he won here by 13 lengths, I knew he had more in the tank,” Heil said. “I tried to get the rider to believe in him and just go with him and trust yourself.”
Karan’s Notion set fractions of 22.49 and 45.07 seconds for the first half-mile while pressed by Onemoregreattime, the 9-5 favorite in a field of 10. The homebred gelding fought gamey through the stretch to hold off Baptize the Boy, who saved ground while stalking the pacesetter. Lewisfield, the 2018 Maryland Millions Sprint winner, rallied to finish third another 1 ½ length back.
Karan’s Notion gave sire Great Notion his fourth winner of the day at Laurel Park, while giving Heil a thrill of a lifetime.
“Never give up,” Heil said.