When Maryland-bred 2-year-old Speedyness crossed the wire first in Laurel Park’s eighth race, a first-level allowance/optional claimer, on Sunday, Oct. 29, it marked a milestone for his sire, Northview Stallion Station’s Great Notion.
With that victory, Great Notion surpassed $5 million in progeny earnings for the season. It’s the first time he’s eclipsed that mark in a year, and the first time any Maryland stallion has gone over $5 million since 2009, when Not For Love’s runners amassed $6,117,580 (the record for a Maryland stallion is $6,418,670 set by Not For Love in 2008).
Speedyness, a homebred for his trainer, Jamie Ness, was one of two Great Notion juvenile winners on the card, as Notion of Love captured the 10th race for owner Kathleen Willier and trainer Hamilton Smith.
A 23-year-old son of Elusive Quality, Great Notion entered stud at Northview in 2005 after racing at the Grade 1 level as a sprinter. Known for precocious, speedy runners who run equally well on turf and dirt, he had his first $1-million single season in 2010 (with three crops to race). His progeny earnings exceed $3 million for the first time in 2018, the same year he vaulted to the top of Maryland’s general sires list, where he has remained ever since. In 2023, through Oct. 30, his runners have earned nearly $1.8 million more than the second-ranked stallion in the region.
His seven black-type winners in 2023 are led by Coastal Mission, a winner of three stakes including the $300,000 Sam Huff West Virginia Breeders Classic at Charles Town. The list also includes three-time stakes winner Twisted Ride, third in the Bold Ruler Stakes-G3 at the Belmont At The Big A meet on Oct. 27; Maryland Million Turf Sprint champion Witty; and 2022 Maryland-bred Horse of the Year Fille d’Esprit, who returned to win the What A Summer Stakes and finish second in the Barbara Fritchie-G3 at Laurel at the start of this year.
From 16 crops of racing age, Great Notion has had 77 percent starters from foals (421/546), 77 percent winners from starters (323/421) and lifetime progeny earnings of $37,362,871. The sire of a stakes winner in every crop through his current 3-year-olds, he has sired 44 in all (through Oct. 30). He’s had a pair of graded stakes winners in Havelock, a five-time graded winner in his career, and Ruby Notion, winner of the 2018 Kentucky Downs Ladies Sprint Stakes-G3 in course record time. His leading earners are Anna’s Bandit, an 11-time stakes winner in her 39-race career and earner of $806,655; and Fille d’Esprit, a winner of 15 of 28 starts for $780,911.