to Laurel Park Monday afternoon in search of a repeat performance in
the $250,000 General George Handicap, which will feature nine
battle-tested sprinters going seven furlongs. Last year, the Cal Lynch
trainee was a driving winner of the Grade 3 sprint at odds of 6-1.
Photo: Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club
10-race card also features the $100,000 Maryland Racing Media Stakes.
Laurel’s SprintFest weekend also includes the $300,000 Barbara Fritchie
Handicap (G2) and the $100,000 John B. Campbell Handicap on Saturday
a son of Outflanker, has not won since last year’s General George and
is a 20-1 longshot entering this year’s race. He finished sixth in his
most recent outing, the Native Dancer at Laurel, his second start off a
layoff. Frankie Pennington picks up the mount on the New Jersey-bred,
who has 12 in the money finishes in 16 starts.
last race was a head scratcher,” Lynch said. “We scoped him after the
race and everything was good. We have put two nice works into him since
the race and we hope that race was just a blip on the radar. He was
peaking at the right time last year and it is going to take an effort
just like that to win it again. I am hoping the horse bounces
back and runs a race that he is capable of. I would have been more
confident if he had run better last time because this is the race we
have been pointing to since giving him a little break last fall.”
Palace, the 8-5 morning
line favorite, won three straight stakes races in New York last year,
including the Fall Highweight (G3) before two second place finishes on
the inner track at Aqueduct. The son of City Zip has been first or
second 11 times in 12 starts for Linda Rice.
has not run his best races on the inner track,” Rice said. “He is very
consistent with a lot of natural raw talent. He is a closer so they are
always fun. He is a pleasure to have in the barn, just a great horse to
New York shipper is the second choice on Keith Feustle’s morning line.
David Jacobson will send Tenango (7-2) from New York in search of his
first stakes win. The son of Lion Heart has hit the board 10 times in 15
starts since arriving in the Jacobson barn.
has been in good form ever since arriving in our barn,” Jacobson said.
“He is a hard-hitting horse who never throws in clunker. We’ll find out
what he is made of Monday. This is probably his toughest spot but I
think he fits. There are some nice horses in here but he’ll run his race
and hopefully he is good enough.”
Six Maryland-based runners will battle the out-of-towners.
for Ten (9-2) finished second in his most recent start, the Fire Plug
Stakes last month at Laurel. Previously, Service for Ten won six races
for trainer Damon Dilodovico including the Dave’s Friend at Laurel last
November before Dilodovico’s longtime assistant Mike Geralis took over
training duties. Sheldon Russell will ride. The son of Service Stripe
has finished in the money in 10 of his last 11 races with six victories.
always seems to show up,” Geralis said. “He is a determined horse who
just wants to win. He is not flashy in the morning. Sheldon worked him
for the first time before the last race and said he doesn’t work like he
runs. He hasn’t really run a bad race since we claimed him. He is an
overachiever. If they were all like him it would be an easy game.”
will saddle Warrioroftheroses (12-1) in the General George. Speed has
been the name of the game for the 5-year old who has been on the lead in
his past five starts, all stakes, with his best effort a second place
finish in Delaware Park’s Governor Day. In his most recent start, the
son of A.P. Warrior led to the eighth pole in the Native Dancer Stakes
before tiring to fourth. Julian Pimentel retains the mount.
Spelled (8-1) won both the Jersey Shore (G3) and Gallant Bob Stakes as a
3-year-old in 2012 for trainer Benny Perkins. After running just once
last year, the son of Spellbinder ran a game fourth in the Fire Plug
last month under his new rider Trevor McCarthy.
seemed to come out of that last race in good form. We are happy,”
Perkins said. “He was injured in winning the Gallant Bob and had
significant surgery. It took him awhile to come back. He is now training
well and is starting to show the talent that he had before and we’re
encouraged with the way he ran last month.”
Rule (10-1) has nearly $400,000 in earnings with twenty-one top three
finishes in thirty-four lifetime starts. The Dickie Small trainee, who
was third in last year’s General George, comes into the race off his
second straight score in the Fire Plug Stakes at Laurel. Forest Boyce
has been aboard the son of Dixie Union in all but one start.
has been training better than ever. Whenever he wins he gets full of
himself,” said Dylan Smith, Small’s assistant trainer. “I think he is
going to run big. He is pretty much my favorite horse in the barn. I
have been riding him since he was two and he is the only one I still get
on in the morning. He is just a tick below the top horses but he tries
hard every time and win or lose is happy to train.”
and Grab (12-1) ran a career-best 101 Beyer Speed figure in his
previous start, an allowance victory at Laurel last month. The son of
Sharp Humor finished first or second eight times last year, including a
victory in the Nick Shuk Memorial Stakes at Delaware Park. The
4-year-old is trained by Pedro Rodriguez and Jevian Toledo has the
(15-1) posted a third place finish against optional allowance company
on January 30 after missing nearly a year and a half of action. The son
of Tapit won three stakes races during his two and three-year-old
campaigns, including the Private Terms at Laurel for trainer Rodney
Jenkins. Xavier Perez will be aboard.
Maryland Racing Media drew a field of six fillies and mares, including
Ilikecandy from the Graham Motion barn. The daughter of Malibu Moon is
two-for-two at Laurel.