The General George Stakes- Grade III
LRL Race 15 7F Dirt
Purse $250.000 For Four Year
Olds and Upward
Nine older sprinters get together at the Laurel where here at HRP we are used to seeing free races. While this is only a Grade 3 it carries a nice purse and thus has drawn a field full of accomplished runners. Looks like we have snow in the forecast for Saturday, so we may have to plan for an off track as we try and figure out the winner.
1 Insect, trained by Mb Stables
Purchased for $25.000 in July Mb wasted no time in getting a big return on his investment by winning the Grade 1 Forego in his second start. That qualified him for the BC Sprint where he did not fare well and finished 10th. His first race of this year was in a nw3x where he dominated the small field to win by 5 lengths over a muddy track. He is 2 for 2 over the wet surface which may come in handy with snow in the forecast. Working well and certainly has to be considered one of the major contenders.
2 Mandy Mo, trained by Angelos Stable
This filly will be trying her luck against the boys again after beating them in the Grade 3 Toboggan last out. Since being claimed for the bargain basement price of $8.000 she has managed to win 4 of 5 including two against the boys. None of those races had a field of this quality however and even with the weight advantage I do not see her winning here.
3 De Fuego, trained by Defoe
Ultra-consistent gelding that has been in the money in 11 of 14 tries. Was claimed by his current owner for $20 and has run well in a series of lower level allowances and state bred stakes since. Was soundly beaten by Mandy Mo in his last race where he was drawn on the far outside and had little chance. I am not sure he is up to the task he has in front of him today although he is 2 for 2 on off tracks.
4 Silver Dancer, trained by Night Rider Stables
The wily old veteran of the field goes to the post for the 41st time here. Drops back into a sprint where it seems he has had more success than routing. Spent most of 2017 running in grade 1’s and managed to win one at the Met Mile. Can be a major player here if he can find some of that early 2017 form.
5 Watch Out Luke, trained by Spankys Barn
Has only won once in ten lifetime dirt starts and that was a $40.000 maiden claimer. Has never faced this kind of competition and I can’t see him breaking through here.
6 Jesse The Bandit, trained by LionKing Stables
Picked up in the December auction for $65.000 and paid immediate dividends by winning the Grade 2 San Antonio. That race was contested at 1 1/16 and 5 of this guys 7 wins have come routing so interesting that he would cut back in distance again. While he seems to be in good form I just do not think this is his best distance so thinking a small piece may be his fate.
7 Vegas Host, trained by Nakamura Stables
Another one that was picked up for a bargain price which in this case was $12.000. After racing him once he put him under the knife and he has become a different horse. Won the Grade 1 Malibu last out where he beat an excellent field and earned a 103 speed rating. That race was at today’s distance and with his current form he must be one of the favorites.
8 Midwestern Slang, trained by Oquinn Farm
This may be the most interesting entry in the race. Our high earner in the field has earned almost every penny of it routing on the turf and here he is sprinting on the dirt. He has been working extremely fast on the dirt and since there is more money to be made there it makes some sense that he would take a crack at it. I think he has a big chance here and would probably be my pick if the race was a little longer.
9 Lucky Penny, trained by Brave
Our last entry will be trying to send his trainer into retirement a winner. Another one that has done all his damage routing on the turf but decides to try dirt sprinting. His works are not as fast as most others in here and with the outside post I do not see him contending here.
This very diverse field is tough to figure out especially since there is no confirmed front runner in the field. Count me as a believer in Vegas Host after the geld so I will pick him to sit the perfect trip and hold off Midwestern Slang, Jesse the Bandit and Night Dancer. If it does come up wet that may elevate Insect into the picture.