New York Shipper Fancies Laurel Park, Wins General George
Updated: Wednesday, February 18, 2004 5:06 PM
Posted: Monday, February 16, 2004 6:14 PM
(Edited from track reports)
Photo: Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club
New York shipper Well Fancied winning the General George Handicap at Laurel Park.
New York shipper Well Fancied led every step of the way and held off some late challengers as he went on to win the $200,000 grade II General George Handicap at Laurel Park on Monday.
Jockey Edgar Prado let Well Fancied surge to the front when the gate opened and they nursed a narrow lead down the backstretch. The 6-year-old continued to lead through the turn and turned back a massive assault before spurting away to win by a length over Unforgettable Max in 1:22.49 for the seven furlongs. Laurel Park-based Gators N Bears was third.
The winner paid $8 as second choice in the betting and topped a $74.80 exacta and $399.20 triple.
"This horse can do anything," trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. said. "He can come from behind. He can go to the front. Edgar just let him place himself and he was just doing it naturally. We took a shot at bringing him here and it worked out."
"He worked really well the other day," said Prado, who won 10 riding titles at Laurel Park during the 1990's. "We saw some tough horses in here but we were committed to coming and I'm glad we did."
Badge of Silver, the 7-10 favorite, prompted the pace three-wide and battled in mid-stretch before he faded and finished fifth. "I'm sorry that he didn't run well today," trainer Ronny Werner said. "It just wasn't our day."
Jockey Robby Albarado added, "It felt as if was going to give me what I wanted but then he just ran a minimal race. This is a nice horse and it just wasn't his day."
"I was very pleased with the way he ran," said Ramon Dominguez, who rode the 15-1 shot Unforgettable Max to a second-place finish. "We didn't have any other choice than to go around the other horses. We wasted a little ground by doing that. My horse gave me everything he had but it just wasn't good enough to beat the winner."
"Rick (jockey Rick Wilson) said he couldn't get through," said Gators N Bears owner-trainer Leo Nechamkin. "When he finally got through the horse kicked in but it was just too late. Any time you hit the board you are running in the right spot and the horse belongs at this distance. It is easier for him. We just have to find the right spot. The horse I was really afraid of won the spot."
Owned by J. S., and F. Hoffman and S. Goldfarb, Well Fancied is a New York-bred son of Proper Fager. The winner of 11 of 28 starts, Well Fancied was making his first start since finishing fifth in the Cigar Mile (gr. I) last Nov. 29. Previous to the Cigar, the gelding had a five-race win streak.
A crowd of 7,709 was on hand at Laurel for the nine-race President's Day card.
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