General Challenge was bred by Mabee and her late husband, John, who died in the spring of 2002. General Challenge is a half-brother to grade I stakes winner Notable Career. His dam, Excellent Lady (by Smarten), produced a Storm Cat filly this year.
General Challenge, who won three of California's biggest grade I stakes, has been retired to Betty Mabee's Golden Eagle Farm near Ramona, Calif. The 7-year-old homebred gelding will be made into a farm pony. Trained by Bob Baffert, General Challenge won nine of 21 races and earned $2,877,178. He finished last in a July 6 allowance race at Hollywood Park in his third start this year following a lengthy layoff.A son of Golden Eagle stallion General Meeting, General Challenge won the 1999 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) and Pacific Classic Stakes (gr. I) and was voted California's top 3-year-old colt. The following year, his chief win came in the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I), and he was named the state's best older male of 2000. During those two years of racing, in which he earned $1 million each year, General Challenge won five other stakes, four of which were graded.