Suarez Racing Inc.’s No Advantage, winless in five previous starts at Laurel Park, made his victory count with a strong come-from-behind win in the $150,000 General George Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 21 at the Maryland racetrack (VIDEO).
Trained by Stephanie Beattie and ridden by Manuel Chaves, No Advantage broke from the outside post in an evenly matched field of 11, raced wide up the backstretch and on the final turn, ranged up four-wide at the head of the stretch to take over in the lane and held off fast-closing Laysh Laysh Laysh, the 5-2 favorite in the seven-furlong race, by a neck. Heritage Hall rallied from ninth at the top of the stretch to finish third, 1 3/4 lengths behind Laysh Laysh Laysh.
No Advantage, who finished second behind Laysh Laysh Laysh in the one-mile Native Dancer Stakes at Laurel Jan. 17, paid $23.80 to win. Last year the 6-year-old Kentucky-bred horse by Posse out of the Tactical Advantage mare Prime Advantage finished a strong second behind eventual Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Blame in the grade III William Donald Schaefer Stakes at Pimlico Race Course.
No Advantage, who now has nine victories in 27 starts, pushed his earnings close to the $500,000 mark.
Fractions for the General George were :23.46 for the opening quarter-mile, :46.61 for the half-mile, 1:11.70 for six furlongs, and 1:24.46 for seven furlongs on a fast track. Driven by Success, Delaunay, and Taqarub, who all dueled early, finished fifth, seventh, and last, respectively.
No Advantage finished fourth in last year’s General George.
“This horse normally breaks a little bit slow, so I just let him find his stride going down the backside,” Chaves said. “He just gets comfortable and gets into the race and responds whenever I ask him. He’s an amazing horse. He knows where that wire is. He’s got an enormous amount of heart. This the best win of my career.”
“We worked really hard on this one,” said Beattie, who is based at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Pennsylvania. “He just keeps going. We give him breaks here and there, like we did lay him off for four months (last year) to give him a little freshener. That did a lot for him.”
Beattie said the plan is to stretch out No Advantage in the $1 million Charles Town Classic (gr. III) at 1 1/8 miles Apr. 16 and the Schaefer at 1 1/16 miles May 21 for the third consecutive year. The horse won the 2009 Schaefer.