2017 General George Stakes Preview, Entries & Odds

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Dave Bond | OTB Writer

OffTrackBetting.com - The G3 General George Stakes will be contested Saturday, February 18 at Laurel Park in Laurel, Maryland. Horses four years old and upward will line up on Laurel Park's dirt track and race seven furlongs for the winner's share of the $250,000 purse.

A field of 10 will give it a go in the General George Stakes - race 10 on Laurel Park's stacked Saturday card. There is no post time as of yet. Let's take a brief glance into the past performances of all 10 combatants for this G3 stakes.

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2017 General George Stakes Entries at Laurel Park

Stallwalkin' Dude 5-2 - David Jacobson trained gelding has 17 wins, six seconds and eight third place finishes in 49 career starts and enters in very good form having posted triple digit Beyer Speed Figures in four of his last five starts and with three wins, two seconds and two third place finish in his last seven starts. Last time out was an OK third in the G3 Toboggan Stakes at Aqueduct January 16 which followed a win in the minor Gravesend Stakes on that track December 18, a second behind Heaven's Runway in the G3 Fall Highweight Handicap at Aqueduct November 24 and a good win in the G3 Bold Ruler Handicap at Belmont Park October 29. Before that was a respectable second with an impressive 103 Beyer Speed Figure in the G1 Vosburgh Stakes here October 1, a decent third in the G1 Forego Stakes at Saratoga August 27 and a win in the minor Tale of the Cat Stakes August 12. Stallwalkin' Dude has been good lately and will be after his third win in five starts Saturday. Irad Ortiz will be in the saddle of the morning line favorite from gate 6.

Imperial Hint 3-1 - has placed in six of nine career starts for trainer Luis Carvajal - five wins and a second place finish. He enters in a two race win streak - the minor Fire Plug Stakes last time out on this track January 14 and an Allowance optional Claiming at Parx December 17. Before that was a fifth in the minor Fabulous Strike Handicap at Penn National in November and an Allowance score in September. He has two graded stakes starts which both resulted in twelfth place finishes - the G2 Woody Stephens Stakes in June and the G3 Pat Day Mile in May. Imperial Hint has win three of his last four starts overall and hopes to finally show up in graded stakes company. He shoots for his second straight stakes win from post 5 with Julian Pimentel in the irons of the second betting choice.

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Page McKenney 7-2 - defending champion in this race - Mary Eppler trained gelding has 45 career starts with 17 wins, 13 seconds and four third place finishes and has placed in a staggering 25 straight races over the last three years ahead of this weekend. Last time out was a nice win by 1 3/4 lengths in the minor Native Dancer Stakes on this track January 21 which followed nine months away, a second behind Stanford in the G2 Charles Town Classic in April and that win in the G3 General George Stakes last year which was part of a terrific four race win streak. Included in that streak are the minor Native Dancer Stakes here January 2, the minor Swatara Stakes at Penn National November 25, 2015 and the minor Richard W. Small Stakes at Laurel Park November 14 of 2015. Page McKenney has been as competitive as they come and hopes to keep an impressive run going at a distance he's been third or better in nine career tries - with Horacio Karamanos in the reins of the 122 pound co-highweight and intriguing third choice from post 3. Page McKenney is cross-entered in the $75,000 John B. Campbell Stakes earlier on the card.

Heaven's Runway 6-1 - has 42 career starts for trainer Rudy Rodriguez with seven wins, four seconds and seven third place finishes. He enters this week on a nice two race win streak - the minor Dave's Friend Stakes last time out on this track December 31 and the G3 Fall Highweight Handicap at 32-1 odds at Aqueduct November 24. He failed to place in eight of his previous nine starts including five - fourth place finishes in Allowance races and a fifth in the 2016 G3 Toboggan Stakes. Heaven's Runway has flicked a switch lately and is running very well. He tries for his third straight stakes win from post 9 with Kendrick Carmouche aboard the 122 pound co-highweight.

Ocean Knight 10-1 - Kiaran McLaughlin trained colt has placed in nine of 11 career starts - four wins, three seconds and two third place finishes. He arrives off a front-running Allowance Optional Claiming score at Aqueduct January 5, an ugly tenth in the G1 Cigar Mile on that track November 26, a decent third in the G2 Kelso Handicap at Belmont Park October 8 and two straight runner-up finishes in Allowance Optional Claiming races this past summer. He also won the G3 Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay in January, 2016 in his second career start and had a third in the G3 Discovery Handicap in November, 2015. Ocean Knight has been a factor every time out except for his effort two starts back and will be shooting for his second graded stakes win (first in two years) from the outside gate 10. Feargal Lynch will be in the reins.

Afleet Willy 12-1 - has placed in 15 of 18 career starts for trainer Claudio Gonzalez - seven wins, six seconds and two third place finishes. He steps into stakes company for the first time Saturday on a nice three race win streak - all Allowance races on this track with the last coming over Never Gone South January 16. He has finished first or second in eight of his last nine starts overall and looks ready for his major step up in competition. Victor Carrasco has been tabbed to ride from gate 2.

Voluntario 15-1 - Rudy Rodriguez trained colt has four wins, two seconds and three third place finishes in 14 career starts. He arrives off consecutive thirds in Allowance Optional Claiming races at Aqueduct which followed a win and a fifth respectively in similar races. He failed to hit the board in his previous two starts - both graded stakes races including a seventh in the G3 Smarty Jones Stakes at Parx in September and a fourth in the G3 Dwyer Stakes at Belmont Park in July. Voluntario has been OK against lesser competition but has yet to post a stakes win. Jockey Ruben Silvera hopes to change all of that from post 7 Saturday.

Classy Class 15-1 - has 13 career starts for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin with three wins and three third place finishes. He has eight graded stakes starts with a pair of thirds (the G3 Withers Stakes and G3 Gotham Stakes in 2015) being the best results. He enters off a sixth in the G3 Toboggan Stakes at Aqueduct January 16 after a third in an Allowance Optional Claiming November 23, a fourth in a similar race at Belmont Park October 27 and 13 months away from the track. Before the layoff were a tenth in the 2015 G3 Oklahoma Derby and an ugly ninth in the King's Bishop Stakes at Saratoga August 29 of that year. Classy Class has placed in just one of his last five starts overall and shoots for his first stakes win in 16 months - from gate 4 with Rajiv Maragh guiding him.

Never Gone South 20-1 - has placed in seven of 10 career starts for trainer Cathal Lunch - three wins, three seconds and a third place finish. He makes his graded stakes debut Saturday off a runner-up finish in an Allowance Optional Claiming here January 16, a fifth in the minor City of Laurel Stakes on this track November 19, a fourth in the minor Chick Lang Stakes at Pimlico in May and a sixth in the minor Federico Tesio Stakes on this track in April. He did win the minor Frank Whiteley, Jr Stakes here in January, 2016 and posted consecutive runner-up finishes in minor stakes action to end 2015 but has mostly been unflattering since. Never Gone South has hit the board five of seven times on this track and steps into graded stakes company for the first time looking for his first win in 13 months - from the rail with Trevor McCarthy aboard.

Grasshoppin 30-1 - has 30 career starts for trainer Mario Serey with six wins, eight seconds and three third place finishes. He has placed in his last three starts ahead of this weekend - a second last time out in the minor Jazil Stakes at Aqueduct January 14 followed an Allowance score at Parx December 20 and a second in the minor Swatara Stakes at Penn National in November. He failed to hit the board in his previous five starts. Grasshoppin has just one graded stakes start - a fourth in the 2015 G2 Monmouth Cup but enters this go-around in decent form. Hector Carabello gets the call from gate 8.


2017 General George Stakes Odds & Entries

Race 10 on Laurel Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:00 PM.

Entry Horse ML Odds Jockey Trainer
1 Never Gone South 20-1 Trevor McCarthy Cathal Lynch
2 Afleet Willy 12-1 Victor Carrasco Claudio Gonzalez
3 Page McKenney 7-2 Horacio Karamanos Mary Eppler
4 Classy Class 15-1 Rajiv Maragh Kiaran McLaughlin
5 Imperial Hint 3-1 Julian Pimentel Luis Carvajal, Jr.
6 Stallwalkin' Dude 5-2 Irad Ortiz, Jr. David Jacobson
7 Voluntario 15-1 Ruben Silvera Rudy Rodriguez
8 Grasshoppin 30-1 Hector Caballero Mario Serey, Jr.
9 Heaven's Runway 6-1 Kendrick Carmouche Rudy Rodriguez
10 Ocean Knight 10-1 Feargal Lynch Kiaran McLaughlin

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