Suarez Racing Inc.'s No Advantage raced wide down the backstretch, accelerated into the stretch and took command of the 35th running of the $150,000 General George Handicap (Grade II), the co-main event in Laurel Park's SprintFest Weekend. Harissa won the $150,000 Barbara Fritchie Handicap (Grade II) Saturday afternoon.
The winner finished fourth in last year's running of the General George and has withstood a heavy stakes campaign since that effort, including a runner-up finish in the Grade III William Donald Schaefer at Pimlico behind Blame on the Preakness undercard.
The son of Posse, trained by Stephanie Beattie and ridden by Manuel Chaves, completed the seven furlong distance in 1:24.46. No Advantage's margin diminished as he neared the finish line, leaving him just a neck ahead of fast closing Laysh Laysh Laysh at the wire.
The 6-year-old has given the Penn National-based Beattie both of her graded stakes wins. No Advantage captured the 2009 running of the William Donald Schaefer. The win boosts his career numbers to nine wins and 18 in the money finishes in 28 starts with earnings of $481,762.
“This was actually better,” said Beattie, who has 976 career winners. “We worked really hard on this one. 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's goal is to have her star run in the $1 million Charles Town Classic on Apr. 16 and the Schaefer (May 21) for the third consecutive year.
Heritage Hall finished third in his stakes debut at odds of 25-1. Laurel Park-based Ben's Cat finished fourth. No Advantage paid $23.80 and he topped a $100.40 exacta and a $1,237.20 trifecta.
Erick Rodriguez (jockey, Laysh Laysh Laysh) said, “We had a perfect trip. I got to sit off the pace, see what was happening and go from there. He ran well but we just ran out of race track.”
Mark Shuman (trainer, Heritage Hill) said, “What a terrific effort. The race set up perfectly and I couldn't be much happier with his performance. He has a tremendous upside.”
Julian Pimentel (jockey, Ben's Cat) said, “The race set up very good for me. We were in a perfect spot the entire way. My horse really tried today but we did get beat by the better horse.”
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