General George loses `Affirmed'

February 19, 2003|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

The snow-forced rescheduling of the General George Handicap at Laurel Park cost the race its likely favorite, Affirmed Success.

The 9-year-old gelding, an earner of $2.2 million, won't compete when the race takes place Saturday as part of a three-stakes day at Laurel. The defection of Affirmed Success was the only major blow to the General George and the Barbara Fritchie Handicap, seven-furlong races with $200,000 purses.

Yesterday, Maryland Jockey Club officials redrew post positions for the Grade II stakes. Eight females re-entered the Barbara Fritchie, including the top trio of Xtra Heat, Carson Hollow and Zonk, and 12 males re-entered the General George. The $75,000 Maryland Racing Media Handicap will also be contested Saturday.

Xtra Heat and Carson Hollow, two of the world's fastest female thoroughbreds, will break side-by-side, Carson Hollow from the 2, Xtra Heat from the 3.

Rick Schosberg, trainer of Affirmed Success, said the gelding's owner, Albert Fried, began having second thoughts after the race was snowed out Monday.

"Everybody's pretty much in the same boat," said Schosberg, a New York trainer. "But with an older horse like this, he needs to get out and stretch his legs a little more than the other ones might need to. We're making sure we protect him."

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