From a Maryland Jockey Club release
Cutty Shark punched his ticket to next month’s $250,000 General George Handicap (G3) at Laurel Park with a victory in today’s feature, a $47,000 optional allowance test.
Trained by Donald Barr, owned by Leslie Ruth & Barbara Houck and guided for the first time by Xavier Perez, Cutty Shark was confidently ridden to a narrow victory in 1:23.41 for the 7-furlong distance, the same distance as the General George on President’s Day, February 16.
It was the fifth Laurel Park score for Cutty Shark, who also finished second in the City of Laurel Stakes and third in the Fire Plug Stakes. Today he broke sharply, contested the pace between horses and then edged away to win by a neck. The son of Old Fashioned paid $5.40 as the betting favorite and boosted his earnings to nearly $175,000.
“We lost a lot of training days with him because of the weather,” Barr said. “I don’t feel like he was at his best today. It was an ad-lib training job but he still ran a 1:23 and he should be better in the General George.”
Barr captured the 1995 General George, then a Grade 2, with Who Wouldn’t.
Extrasexyhippzster, who was making his first start since Preakness day 2014, turned in a very game second and Never Stop Looking, who won the Fire Plug here on January 3, finished a length further back in third. All three are possible for the President’s Day classic.