Still Having Fun breezes towards G3 General George

by | Feb 10, 2019 | Breaking, Maryland, MD Racing, Racing

Still Having Fun won the G2 Woody Stephens Stakes. Photo by Viola Jasko/NYRA.

From a Maryland Jockey Club release

Gary Barber, Wachtel Stable and Terp Racing’s Still Having Fun, a Grade 2 winner of $516,653 in career purses, put in his final tune-up Sunday morning at Laurel Park for his 4-year-old debut in the $250,000 General George (G3) Saturday, Feb. 16.

The bay son of Old Fashioned breezed five furlongs in 1:01 over a fast main track with jockey Angel Cruz in the irons, ranking second of 11 horses. Cruz also worked Still Having Fun prior to his most recent start, a third-place finish in the Malibu (G1) Dec. 26 at Santa Anita.

“After the race in California, a big effort out there, we got him back and kept him in training but let him down ever so slightly. After the Malibu, our planned target was the General George,” trainer Tim Keefe said. “Today’s work went well. It went according to plan with him.”

Sunday was the third work at Laurel for Still Having Fun since the Malibu. He returned to the tab with a half-mile in 47.40 seconds Jan. 27 and went five furlongs in 1:01 Feb. 3, both the second-fastest time of the day.

“The prior two works were kind of easier works by himself, and for today’s work I wanted a little more effort from him. He gets a little lazy when he’s by himself,” Keefe said. “He’s obviously a little more competitive when he’s with some other horses, so he worked with another set this morning.

“He went well. He started out a little bit behind the other set from the five-eighths pole and circled the turn and came up to their outside and drew off a little bit at the end,” he added. “I was very happy with him. He came back well and everything looks good.”

A $12,000 yearling, Still Having Fun won three of 11 starts in 2018, all in stakes – the Frank Whiteley Jr. and Miracle Wood last winter at Laurel and the Woody Stephens (G2) at Belmont Park. In addition to the Malibu, he was second in the Chick Lang Stakes at legendary Pimlico Race Course and third in the Steel Valley Sprint at Mahoning Valley.

The General George for 4-year-olds and up and the $250,000 Barbara Fritchie (G3), both at seven furlongs, are the co-headliners on a Winter Carnival program that features five stakes worth $800,000 in purses, including a trio of $100,000 stakes – the Miracle Wood for 3-year-olds and Wide Country for 3-year-old fillies and John B. Campbell for 4-year-olds and up.

In addition to live racing, the Feb. 16 program will include ice sculptures, an ice carving demonstration, an ice wall with $3,000 in prizes and Tech Glove giveaway with program purchase, while supplies last.

The $100,000 Maryland Racing Media Stakes for fillies and mares 4 and up will highlight a special Presidents Day holiday program Monday, Feb. 18.

Timeless Curls, a 3 ¾-length winner of the Nellie Morse Stakes Jan. 12 at Laurel, breezed five furlongs in a bullet 59.80 seconds Sunday. The 4-year-old daughter of Hall of Famer Curlin is nominated to both the Barbara Fritchie and the Maryland Racing Media.