C Z Rocket tops General George noms

Millionaire C Z Rocket and fellow graded-stakes winners Double Crown, Repo Rocks and Weyburn are among 36 accomplished older sprinters nominated to the $250,000 General George (G3) Saturday, Feb. 18 at Laurel Park.

The 47th running of the General George for 4-year-olds and up and 71st edition of the $250,000 Barbara Fritchie for fillies and mares 4 and older, both sprinting seven furlongs, headline a Winter Carnival program featuring six stakes worth $900,000 in purses including the $100,000 Miracle Wood, the next stop in Maryland’s series for 3-year-olds on the road to the 148th Preakness Stakes (G1).

Altamira Racing Stable, Madaket Stables, Gary Barber and Tom Kagele’s 9-year-old C Z Rocket, based in California with trainer Peter Miller, is a 12-time career winner, three in graded-stakes, with nearly $2 million in purse earnings. He has also placed seven times in graded races, three of them Grade 1, including runner-up finishes in the 2020 and 2022 Breeders’ Cup Sprint, the latter at odds of 31-1 in his most recent start.

Double B Racing Stables’ Repo Rocks has won each of his last three starts, all in stakes, capped by the seven-furlong Toboggan (G3) last out Jan. 28 at Aqueduct. All three of those wins have come since joining the barn of trainer Jamie Ness, including the Let’s Give Thanks and Blitzen at his home track of Parx.

Chiefswood Stables Limited’s Weyburn is unraced since finishing off the board in his lone turf try last summer in the King Edward (G2) at Woodbine. The George Weaver trainee is a multiple stakes winner topped by the one-mile Gotham (G3) in 2021.

Built Wright Stable’s Double Crown upset the one-mile Kelso (G2) last fall at Aqueduct, his third career stakes win. Also twice graded-stakes placed, the 6-year-old most recently ran third in a one-mile allowance Jan. 30 at Parx and is one of 11 horses nominated by owner-trainer Norman ‘Lynn’ Cash, a list that includes stakes winner Eastern Bay, exiting back-to-back runner-up finishes in the Vosburgh (G2) and Bold Ruler (G3), the latter by a nose Oct. 29 at Aqueduct.

[From 2022: Cordmaker makes the graded in General George}

Other Cash nominees include Beverly Park, a 26-time career winner on a four-race win streak; stakes winner Gagetown, fourth in a troubled trip Feb. 4 at Laurel; multiple stakes winners Monday Morning Qb and Sir Alfred James; and Pirate Rick, fourth in the Toboggan. Sir Alfred James ran third in the 2022 General George behind Cordmaker and War Tocsin, also nominated back by owner-trainer Uriah St. Lewis.

Also prominent among General George nominees are multiple stakes winners Beren, Shake Em Loose, Smooth B and Threes Over Deuces; Factor It In, 8-for-13 lifetime at Laurel coming off back-to-back stakes wins including the 6 ½-furlong Fire Plug Jan. 21; and Weyburn’s stablemate Today’s Flavor, riding a three-race win streak.