Firenze Fire should bring the heat in General George

The Grade III, $250,000 General George Stakes is the feature race at Laurel Park this Saturday. The seven-furlong affair drew a field of nine older sprinters, led by the classy FIRENZE FIRE. Post time for the General George, Race 8 on a nine-race program, is 3:49 p.m. ET.

#6 FIRENZE FIRE (4-5, morning-line favorite) takes a slight hike up the class ladder in the General George after scoring in Aqueduct’s Gravesend Stakes over Jason Servis stablemate Happy Farm. Prior to that, FIRENZE FIRE was an effortless winner of the Fabulous Strike Stakes at Penn National. The son of Poseidon’s Warrior did not record a graded stakes victory in 2019 but is a four-time graded winner and hit the board in two Grade Is last season. FIRENZE FIRE appears to be in peak form and will be ridden once more by Irad Ortiz Jr., whose presence inspires confidence as he had options at just about every A-level circuit in the country this Saturday.

#9 WICKED TRICK (6-1) will have top connections in his corner in trainer Linda Rice and jockey Jose Lezcano in the General George. This will be the son of Hat Trick’s first crack at stakes foes, but it’s hard to poke holes in his recent form. WICKED TRICK has won six in a row, with all but one result by multiple lengths. The streak began with his only career effort at seven panels.

#5 HONOR THE FLEET (12-1) carries the flag for the local hopefuls in the General George. The son of To Honor and Serve is 9-5-2-0 all-time at Laurel, including his last-out victory in the 6 1/2-furlong Fire Plug Stakes over #7 THREES OVER DEUCES and #8 TIZ HE THE ONE. Alex Cintron maintains the assignment on this live longshot.

The play: $8 exacta 6/9, $4 exacta 6/5 ($12)

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