Imperial Hint Sets Fast Fractions and Holds Off Favorite in General George at Laurel Park
Imperial Hint made it 2-for-2 this year, setting the fast fractions and holding off the race favorite Stallwalkin’ Dude to win the $250,000 Grade III General George Stakes at Laurel Park by 2 1/2 lengths Saturday. The victory was worth $150,000 and capped a big day of racing at Laurel Park for the Winter Carnival.
Off as the second choice at 5/2, Imperial Hint was the third-straight horse to knock off the favorite in the closing three Winter Carnival stakes races after High Ridge Road (3-1) won the Barbara Fritchie Stakes and Bodhisattva (22-1) pulled the upset in the John B. Campbell Stakes.
Imperial Hint paid $7.60, $3.80 and $3.20 across the board in a final 7-furlong time of 1:21.20. He set the fast early fractions of 22.61 and 45.28 seconds at the half mile marker. He maintained the lead through six furlongs in 1:08.88 prompting his rider to Julien Pimente to note “He’s a very fast horse,” after the race. Stallwalking’ Dude could not track down the winner in the final furlong and returned $2.80 and $2.20 while Never Gone South (37-1) was third with a mild late run to pay $7.80 and provide a nice trifecta payoff of $248.40 on a $2 wager (5-6-1). Imperial Hint, a Florida-bred 4-year-old colt by Imperialism, has now won three straight races with six wins in 10 starts.
Luis Carvajal, who scored the first graded stakes win of his training career, said, “After he won his first race I thought he was going to be a nice horse. We just had a couple little hiccups down the road but now he’s doing really well. I have no plans right now. I’m just hoping to go back to the barn and see if he’s healthy and we’ll go from there.”