Barbara Fritchie Stakes & General George Odds & Picks

The classy Pass The Champagne hopes to pop a few corks on Saturday and put some fizz into the Barbara Fritchie Stakes at Laurel Park, the in-form chalk, Factor It In looks to gain his first-ever graded stakes victory as he has his fifth career attempt at trying to win the G3 General George.

Barbara Fritchie Stakes

Grade 3 – Purse $250,000  –  7 Furlongs  – Dirt –  4-Year-Olds and Up – Fillies & Mares

Eight of the gals head to post at Laurel on Saturday for the Barbara Fritchie Stakes and it looks like a tight contest with the morning line favorite being Fille d’Esprit at opening odds of 5/2.

She has picked up the wide gate in post position eight but has enough early speed to get across and adopt her customary stalking position, and she’ll be looking to go two spots better than last year when she was a fast closing third, beaten just a length. She comes in here in top form having won three of her last four and looks like a solid option to hit the board yet again.

Pass The Champagne (3/1) has had an injury-hit career so far and the five-year-old has had just six career starts and has won two and finished second in another three. Her only other run came in the 2021 Kentucky Oaks when beaten by the top-class Malathaat (no disgrace) and after being beaten a head last time, she takes a cut back in distance which offers plenty of upside, and she could attempt to go gate to wire here.

Another well-fancied on the boards is the John Terranova barn inmate Union Lake (3/1) who is another lightly raced filly and has won three of her six starts. She was well beaten in the Raven Run Stakes back in October but was a fine third in the Grade 2 Prioress Stakes the previous month. Her last run came in December when winning easily on the class drop and her recent drills have been solid.

Swayin Too and Fro (5/1) has won eight of her fifteen starts and has to be respected. Whether she is quite good enough remains to be seen, as she has twice finished in behind the chalk, including when well beaten last time by over five lengths. That came over 6 furlongs so the stretch-out does offer some upside.

It’s tough to get excited about the others, but one longshot that deserves a mention is Liscolvin (10/1) who is 10-2-2-2 so far. She has not shown the level of form required to win this but is clearly improving and could be one to include in exotics.

Barbara Fritchie Stakes Odds & Betting Pick

HorseJockeyOdds by JazzSports
Prodigy DollHoracio Karamanos+800
LiscolvinFrankie Pennington+1000
Pass the ChampagneAngel Cruz+300
Quiet ImaginationCharlie Marquez+3000
Swayin to and FroRichard Monterrey+500
Union LakeEric Cancel+300
Moody WomanCarlos Eduardo Lopez+1500
Fille d’EspritXavier Perez+250

No doubt the favorite will be a tough nut to crack and it is near impossible to think that Fille d’Esprit will not hit the board, and could quite easily win.

But there is a lingering thought that the injury-prone PASS THE CHAMPAGNE has just that touch more class, and could actually be a genuine Grade 1 performer. Her early career starts certainly pointed to a horse with huge potential and we might just see that at Laurel Park on Saturday.

Union Lake and Liscolvin look like putting up strong efforts and both have a solid chance to grab a slice underneath.

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General George Stakes

Grade 3 – Purse $250,000  –  7 Furlongs  – Dirt –  4-Year-Olds and Up

We have a field of eight going to post at 4.32 pm EST for the Grade 3 General George Stakes, and Factor It In (5/2) will be aiming to lay the graded stakes hoodoo and finally get that black type next to his name.

There is no doubting the horse is in flying form coming into this, and he has won his last two in minor stakes company very impressively. He produced a career-best Beyer speed figure of 101 two back and backed that up last time with a solid 91-speed figure when winning easily over 6 ½ furlongs. The additional half-furlong today holds no fears and he’ll be a tough nut to crack for the rest of the field.

However, he won’t have this all his own way, and Pirate Rick (7/2) is another in top form and he holds the top Beyer figure of 104. He was beaten in this spot last time but had won his previous four starts, so is another in top form. The big question mark is the extra distance and he has not won over further than 6 furlongs and was well beaten last time over this distance, so a few questions to answer.

Beren (3/1) is one that is definitely proven over the 7 furlongs and is yet another to come in here in top form. He has hit the board in his last four races, including two wins. He was behind Factor It In two back, but that was over 6 furlongs and today’s stretch-out looks to give plenty of upside, and it will be very close between these two.

Another well-fancied runner is Eastern Bay (4/1) and he brings some very solid graded stakes form to the table, having hit the board the last two times at that level. He is a nine-year-old now but is a Laurel Park veteran having won 12 times at the track. He was second in a Grade 2 two runs back, and last time was just edged out a nose at the wire when closing late. His form matches closely with the chalk and he is another with strong claims.

John The Bear (15/1) is one of the lesser exposed horses here and is another who is in top form. He has won three of his last four, and although they have only been at the optional claiming level, he is only five-years-old and may still have some improvement against some of these grizzly veterans.

Yodel E A Who (10/1) has finished behind the chalk the last two times they have met and has also been in behind Eastern Bay, so he has work to do to hit the board, while Sir Alfred James (8/1) and Momos (20/1) look outclassed.

General George Stakes Odds & Betting Prediction

HorseJockeyOdds by JazzSports
Sir Alfred JamesJ. D. Acosta+800
MomosHoracio Karamanos+2000
BerenFrankie Pennington+300
Yodel E. A. WhoJaime Rodriguez+1000
John the BearJevian Toledo+1500
Pirate RickJose Antonio Gomez+350
Eastern BayWilliam Humphrey+400
Factor It InAngel Cruz+250

No doubt Factor It In has a fine chance to win this. He is in top form and it will be a mighty surprise if he does not at least grab a slice and hit the board.

However, we are going with the oldest horse in the race and that is EASTERN BAY. The nine-year-old has been placed in two graded stakes the last two times and that is rock-solid form. He’ll have a solid pace to close into and can grab this one late.

The improving John The Bear and Beren are others that will be challenging for a slice underneath.

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