Saturday, March 02, 2013
WinStar Farm's General Election gave his sire Harlan's Holiday his second stakes winner of the day in the $75,000 John Battaglia Memorial S. Saturday at Turfway Park. Earlier in the day, Summer Applause took the Grade 2 Top Flight H. at Aqueduct.
The Battaglia was the first stakes win for 3-year-old Kentucky-bred colt. Today's two stakes winners have put Harlan's Holiday over the $1 million mark in progeny earnings this year, making him one of only eight North American sires in seven-figure territory.
The Battaglia theatrics started right when the gates sprang open, with Admiral Kitten stumbling badly from post 5 and Mellow Fellow veering severely to the right from post 3.
General Election, who broke from post seven, meanwhile had avoided the tangle and settled five wide and in seventh in the 11-horse field. He made a bold move some eight wide coming into the stretch, then avoided more trouble to his inside the eighth pole, eventually winning by a half-length, getting the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:46.13.
General Election got back to his winning ways after a couple of disappointing efforts at Fair Grounds in New Orleans.
"He really hadn't run well on the dirt at Fair Grounds," said trainer Kellyn Gorder. "He won his first race on dirt, so we thought he just didn't get hold of the racetrack at Fair Grounds. We tried blinkers (in his second race there) and that didn't work. We were deciding between the OBS Stakes (in Ocala next week) or here, and we decided to send him here.
"I told Albin (Jimenez, winning rider) to lay mid-pack and make a nice run. We knew there was plenty of speed in the race, so it set up good for us. I thought this race came up tough."
Gorder said General Election could return for the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral S. (G3) on March 23, but that he would discuss the colt's next move with Elliott Walden, president, CEO, and racing manager of owner WinStar Farm LLC.
General Election now has two wins and one second from four starts and earnings of $81,910. He was bred in Kentucky by Meg Buckley and Mike Buckley. WinStar purchased General Election for $150,000 at the 2012 OBS March 2-year-old sale.