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LAUREL, MD – Mr. Amore Stable homebred Firenze Fire was all class in his nearly effortless triumph in Saturday’s $250,000 General George Stakes (G3) at Laurel Park.
Breaking from post 6 as the 1/2 favorite under Irad Ortiz, Jr., Firenze Fire went straight to the lead as the field exited the chute onto the main track, but he soon had dual company to his inside. Honor the Fleet poked his head in front while sandwiched between Firenze Fire and Factor It In on the rail. Together, the trio posted opening fractions of :23.58 and :46.90 through the far turn.
Nearing the top of the stretch, Firenze Fire decided that he was done toying with the field and surged ahead effortlessly. After being mostly hand-ridden the length of the stretch, the Jason Servis trainee crossed 4 lengths ahead in a final time of 1:22.38 for the 7-furlong sprint over the fast main track.
“He broke so good out of the gate like always, and we didn’t want to go to the lead, so I tried to stay away from there and tried to settle, and he relaxed so well,” said Ortiz, Jr. “I just sat right there and relaxed, and when I asked him, he just took off. I was confident the whole time, to be honest. He broke running and I felt like a winner all the time.”
Threes Over Deuces necked out Still Having Fun for second, while Lone Rock won a three-way photo for fourth over Tiz He the One and Factor It In.
Honor the Fleet weakened steadily in the stretch before completing the order of finish. Wonderful Light and Wicked Trick were scratched.
Firenze Fire’s win was his third straight following triumphs in the Fabulous Strike Stakes at Penn National and the Gravesend Stakes at Aqueduct. The Florida-bred 5-year-old son of Poseidon’s Warrior improved his record to 24-10-3-2 with $1,841,750 earned.
“Firenze Fire is a homebred – that makes it that much more special,” said Ron Lombardi of Mr. Amore Stable. “Everyone said, ‘My Every Wish, the broodmare, don’t breed her.’ I just said, ‘I got nothing else to do but breed her,’ and here we are.”
Firenze Fire returned $3 to win, $2.20 to place, and $2.10 to show. Threes Over Deuces brought back $8.40 to place and $5.60 to show, while Still Having Fun paid $3.60 to show.
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