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General McGooby ‘Fresh and Happy’ for Sunday’s Bear’s Den

Sep 21, 2017
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Summer vacation will officially be over for General McGooby Sunday when the 3-year-old gelding returns from a 2 ½-month layoff in the $100,000 Bear’s Den Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

The son of General Quarters, who is slated to meet five Florida-bred rivals in the 7 ½-furlong turf event, enjoyed some R & R at Palm Meadows Training Center after capturing his first stakes victory in the $100,000 Not Surprising against open company July 4.

“I basically kicked him out for 30 days after because I didn’t see anything in the [condition] book until this one. He’s doing great. He kind of bulked up a little bit. He’s fresh and happy,” trainer Lilli Kurtinecz said. “I bought my own round pen. I make a small paddock and I move it around, so he gets fresh grass. I try to make as farm-y as I can for him, where I can still keep an eye on him.”

General McGooby set the pace throughout the mile Not Surprising, holding on for a three-quarters of a length victory over Bronson, a then-Todd Pletcher-trained colt who subsequently sold at auction for $275,000.

Two starts prior, General McGooby set a strong pace before succumbing to Bronson’s stretch drive in the $75,000 English Channel at 1 1/16 miles on turf. 

“He went 22 (seconds) and 46 then Bronson came flying. He fought and held on for second, but I was scared that was going to happen again,” Kurtinecz said. “When Bronson came flying at the end [in the Not Surprising], I kept saying, ‘Wire! Wire! Wire!’”

General McGooby broke his maiden at first asking for a $25,000 claiming price at Gulfstream Park last November. It took No Palla Stables’ gelding six starts to win his second race in the Not Surprising but showed versatility while setting the pace in the English Channel and closing from off the pace to finish second in the $100,000 Sophomore Turf at Tampa Bay Downs in April.

“He’s young and immature, too, so I’m hoping he only gets better,” said Kurtinecz, who awarded the return mount aboard General McGooby to Ramsey Zimmerman.

Midwest Thoroughbreds’ Kroy is also scheduled to compete in the Bear’s Dean while coming off a stakes victory. The Armando De la cerda-trained gelding stalked the early pace in the $75,000 Tortugas before kicking in through the stretch drive of the 7 ½-furlong turf race to win by three-quarters of a length. The son of The Factor had previously won an optional claiming allowance by 7 ¼ lengths. Emisael Jaramillo has the mount.

He’s the One, who finished third in the Tortugas after setting the pace; Major Key, who finished fifth in the Eight Miles East last time out; Zipping, an optional claiming allowance winner in his most recent start; and Shiny Copper Penny round out the field.

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