Bandbox went six-wide around a wall of horses to take the $250,000 General George H. (G3) at Laurel Park Monday afternoon, kicking off a graded stakes double for Tapit on Presidents' Day 2014.
Owned by Hillwood Stable LLC and trained by Rodney Jenkins, Bandbox got away in good order for the run down the backstretch, sitting about four lengths from the lead in sixth. Xavier Perez sent the gray horse after the leaders on the turn, but with four horses across the track, there was little choice but to swing very wide.
Bandbox responded with zeal, swooping around the quartet and surging home strongly to complete the 7-furlong distance in 1:24.18, winning by four lengths (VIDEO).
“Mr. Jenkins told me this race could set up really well for us today and it turned out just like that. He broke really well and I just kept him comfortable and kept him behind everyone as long as I could. I had so much horse underneath of me,” Perez said. “When we got near the top of the stretch I swung him to the outside and he just dragged me to the front.”
The 6-year-old posted a third-place finish against optional allowance company on January 30 to kick off his 2014 campaign. Now a four-time stakes winner, Bandbox has earned $390,345.
“I have always dreamed of winning this race and today our dream came true,” added Jenkins. “We don’t really have a plan for him after this race because our goal was to get the job done today.”
Along with Bandbox, Tapit also had the winner of Monday's $300,000 Southwest S. (G3) at Oaklawn Park, where Tapiture, similar to Bandbox, made a bold winning move coming into the stretch to win by four lengths.
Tapit entered the day fourth on the 2014 General Sire list and is poised to take over the top spot when the latest rankings come out on Tuesday morning.