General Downs aka “The General” found the winner’s circle for the second time in five starts. A number of WPT Partners were at the Fair Grounds yesterday to celebrate the win alongside trainer Dallas Stewart.
An equipment change turned out to be key for the 4-year-old son of Mineshaft. After breaking his maiden in gutsy fashion over the summer, he finished a solid fourth in his first try against winners at Churchill Downs before shipping to New Orleans. With blinkers on, he ran a disappointing sixth on December 29. Dallas scrapped the blinkers after that race, and it made a big difference yesterday.
“Florent (Geroux) said he’s a lazy son of a gun, but he responds to encouragement,” said Stewart. “The jock did a nice job of getting him in the clear down the lane. This horse has some try, you just gotta ask him for it. He’s a little like a filly in the mornings, he just plods along and wants to do it his way. I’ve been training him a little different and not working him as much race to race.”
“Our Partners showed a lot of his patience with this horse earlier in his career, and it’s paying off now,” said West Point EVP Jeff Lifson. “He had some physical issues as a two-year-old and didn’t make his first start until the summer of his three-year-old year. He’s a neat horse, and I think we’ll have a fun year with him.”
Terry Finley and the West Point buying team purchased General Downs at the 2014 Fasig-Tipton Select Yearling Sale in Saratoga.