04/14/2004 11:00PM

Agrivating General best in Premiere Stakes

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GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Agrivating General returned from a five month layoff to defend his title in the $50,000 Premiere Stakes on Thursday night at Lone Star Park. Desert Darby finished a neck back in second, while it was another two and three-quarter lengths to third-place finisher Lights On Broadway.

The Premiere, a one-mile race for Texas-breds, was run as the first race and it opened the meet at Lone Star.

Agrivating General ($8.20) settled in fourth early behind Record Assembly, who was pushed through a half-mile in 45.64 seconds by favorite Desert Darby. Desert Darby took the lead through six furlongs in 1:10.05, while Agrivating General angled out at that point and ran Desert Darby down through the stretch, covering the distance in 1:37.81.

"There was quite a bit of speed, and I waited as long as I could," said Roman Chapa, who rode Agrivating General.

Agrivating General won the Premiere last year under Pat Day. He had not raced since finishing third in the $100,000 Star Of Texas Stakes at Sam Houston on Nov. 15. Danny Pish trains Agrivating General, who earned $30,000 for his win Thursday.

He has now won 5 of 18 starts and $220,950 for his owner and breeder, Lonnie Bates. Agrivating General is by Vermont.