05/25/2005 11:00PM

Agrivating General in rare sprint


Agrivating General has not raced around one turn since January 2003, but that will change Saturday when he starts as one of the favorites in the $50,000 Carter McGregor Jr. Memorial at Lone Star Park. The six-furlong race is restricted to Texas-breds, and it drew one of the state's best sprinters in Charming Socialite.

has been one of Texas's best around two turns, among his victories back-to-back runnings of the $50,000 Premiere Stakes at Lone Star. But on Saturday, his trainer, Danny Pish, will shift directions with the gelding, who was stakes-placed at seven furlongs the last time he raced around one turn. He won his maiden at six furlongs at Lone Star in June 2002.

"I honestly have always felt like the horse was a true sprinter that was kind enough to route for us," Pish said. "I put a lot of miles on that horse just prior to his routes and a lot of schooling under him to ensure [that he would rate]. I wanted him to rate, to come from off of it, so I took the sprint out of him to route him, and he was a classy enough horse to do it with him.

"He's a very aggressive horse, and so I am thinking if I just freshen him a little bit, he'll sprint for me. We'll see."

Agrivating General last raced on April 29, and finished fifth in a one-mile allowance against open company. Casey Lambert has the mount Saturday.

"I think we'll be well back down the backside," said Pish. "But I'm thinking with a touch of freshening, he'll lay himself close enough to strike."

will be making his bid through the stretch. In his last start he finished fifth to Rodeo's Castle in the $75,000 Ford Express at Lone Star on May 14. Rodeo's Castle shot to the lead and set all the pace to win the six-furlong race in 1:07.85, with the speed never coming back to Charming Socialite.

Bill Pettit trains and co-owns Charming Socialite with Paul Sutton, and he has given the mount to Larry Taylor. Last fall, the horse won the $100,000 Alysheba Breeders' Cup at six furlongs at Lone Star. He was later named champion 3-year-old Texas-bred by the Texas Thorough-bred Association.

and East Texas Red should make for honest fractions in the Carter McGregor, setting the race up for the late run for Agrivating General or Charming Socialite. Others in the field are Lights on Broadway and R B J's Blaze.

* The Lone Star Million Day program of six stakes Monday will be previewed Saturday at 9 a.m. Central on "Lone Star Park This Week," a half-hour television program on channel 52 in Dallas.