01/19/2008 1:00AM

Ah Day romps in General George prep


Ah Day certainly didn't show any signs of rust in his return from a 7 1/2-month layoff.

Racing for the first time since finishing second in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Handicap on last spring's Kentucky Derby undercard, Ah Day ($3.60) drew off to a 4 3/4-length victory over pacesetter Cognac Kisses in Saturday's $78,800 Fire Plug Stakes at Laurel Park.

The six-furlong Fire Plug, run in 1:09.95 over a track labeled good, served as Ah Day's prep for next month's Grade 2 General George Handicap at seven furlongs.

The 5-year-old Ah Day, ridden for the first time by Jeremy Rose, also won last year's Fire Plug and went on to finish second in the General George.

"I was hoping he wouldn't use himself up too much so he'd have something left for the General George," trainer King Leatherbury said.

According to Rose, who rode four winners on the card, Ah Day wasn't asked to overexert himself en route to his 10th win in 22 lifetime starts, including eight stakes.

"He is coming off an eight-month layoff and we don't want to hit the bottom now," Rose said. "He had plenty left in the tank and should be ready for his next race."