02/18/2005 12:00AM

Don Six heads Gen. George

Email

The rejuvenated Don Six will seek his most prestigious prize to date on Monday when he heads a nine-horse field entered in the Grade 2, $200,000 at Laurel Park.

Don Six, winner of the Gravesend and Paumonok handicaps at Aqueduct in his last two starts, drew post 6 and was made the 9-5 morning-line favorite. He will carry co-high weight of 118 pounds along with Gators N Bears, the third-place finisher in this race last year.

Scott Lake took over the training of Don Six shortly after he ran eighth in the Fall Highweight Handicap in November. Don Six has excelled at six furlongs, but the General George is seven furlongs. While Lake said that is a slight concern, he believes his horse is doing better now than he was heading into either of his last two starts.

"I expect him to even improve more, that's how good he's doing," Lake said Friday.

Saratoga County enters the General George having won his last two starts, including the Grade 3 Mr. Prospector Handicap at Gulfstream Park. He is a stone-cold closer who would benefit from a hot pace up front. Javier Castellano rides Saratoga County from post 4.

Private Horde was a surprise entrant to the General George. He was entered in Saturday's Dust Commander Stakes at Turfway Park, but his owners liked the idea of running for four times the money in the General George.

"I think he's got a good shot," trainer Joe Cain said. "And if it comes up muddy, it gives us a little better shot, too."