02/12/2009 12:00AM

Fabulous Strike to stay local


Fabulous Strike will forgo a start in the $2 million Golden Shaheen next month in Dubai and instead will accept a 127-pound weight assignment for Monday's Grade 2, $150,000 General George Handicap at Laurel Park.

In choosing the General George, trainer Todd Beattie said both he and owner Walter Downey had reservations about what effects a round-the-world ship to Dubai and back would have on their horse the remainder of the year.

"If you didn't get the money, it wasn't well worth it," Beattie said by phone Monday from Penn National. "Mr. Downey wasn't absolutely for it, and with a little bit of a question we both decided to stay here in the region."

The General George is run at seven furlongs. The only time the 6-year-old Fabulous Strike raced at that distance was as a 3-year-old when he finished fourth behind Songster in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens Breeders' Cup at Belmont.

"I've never been worried about him seven-eighths," Beattie said. "It was just don't try to fix what wasn't broken and he was going steady at six. I think he'll like [seven] even better; now we've got to prove it."

With Ramon Dominguez committed to ride the undefeated 3-year-old Old Fashioned in Monday's Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park, Edgar Prado has picked up the mount on Fabulous Strike. Fabulous Strike, a gelded son of Smart Strike, has won 8 of his last 11 starts including the Fall Highweight and Gravesend handicaps, both at Aqueduct, in his last two starts.

At 127 pounds, Fabulous Strike will be conceding 10 to 14 pounds to a field that is expected to include True Quality (117), Lord Snowdon (116), Place Your Bet (116), Eternal Star (115), Broadway Producer (114), and Malibu Kid (113). On Tuesday, Fabulous Strike worked six furlongs in 1:11.80 at Penn National.

Dream Rush's finale in Fritchie

The multiple Grade 1 winner Dream Rush will make the final start of her career when she takes on seven other fillies and mares in Saturday's Grade 2, $150,000 Barbara Fritchie Handicap at seven furlongs. After the race, Dream Rush will be shipped to Kentucky and eventually bred to A.P. Indy.

As a 3-year-old, Dream Rush won the Prioress and Test - both Grade 1 events - and was a finalist for an Eclipse Award as the nation's champion female sprinter. Dream Rush was moved from trainer Rick Violette to William Phipps midway through last year. She finished her 4-year-old season with a 12th-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.

Dream Rush returned to her winning ways at Tampa Bay Downs, winning an allowance race on Dec. 12 and the Minaret Stakes on Jan. 3, both at six furlongs. Phipps said the key to Dream Rush's success has been getting her to relax.

"We changed her training style, trained her a little lighter, she was a tough horse to train, very strong," Phipps said. "We felt if we could get her to shut off a bit and conserve that natural brilliant speed of hers, we might be better off."

Dream Rush began her career racing for the West Point Stable and Lewis Lakin. Following her 3-year-old season, she was sent to Fasig-Tipton's Kentucky selected fall mixed sale, where she was purchased for $3.3 million by Halsey Minor.

Dream Rush, the 121-pound highweight, will break from post 7 under Jean-Luc Samyn.

Seventh Street, winner of three consecutive races, makes her stakes debut for Sheikh Mohammed's Darley Stable and trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. A daughter of Street Cry who cost $1 million at auction, she will be turning back to a one-turn race after winning a two-turn allowance heat over Aqueduct's inner track on Jan. 8.

Bullsbay wheels back in John B. Campbell

Bullsbay, who was eased in the Grade 1 Donn on Jan. 31, is being wheeled back on two weeks' rest in Saturday's $50,000 John Campbell Handicap at 1 1/8 miles.

Bullsbay entered the Donn in razor sharp form, winning two allowance races and finishing second in the Grade 3 Hal's Hope Handicap.

Correction:An earlier version of this article misstated the sale at which Dream Rush was purchased by Halsey Minor. It was Fasig-Tipton's Kentucky selected fall mixed sale, not Keeneland's November breeding stock sale.