10/23/2010 1:34PM

General Maximus proves best in Hudson Stakes

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ELMONT, N.Y. - The favorite didn't fire, the second choice didn't break, and third choice General Maximus ($12.20) recaptured his best form for a stalk-and-pounce win over pacesetter Be Bullish in Saturday's 33rd running of the $125,000 Hudson Stakes.

General Maximus chased Be Bullish from the outside through opening fractions of 22.87 and 45.40 seconds, wrested command inside the three-sixteenths pole, and edged away to give jockey Javier Castellano a happy 33rd birthday present with a 1 1/2-length victory.

Be Bullish had the same margin on third-place Raynick's Jet, who finished two lengths ahead of last year's winner, Driven by Success. Driven by Success threw his head at the start and came out last by several lengths, and raced widest throughout as the 2-1 second choice.

Heavenly Blaze finished fifth at 81-1. Endless Circle had no apparent mishap as the 11-10 choice, finishing next-to-last ahead of Rollers.

General Maximus, a 3-year-old colt by Freud (the second-leading New York-bred sire thus far in 2010), ran six furlongs in 1:08.84 on a fast main track; he improved to 4-1-1 from eight starts.

After winning the Times Square division of the New York Stallion in his first start for John Terranova here May 2, General Maximus ran second in the Mike Lee, and then came out of a last-place finish in the Grade 2 Amsterdam with a respiratory infection. He returned from a 65-day layoff to run third behind Endless Circle and Be Bullish in an overnight stake Oct. 6, and improved off that race to win the Hudson.

"In his last race it was unfortunate that he ended up way behind horses," said assistant trainer Tonja Terranova. "He had to check a couple of times, but he still came running. We figured he could have won if he hadn't encountered all the trouble."