Updated on 09/17/2011 10:20PM

George Washington takes National easily


George Washington could be headed to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile after having maintained his status as Europe's leading 2-year-old colt with a comfortable victory in the Group 1, $360,000 National Stakes at The Curragh on Sunday.

His trainer, Aidan O'Brien, will now choose between the Juvenile at Belmont Park on Oct. 29 and Newmarket's seven-furlong Dewhurst Stakes on Oct. 15 for George Washington, a son of Danehill who sold for $2.2 million as a yearling.

Although he stumbled after the start and was last of six approaching the quarter pole, George Washington responded to the urgings of Kieren Fallon to gallop away to a two-length victory over Golden Arrow, with the previously undefeated Heatseeker third, a half-length farther back. Sent off as the prohibitive 1-5 favorite, he covered the seven furlongs in 1:23.78 on good to firm ground.

George Washington had earned his tall reputation with an overpowering eight-length win in the six-furlong, Group 1 Phoenix Stakes at The Curragh on Aug. 7, after which O'Brien had hinted that he might not run again this year. Those plans have been revised.

A half-brother to two-time Group 1 winner Grandera, George Washington was bred in Ireland by Roy and Gretchen Jackson's Lael Stables and is owned by Mrs. John Magnier.

The victory was one of four for Fallon on the day. His other big-race score came aboard the Cheveley Park Stud homebred Red Bloom in the Group 2, $150,000 Blandford Stakes for fillies and mares at 1 1/4 miles. A 4-year-old daughter of Selkirk trained by Michael Stoute, Red Bloom defeated Pictavia by 1 1/2 lengths and was timed in 2:05.11 as the 9-5 favorite.

Red Bloom was a Group 3 winner against older colts last year and had been second and third behind Alexander Goldrun in a pair of 10-furlong Group 1's earlier this season.

The next stop for Red Bloom is likely to be the Prix de l'Opera at Longchamp on Oct. 2.