02/14/2015 10:55AM

Golden Years, Lake Sebago sharp for Monday stakes

Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Lake Sebago, winner of the Gin Talking, will start Monday in the Wide Country at Laurel Park.

The two $100,000 stakes for 3-year-olds on the General George Handicap undercard at Laurel Park on Monday offer similar scenarios. Both races have a dominant local runner trying to cement his or her position atop the division and some New York shippers looking to steal away with the purse.

If the New Yorkers are to succeed, they are going to have to earn it because Golden Years and Lake Sebago, who have each won two stakes, are not pushovers. Golden Years is the horse to beat in the one-mile Miracle Wood. Lake Sebago will take on eight fillies in the seven-furlong Wide Country.

Golden Years is 3 for 4 for trainer Rodney Jenkins, with his only loss coming to Cinco Charlie and Majestic Affair in the James F. Lewis III Stakes in November. Cinco Charlie and Majestic Affair have each won two stakes since that race.

Golden Years came out of the Lewis to win the Marylander Stakes in the slop by 7 1/4 lengths as the 2-5 favorite. The only knock against him is that that race was more than 10 weeks ago.

Golden Years was entered for the Jan. 24 Frank Whiteley Jr., but that card was canceled due to the weather. Golden Years was not entered back when the race was rescheduled for Jan. 29. He instead worked a half-mile Jan. 30.

Despite the layoff, Golden Years will take some beating Monday.

While Linda Rice and Gary Contessa each have entrants, the main challenger to Golden Years is Nasa, who is based at Parx with John Servis.

** The Monday card at Laurel will be streamed live on DRF.com.

Nasa was second to El Kabeir in the Grade 3 Jerome at Aqueduct in his last start, earning an 87 Beyer Speed Figure, the highest in this field. Nasa will be turning back in distance from the mile and 70 yards of the Jerome to a one-turn mile.

Rice will be represented by On Tap, a six-furlong maiden winner at Aqueduct on Jan. 3. Contessa’s entrant is Combat Diver, a Belmont Park maiden winner in October who has not started since finishing 10th in the Remsen Stakes on Nov. 29.

:: GENERAL GEORGE: Get PPs, watch Monday’s Laurel Park card live

Wide Country: Lake Sebago looks ready

Prior to the Marshua Stakes on Jan. 29, trainer Jerry Robb said the six-furlong distance was probably a little short for Lake Sebago. It turned out that he was correct, as she closed well but late to be second.

Lake Sebago came into the Marshua off a break of almost two months, and with that race under her belt, she will be difficult to deny Monday. Prior to the Marshua, she had won the Gin Talking Stakes in December and the Smart Halo in November.

Her toughest rivals are trained by Rice and Rudy Rodriguez.

Hot City Girl is 2 for 4 for Rice. She won a New York-bred maiden race in November and a statebred optional-claiming race Jan. 11. She will be turning back in distance from that two-turn race.

Rodriguez beat Lake Sebago in the Marshua with Lindisfarne. He comes back Monday with Diannestillworks, who won a $75,000 maiden-claiming race before finishing third in the two-turn Busanda Stakes on Jan. 16.

Three Maryland-breds in the race also are not without a chance.

Spotted Heart has won three straight races for Mark Shuman, including the Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship.

My Magician won the Maryland Million Lassie in October for Mike Trombetta. She finished second by a head to Spotted Heart in a recent optional-claiming race.

Rocky Policy was second to My Magician in the Maryland Million Lassie and may have been a bit short when she finished sixth in the Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship.