02/19/2011 2:41PM

Laysh Laysh Laysh seeks to continue rags-to-riches saga in General George

Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Laysh Laysh Laysh is among a trio of horses trainer Rick Dutrow has entered for Saturday's Carter Handicap.

In a span of five days last month, Laysh Laysh Laysh went from claimer to stakes winner. Monday, Laysh Laysh Laysh will try to become a graded stakes winner when he faces a full field of sprinters in a seemingly wide-open running of the Grade 2, $150,000 General George Handicap at Laurel Park.

Laysh Laysh Laysh was one of 14 horses entered in the seven-furlong General George, but not all will run. Owner Mike Repole confirmed Saturday that Driven by Success would run in the General George while Driven by Solar – who was also entered in the race – would run in the Hollies Hughes for New York-breds at Aqueduct. Driven by Success, a three-time stakes winner for trainer Todd Pletcher, is turning back to his preferred one-turn race after a failed two-turn experiment last out.

One reason for the large field in the General George is the lack of a clear favorite. Laysh Laysh Laysh, the 7-2 morning-line second choice, figures to benefit from an expected lively pace as well as a recent good race over the track. Laysh Laysh Laysh came from off the pace to win the Native Dancer Stakes at a mile at Laurel on Jan. 17. That was his third race in nine days, which included a neck allowance loss, and a neck claiming win, five days apart at Aqueduct.

Laysh Laysh Laysh will have five weeks from the Native Dancer to the General George, though according to his owner Vincent Scuderi, trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. wanted to run him in a Friday allowance race at Aqueduct going six furlongs. But with having to ship, Scuderi though it was not a wise idea to run.

Scuderi, a longtime New York-based owner, said he has always been a fan of Laysh Laysh Laysh and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to claim him for $25,000 in September 2009. Since the claim, Laysh Laysh Laysh has won 6 of 10 starts and earned more than $125,000 for Scuderi.

“He ran down there pretty good last month,’’ Scuderi. “I think he’s going to run big. It’s a big field, I hope he doesn’t get caught in any traffic. He’ll be able to tip out and hopefully we’ll be flying. I think he’s a cool horse, he’s very game.’’

Erick Rodriguez rides Laysh Laysh Laysh from post 3.

There is certainly ample speed in the field to set things up for Laysh Laysh Laysh. Taqarub, who won the Grade 3 Maryland Sprint Handicap at Pimlico last Preakness Day, may be the fastest of the early speed, but he is coming off a dismal showing in the Grade 3 Mr. Prospector Handicap at Gulfstream, though he did face champion sprinter Big Drama. He is likely to have company up front from Escrow Kid, Delaunay, and possibly Driven by Success, depending on how that gelding breaks.

No Advantage, second to Laysh Laysh Laysh in the Native Dancer, is drawn on the outside, something that doesn’t seem to bother trainer Stephanie Beattie.

“He actually runs his best races from the outside,’’ said Beattie, whose 6-year-old horse did win the Grade 2 William Donald Schaefer at Pimlico in 2009. “He’s been a workhorse for us. We gave him a little break last year and he came back with two strong performances.’’

Temecula Creek is being wheeled back just eight days after running second to loose-on-the-lead winner Deputy Daney in the Always Run Lucky Stakes at Aqueduct. He figures to be sitting a stalking trip under Victor Santiago.

Streetsofbrooklyn and Heritage Hall are both in excellent form though both are stepping up in class here.