02/16/2015 5:35PM

Misconnect by a neck in General George Handicap

Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Misconnect and jockey Kendrick Carmouche win the General George Handicap by a neck Monday.

LAUREL, Md. - Trainer Bruce Levine and owner Mike Repole called an audible before the start of the General George Handicap that played a key role in Misconnect's upset victory at Laurel Park on Monday.

Recognizing that the outer part of the Laurel track was better than the inside, Levine instructed jockey Kendrick Carmouche to get Misconnect off the rail. Despite breaking from post 2, Carmouche complied, and he was up to gain the lead outside Cutty Shark – who looked like he had the race put away in upper stretch – to win by a neck.

"We told Kendrick to get him off the inside because of the way the track was playing," Levine said by phone from New York after the race. "I called my assistant, and he relayed the message."

Zee Bros set the early pace in the seven-furlong General George, with Smash and Grab forwardly placed along the inside. Misconnect raced a little farther back along the inside, with Cutty Shark to his outside.

When Cutty Shark began to advance on the far turn, Misconnet followed him. Cutty Shark opened a clear lead in upper stretch and held a 2 1/2-length lead at the eighth pole. Misconnect steadily closed the gap and made the lead nearing the wire.

Cutty Shark finished a clear second, two lengths in front of 24-1 shot Souper Knight. Perilous Indian, the longest shot on the board at 131-1, finished fourth, 1 1/4 lengths behind Souper Knight.

Misconnect paid $24.40. He covered the seven furlongs in 1:24.67 over a fast but dull track following early fractions of 23.40 seconds, 46.87, and 1:11.33.

Zee Bros, the 5-2 second choice in the 12-horse field, tired in the stretch to finish 11th. Bourbon Courage, the 2-1 favorite, never threatened from post 1 and finished 10th.

Misconnect is now 4 for 9 with earnings of $327,100. Misconnect had finished fourth in the mile-and-70-yard Jazil and third in the 1 1/8-mile Queens County Stakes at Aqueduct in his two starts prior to the Grade 3, $250,000 General George.

Levine was pleased with Misconnect's efforts in the Jazil and Queens County but wanted to back him up to one turn.

"There was nothing short for him in New York, so I pointed to this," Levine said. "He's won two races going seven-eighths and a one-turn mile, and I couldn't wait to turn him back to seven furlongs."

Levine said Misconnect will be pointed to the Grade 1 Carter on April 4 at Aqueduct. Like the General George, the $400,000 Carter is at seven furlongs.