02/15/2003 12:00AM

Three-for-one holiday


Thanks to the whims of Mother Nature, horseplayers at Laurel Park will get a rare opportunity to tackle three six-figure stakes on one card.

A snowstorm that wiped out live racing at Laurel on both Saturday and Sunday has created a stakes bonanza for Monday's special Presidents Day program.

The regularly scheduled feature is the Grade 2, $200,000 General George Handicap, which drew a field of 12 older sprinters, led by Grade 1 winners Affirmed Success and D'wildcat.

The 11-race card will now also include the $200,000 Barbara Fritchie Handicap, a Grade 2 sprint for fillies and mares, featuring a showdown between Xtra Heat and Carson Hollow, plus the $100,000 John B. Campbell Handicap, a 1 1/8-mile race headed by 8-year-old P Day, an 11-time winner at Laurel.

The seven-furlong General George will be the 31st graded stakes for the 9-year-old Affirmed Success, who has earned $2.2 million in his career. Affirmed Success won the General George in 2000 and looked as good as ever when he returned from six-month layoff to capture an allowance race in New York with a Beyer Speed Figure of 103.

Although Affirmed Success is the 2-1 morning-line favorite, he will have some keen competition from a group of horses coming in from California, Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania.

"When you put up $200,000, you are going to get a good race and this is a contentious field," said Richard Migliore, the New York-based jockey who will be aboard Affirmed Success. "I know what my horse is capable of, and if he shows up with his 'A' game, he is going to be tough to beat."

Foremost among the opponents Affirmed Success must tackle is D'wildcat. Two starts ago, D'wildcat won the De Francis Memorial Dash at Laurel with a Beyer Figure of 107. In his only start this year, D'wildcat finished fourth in the Palos Verdes Handicap at Santa Anita.

Jorge Chavez, who rode the 5-year old D'wildcat in the De Francis Dash, will travel from Gulfstream Park for the mount.

Also shipping in from California are multiple graded stakes winner Disturbingthepeace, and Kela, who will be cutting back in distance off a pair of subpar performances in Grade 2 stakes routes.

Florida-based sprinter Dream Run won the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup at seven furlongs last March, but has lost six in a row since then.

Griffinite, who was fifth in the 2001 Preakness Stakes, ships in from Philadelphia Park off a pair of good sprints.

Scott Lake, the leading trainer in the country in victories, has entered two horses who will run uncoupled. Shake the Dice has won five straight races, including last month's Hoover at Laurel. My Cousin Matt won the Great State Challenge Sprint by seven lengths two months ago at Sam Houston.

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