LAUREL, MD. 02-18-13---Smith Farm & Stable’s Javerre dueled front-runner Il Villano into defeat, then held on to win the $250,000 General George Handicap (G3) at Laurel Park.

The race was marred when post time favorite Brigand bore into Associate not long after the start, causing Associate to stumble and toss jockey Erick Rodriguez. Neither Rodriguez nor Associate were injured.

Brigand crossed the finish line second but after an inquiry and a review of the start by the stewards was disqualified to fifth. Il Villano was elevated to second while longshot Broad Rule was placed third.

J.D. Acosta rode Javerre, a four year old son of Outflanker who is trained by Cathal Lynch at Parx Racing.

“I never rode him before but I’ve been on him a couple times in the morning. He worked awesome and I expected him to run the way he worked and he did,” Acosta said. “I expect the one (Brigand) to be the one in front. When I saw Kendrick (Carmouche) go to the lead with Il Villano it worried me a little bit because that horse could run and knew I’d have a really big challenge down the lane but I knew I had the horse to make it work and so he did.”

“I had a perfect trip but he didn’t fire today,” Carmouche said. “We had everything go our way, he just didn’t have it today. I knew this was going to be his last start before a vacation, so maybe the fall campaign finally caught up to him.”

The winner, a New Jersey bred, had shipped to Laurel for his three previous starts with on the board efforts in the Maryland Million Sprint, the City of Laurel Stakes and the Native Dancer Stakes. Today’s win was his second stakes victory and first graded stakes score.

“After his race in the City of Laurel (a race won by Brigand), I thought we had the best horse that day,” Lynch said. “ He was stuck down on the inside the whole trip, didn’t get out to run until real late and had so much left past the wire, we put this race on our map and decided to take a chance here.”

Javerre, who has never been out of the money in nine career starts, gave his trainer his first graded stakes victory.

I’m so glad to win my first graded stake,” added Lynch. “I got beat a nose in a Grade 2 in New York last year and I’ve been just wanting to win one ever since.”

Javerre completed the seven-furlong distance in 1:23.81 and won by 1-1/4 lengths. He paid $15.80 and topped a $62 exacta and $336 trifecta.

Fiddlers Afleet finished fourth. Isn’t He Perfect and Thunder Lord were scratched.