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Oct 30, 2009

General Quarters heading back to racing

By: By Don Agriss, Horse Racing Editor



Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Remember back to the early part of this year. Before Mine That Bird shocked the racing world with his 'out of nowhere' victory in the Kentucky Derby.

The feel good story going into the Run for the Roses was the one horse stable of Tom McCarthy. The former high school principal had made headlines as the owner, trainer and groom of General Quarters.

General Quarters was down in Florida while McCarthy was remaining up in Kentucky. The three-year-old was in the hands of trainer Mark Miller at Tampa Bay Downs until McCarthy was able to head south.

While at Tampa Bay Downs, General Quarters finished second in the Pasco Stakes and won the Sam F. Davis Stakes. In March versus Musket Man the colt was a disappointing fifth in the Tampa Bay Derby. However, McCarthy got his charge back to optimum and won the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland.

General Quarters, with Julien Leparoux riding, was 10th in the Kentucky Derby and ninth two weeks later in the Preakness Stakes. The colt had surgery to remove a chip from his right front knee following the race at Pimlico.

Now General Quarters is back in training at Churchill Downs.

"He had his first work back last week," McCarthy said Thursday, "and he may go tomorrow if it doesn't rain and the track is O.K." The three-year-old went three-furlongs in :38 4/5 last Thursday.

The Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs was the target for General Quarter's return. But rain has put a chink into that plan.

"Every time we get ready to do something, it rains," McCarthy said. "If he doesn't make a race here, I'll point to something at the Fair Grounds this winter."

General Quarters has given McCarthy unexpected joy this year. The colt has earnings of $604,000 in 2009 with two wins in six starts. Overall he has been in the money seven times in 13 starts for $641,735.

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