Tom McCarthy’s General Quarters, who fought gamely to capture last week’s Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT) at Churchill Downs, is now being pointed toward the Arlington Million (gr. IT) Aug. 21.
“I’d really like to come to Chicago this summer and run this horse in the Arlington Million,” said 76-year-old old owner-trainer McCarthy. “I started thinking about a summer grass campaign for this horse last winter in New Orleans, and after he ran so well last weekend I’d like to go ahead with those plans.
“The Arlington Million is the main goal right now, but I also might bring General Quarters up to Chicago for the prep race on July 17 (grade III Arlington Handicap).”
Casual racing fans might remember McCarthy and his one-horse stable from a year ago when the Louisville resident saddled last year’s Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) hero to starts in the 2009 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness (gr. I). After dull performances in both those races, however, bone chips were discovered and surgery was performed which sent him to the sidelines for the rest of the summer and fall.
In the Woodford Reserve, which annually serves as the first step on the road to the 10-furlong Arlington Million, General Quarters ran down Court Vision to win by a neck under Rafael Bejarano.
Three Woodford Reserve winners—Masayuki Nishiyama’s Paradise Creek in 1994, James Lewis Jr.’s Mecke in 1996, and Juddmonte Farm’s Beat Hollow in 2002—went on to win the Arlington Million.