Two former Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contenders will once again race under the twin spires on the first Saturday in May—this time in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic Stakes (gr. IT).
Fan favorite General Quarters, who was beloved largely due to the humble connections of owner/trainer Tom McCarthy, a Louisville resident and former school teacher, finished far back in 10th after a nightmarish trip in last year’s Derby, while the Rick Dutrow-trained Court Vision checked in a dull 13th in the 2008 running of the race.
Both of those horses will now look to redeem those efforts as they face seven other horses in the $500,000 Woodford Reserve, which is the 10th race on the Derby undercard May 1 and is slated to go off at approximately 4:46 p.m.
General Quarters came charging on to last year’s Derby scene with a victory in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I). Although he has been unable to secure a win since in his last six starts, the son of Sky Mesa has been runner-up in four of those trips, the most recent of which was the March 27 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) at Fair Grounds.
General Quarters was operated on for a chip after a dull performance in the 2009 BlackBerry Preakness Stakes (gr. I), and was unraced for six months before returning to run second by a half-length in his first start back at Fair Grounds Dec. 26.
Bred in Kentucky by Mr. and Mrs. David Randall, General Quarters will enter the Woodford Reserve with a record of 3-7-1 from 17 starts and earnings of $746,535. Rafael Bejarano, who has been aboard for General Quarters’ last three starts, will have the mount on Saturday, and the pair will break from post 2.
Court Vision, a 5-year-old son of Gulch, has prevailed in six graded stakes during his four-year career, including the 2008 Hollywood Derby (gr. I) and 2009 Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes (gr. I). His most recent victory came when Take the Points was disqualified from first to fifth in the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (gr. IT) and Court Vision was deemed the winner.
Bred in Kentucky by Will Farish and Kilroy Thoroughbred Partnership, Court Vision will enter the Woodford Reserve off a close runner-up effort in the April 9 Makers Mark Mile (gr. IT) at Keeneland. Boasting a record of 7-3-4 from 21 starts, he has earned more than $1.8 million. Jockey Robby Albarado, who has been in the irons for his last three starts, has the mount. They will break from post 3.
Rounding out the field are graded stakes winners Blues Street, who has won his last four straight, Wise River, Al Khali, Battle of Hastings, Loup Breton, stakes winner Yate's Black Cat; and winner Pop Tarrt.
Woodford Reserve Turf Classic Stakes (gr. IT), May 1, $500,000, 3-year-olds and up, Race 10, 4:46 p.m.
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight
1. Wise River, CH Borel, 117
2. General Quarters, R Bejarano, 119
3. Court Vision, R Albarado, 124
4. Pop Tarrt, S Gonzalez Jr., 117
5. Al Khali, K J Desormeaux, 119
6. Battle of Hastings, R A Dominguez, 119
7. Blues Street, J Castellano, 121
8. Loup Breton, G K Gomez, 121
9. Yate’s Black Cat, J R Leparoux, 117