|WOODFORD RESERVE TURF CLASSIC S.|
2nd at 5WOODFORD RESERVE TURF CLASSIC S.
(gr. IT , 9f , to General Quarters, defeating Loup Breton (IRE), Battle of Hastings (GB), Blues Street, Al Khali, Yate's Black Cat, Wise River, Pop Tarrt ).
One of the most heartwarming stories surrounding the connections of the starters in the 2009 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) was Tom McCarthy, the former high school principal who had a one-horse stable, General Quarters.
McCarthy, 76, is both the owner and trainer of General Quarters, who came into last yearÕs Derby off an upset win in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr I). He had a rough trip in the Derby won by Mine That Bird, finishing 10th, and then ran ninth in the BlackBerry Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
Since then, however, things have improved for General Quarters, with four straight second-place finishes before he returned to Churchill Downs on Derby day 2010, this time in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic Stakes (gr. IT).
This time at Churchill the son of Sky Mesa got his second grade I win, being headed down the stretch by Court Vision but battling back to win by a neck, with Court Vision a head better of Loup Breton. General Quarters was ridden for the first time by Rafael Bejarano.
ÒWe wanted to try him on the grass. I had Robby (Albarado) breeze him five-eighths about a week and a half ago,Ó McCarthy said. ÒWhen he got off the grass, he said, `This is a grass horse. He takes to this grass so easy.Õ Ó
General Quarters was bred in Kentucky by R. David and Marylyn Randal and consigned to the 2007 Keeneland September yearling sale by Paramount Sales, agent. He was purchased by Ken and Sarah Ramsey for $20,000, the same amount McCarthy claimed him for in his first start.
The Randals, who own Fallbrook Farm near Versailles, Ky., purchased the UnbridledÕs Song mare Ecology while she was carrying the Woodford Reserve winner. Consigned to the 2005 Keeneland November sale by James Keogh, agent, they paid $120,000 for Ecology, who was bred by Calumet Farm. Nine-year-old Ecology has produced foals by Tale of the Cat the past two years, a filly last year and a colt this year.
General Quarters is one of 13 stakes winners sired by Sky Mesa, who stands at Robert ClayÕs Three Chimneys Farm near Midway, Ky., where his fee this year is $25,000.ÑD.M.L.
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