Tom McCarthy, best known for training General Quarters, a former claimer who went on to win the 2009 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I), died July 21 after a battle with melanoma. He was 82.
McCarthy, a retired high school biology teacher and principal, claimed General Quarters, by Sky Mesa , for $20,000 from Ken and Sarah Ramsey at Churchill Downs in May 2008. The following spring he won the Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III) at Tampa Bay Downs and finished fifth in the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) before his Blue Grass upset at 14-1.
McCarthy, who also owned General Quarters, entered the horse in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), in which he finished 10th. The following year, on Derby day at Churchill, General Quarters won the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic Stakes (gr. IT) for the final victory of his career. He retired at the end of 2011 with $1,226,655 in earnings.
Arrangements for McCarthy were pending the morning of July 21.