Tom McCarthy’s General Quarters, hero of Churchill’s
Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on Kentucky Derby Day last year
and winner of Keeneland Race Course’s Grade I Blue Grass Stakes the year
before that, arrived at McCarthy’s Fair Grounds barn before dawn Thursday
morning after an extended layoff in Kentucky.
“They told me it was 18 degrees when he left Kentucky
and it was about the same when he got here,” said McCarthy, speaking during
training hours one day after Fair Grounds had to cancel its Thursday program
due to frozen track conditions.
“He looks good. It’s great to have him back down here with
me,” said McCarthy, who has also been trying to get his 3-year-old maiden named
Humor’s Punch ready for a second local start despite a recent foot laceration.
“I’ll probably just shedrow General Quarters today
(Friday), and hopefully be able to take him to the track tomorrow,” McCarthy
said. “I like to give my horses at least 60 days when they’re coming off a long
layoff, but I hope to have General Quarters ready for some big races coming up
this spring in Kentucky.”
General Quarters finished second in last year’s $75,000
Louisiana Handicap, Grade III Mineshaft Handicap and Grade II New
Orleans Handicap on the main track here last year before embarking on a
turf career compromised during the summer by chips that were discovered
after the Grade I Arlington Million.