Friday, May 1, 2009

My Derby favorite: General Quarters

clipped from

Owner, General Quarters sentimental favorites

Tom McCarthy, the owner, trainer, and groom, washing General Quarters, whom he claimed for $20,000 last year.The retired biology teacher and high school principal has been on the fringes of horse racing for five decades.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - By the end of yesterday morning's bath, the big gray horse was gleaming and the gray-haired groom had soapsuds on his chin and the right side of his nose.

The old groom also trains the big horse, and owns it - the only horse he owns, his first Kentucky Derby horse. Was Seabiscuit's story this good?

"You know, a couple of weeks ago, I couldn't even get anybody to hold the horse while I gave him a bath," McCarthy joked yesterday, happy to help the tale along.

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  1. I love a good Cinderella story.

    That'd be way too cool!!

  2. Other great part to the story is that 8 months before the claiming race when he got him Tom saw General Quarters at the Keenland Auction and bit on him. He couldn't spend more then $20,000 on a horse though so he was out bid. He kept his eyes out and when he saw him entered at the claiming race he had to put a claim on. How great is that! He is my pick for the derby doesn't hurt that I have my very own dappled grey (ex) racehorse named General!

  3. I really like this horse, but there are so many good ones this year, and, for me, a lot of sentimental favorites. I would be very happy to see no less than ten horses win the roses. This is due in large part of my heart of hearts, Rachel Alexandra, having so completely dominated the Oaks, as I knew she would (but not to that degree). I'll be happy with just about anyone winning and a clean trip tomorrow.

  4. Sorry to be a buzz-kill, but he's kind of a jerk. He's taking credit for training he did not do.

    As you can hear/read, trainer Mark Miller brought General Quarters into Kentucky Derby competition,not McCarthy.

  5. Yep, I'd heard he sent the horse to FL for training with another small time trainer, some problem with adjusting to the track before he runs? I guess I like the horse's story as much as the guys, but at 75 years old, having waited a lifetime for this moment, I can't blame him too too much for basking in the limelight. It happens all the time in the corporate world...

  6. Oddly enough, I don't care if the guy is a jerk or not (though I agree with what Stacy said re: corporate world, etc)

    An owner is washing his horse. How rare is it to see a photo of an owner actually doing, not photo opping, the dirty work? It's the clear passion for the horse and the care that gets me.

    Love that he claimed him after being outbid.


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