Saturday, May 2, 2009

who's my favorite?

General Quarters
I'm always a sucker for a wonderful story and this horse has a great one. Or maybe it's his owner who has the fairy tale. Seventy five year old Thomas McCarthy has been dabbling in horse racing for fifty years. I suppose his real job was a science teacher and then later, a high school principal at three different Louisville schools until he retired in 1990. Over the years, he hasn't had a lot of success (He hasn't had a winning horse since 2006 until this year.) General Quarters caught his eye in 2007 but he was unable to purchase him at that time. In 2008, the colt was entered in a maiden claiming race (A horse race for non-winners who are eligible to be claimed. Maiden race: A race for race animals that have never won a race.) and McCarthy claimed him for $20,000. McCarthy is owner/groomer/stablehand and all around everything for his colt. Until the Bluegrass stakes, McCarthy's horses had only earned around 200,000 over the past 50 years. ($120,000 was won by General Quarters at Tampa Bay Downs.) McCarthy collected the $460,000 prize at the Bluegrass Stakes and suddenly found himself Derby bound.

Hooray for the underdog!

(Oh, apparently Mr. McCarthy says that General Quarters loves running on a muddy track. And it is certainly that today.)