General Quarters capped a big day for Tampa Bay Downs graduates on the Kentucky Derby undercard, winning the Grade I $500,000 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic and surpassing $1 million in career earnings for 76-year-old owner/trainer/groom Tom McCarthy.
The 2009 Sam F. Davis winner held off Court Vision under Rafael Bejarano for his fourth overall win, two at Grade I. He paid $19.60 to win in the race at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky
Two other Oldsmar graduates won. Phola, 2010 Hillsborough winner, captured the Grade II $200,000 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile, paying $15.40. Buckleupbuttercup ($17.80) took the Grade III $100,000 Eight Belles.
Oldsmar favorite Musket Man reached $1 million in lifetime earnings by finishing third in the Grade II $250,000 Churchill Downs. The Derek Ryan trainee lost by 31/4 lengths to Atta Boy Roy as the 2-1 favorite.
RAIN DAMPENS ROUTINE: Heavy rain dampened the Derby morning routines for the field of 20 horses and the veterinarian checking on them.
Kentucky state veterinarian Bryce Peckham began his checks earlier than usual because races began at 10:30 a.m., and the downpour complicated matters.
The soggy conditions canceled morning workouts on the dirt track. Many trainers, including Nick Zito and D. Wayne Lukas, were out early to watch their horses walk inside their covered barns instead.
Lukas said trainers would have had an almost impossible task trying to tell owners their horses shouldn't run in the Derby, even if the track was muddy.
"I think they'd run over crushed glass," he joked.
NO RACHEL REDUX: Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer has no plans to have Kentucky Oaks winner Blind Luck try to repeat the feat of Rachel Alexandra.
Friday, Blind Luck nipped Evening Jewel by a nose in one of the year's big events for 3-year-old fillies. Last year, Rachel Alexandra's 20¼-length Oaks romp was a springboard to a win against the boys in the Preakness.
"We met our spring goal now, which was to get her to the Kentucky Oaks, and now it's time to set out a plan for the rest of the year," he said.
GET RICH QUICK: Glen Fullerton's bet on Calvin Borel paid big-time. The fan won $900,000 when Borel guided Super Saver to victory in the Derby. Fullerton, 40, won a contest sponsored by Churchill Downs to place a $100,000 bet on a winner; the software consultant from Houston chose the colt because of Borel, the jockey who has now won three of the past four Derbys.
Information from Times wires was used in this report.