The Brock Talk

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sub-Par Morning Effort Put In By General Quarters

While most of the Kentucky Derby contenders have blazed through their morning works in gallant and impressive fashion, gr. 1 Blue Grass Stakes winner General Quarters turned in a bit of a clunker today. He worked five furlongs (5/8 miles) in 1:01.79 this morning at around 7 am with his exercise rider Julie Sheets aboard. He then galloped out to finish six furlongs in 1:16.09 but "shut down a bit quickly" according to Mike Welch of the Daily Racing Form who saw the work.

Welch also commented that he thought General Quarters appeared to be a bit reluctant to get started and needed encouragement from Sheets to get rolling.

Owner-trainer Tom McCarthy said, “I was looking for between 1:01 and 1:02, so this was perfect.” because he wanted a nice, steady work from the horse. This also raises another one of those dreaded artificial surface questions because the Blue Grass was run over a Polytrack surface. Although General Quarter also won on dirt in the gr. 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Downs in February, a race in which Muskat Man was six lengths back in third.

While I Want Revenge and Desert Party only galloped today, both looked dynamite according to many reports. When horses look impressive doing something as simple as galloping, it usually means they know just how... just how... sorry folks, but these words convey the best... just how much of a bad-ass they are. That attitude can translate into impressive victories when they look another horse in the eye during a race.

Derby and Preakness winner Sunday Silence and Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew were the most fearful horses I ever saw in person. At first glance, both horses set off an internal "yikes" in me. When I saw Sunday Silence, he was 3 and getting ready to romp in the gr. 1 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs. Seattle Slew was 20-years old and in his stall relaxing at Three Chimneys Farm in Kentucky when he made me and my friends literally stop in our tracks when we saw him. You kind of felt like Jodie Foster visiting Dr. Lecture in Silence of the Lambs.


Waquiot said...

Brock this is the best Blog I have ever read. I love you man.I feel for "General Quarters" after I had another "sub par evening effort".


Pete said...

I think General Quarters is done, 1/4 crack front hoof. Pete

Pete said...

OOP'S, My finger's got ahead of my brain. Meant to say "Quality Road"with the new quarter crack, not General Quarter's.

Unknown said...

I agree Pete. But they haven't pulled him out yet. Last word is trainer Jimmy Jerkens is still going to try to work him Sunday or Monday. The Racing Form is reporting that equine hoof specialist Ian McKinlay put in a set of wires, akin to sutures, to stabilize the quarter crack.
Dr. Reeves told me before we knew about this second quarter crack, that treatments similar to this can be very effective.
But I still think he's a longshot for the Derby.