General Quarters Kentucky Derby Odds Slashed Dramatically

Written by:
Tyrone Black
Published on:
General Quarters

One of the bigger surprises this Saturday was seeing that had slashed General Quarters Kentucky Derby betting odds down to +500, making him nearly a favorite to win the race.  By far, the best odds on General Quarters were found at SBG Global where the payout would be $2000 on every $100 bet.  One would want to lock those odds in quickly if they happen to believe General Quarters can win the 2009 Kentucky Derby.

So what's going on with General Quarters that we didn't know about yesterday?

"He's America's horse and everyone wants to support him," said Don Shapiro of 

That might not be the whole story.   "People are rooting for the underdog, especially in such a tight race."

USA Today had this to say about General Quarters:

"General Quarters proved he can handle the big stage when General Quarters was finely tuned for the $750,000 Blue Grass Stakes on April 11 at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky. Dismissed at odds of 14-1, the gray colt took command at the top of the stretch and delivered a convincing 1 1/2-length victory against runner-up Hold Me Back.

"The victory was General Quarters' third in 11 starts with three second-place finishes and one third. He is the only member of the 20-horse Derby field to prevail on synthetic and dirt surfaces and boasts career earnings of $641,735."

There is also much talk about a muddy surface that is likely to be more dry than expected come race time.  General Quarters is widely seen as one of the few horses that can run a muddy track, and that might have prompted the last minute betting frenzy on him.

There is also a "feel good" story here because owner 75-year old Thomas McCarthy is a former school teacher who fought off cancer some four years ago.

McCarthy's fight with cancer involved surgery and debilitating chemotherapy. But, he told USA Today, "I put it aside and went right on."

He combines the toughness of a principal with the gentle touch of a mentor. When he is done tending to General Quarters' every need each morning at Barn 37, he greets numerous well-wishers, including many former students.

"The way things are right now, in this day and time, you've got to root for the little guy," says Frank Kaelin of Louisville as he stands outside the barn. "I'm not sure the big guys are doing so great."

McCarthy is relishing the moment. "I know it won't come around again at my age," he says. "I'm enjoying it tremendously."

Tyrone Black,



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