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Brisnet Handicappers Edge Fair Grounds notes.

General Quarters in high spirits after runner-up effort in return

Tom McCarthy, owner/trainer of GENERAL QUARTERS (Sky Mesa), reported for duty early at Fair Grounds' Barn 35 Sunday morning to check on his Blue Grass S. (G1) winner who returned to competition Saturday afternoon in his first start since last spring's Preakness S. (G1).

"My horse ran a good race yesterday," said McCarthy of his personable gray colt's second-place finish in Saturday's six-furlong sprint, "and he came out of the race just fine. Last night he was making me do a street dance just to keep up with him when he was cooling out, and then he ate up his dinner just fine.

"He's always been a chow hound, so he cleaned up his breakfast like he always does this morning, and once again he absolutely pulled me around the barn.

"This horse will do better going a route of ground," McCarthy added, "so I'm looking at either the ($75,000) Louisiana H. (on January 23) for his next start or possibly the Mineshaft H. (G3) on February 20. It will be one or the other of those races, or possibly both." 

The ultimate goal of the winter campaign for General Quarters is the $500,000 New Orleans H. (G2) on Louisiana Derby Day, March 27. 

"Fair Grounds has a very good schedule for horses once they become four-year-olds," McCarthy noted. "That's why we decided to come to New Orleans this winter rather than go back to Tampa."

McCarthy, a native of Louisville, Kentucky, took General Quarters to Tampa last winter to win the Sam F. Davis S. (G3) and then finish fifth in the Tampa Bay Derby (G3).

Hunter Run Stable's TEMPO FIVE (Five Star Day), who defeated General Quarters by a half-length, also came out of Saturday's effort in good order, according to trainer Tom Amoss.

"He's doing real well this morning," said Amoss of his sprinter. "What's next? The (F.W.) Gaudin Memorial (at six furlongs January 23) is certainly a possibility. He'll be nominated for that. That's for sure."

Jockey James Graham, who has ridden Tempo Five in his last two starts, was positive in his reviews of Saturday's win.

"This is a very good horse," Graham said. "He met Euroears (Langfuhr) in his last start ($60,000 Thanksgiving H.) and gave that horse everything he could handle."

Euroears, hero of Fair Grounds' F.W. Gaudin Memorial S., Colonel Power S. and Duncan F. Kenner S. two seasons ago, bested Tempo Five by 1 1/2 lengths when they finished first and second in last month's Thanksgiving H.

Barr Three and Cherrywood Racing Stable's PRINCEVILLE CONDO (Morluc) made his stakes debut a winning one in Saturday's $60,000 Buddy Diliberto Memorial H. at Fair Grounds, rallying from off the pace to win by a head. Conditioned in the Midwest by Michele Boyce, the Illinois-bred gelding compiled a respectable 9-5-3-1 mark while competing against mostly allowance rivals at Arlington Park and Churchill Downs. He was shipped to trainer Greg Geier's barn at Fair Grounds this winter so Boyce could see how well he'd perform on grass against stakes-quality competition, and the four-year-old passed his initial test with flying colors, completing the about 1 1/16-mile affair over good turf in 1:47 4/5.

"I rode him with absolute confidence," winning jockey Francisco Torres said. "When I rode him in that race the other day at Churchill (on November 24), he got boxed in and steadied, but still was able to win it. I tried to ride a smart race today, and it worked out, so he ran a very good race."

Off as the 7-1 seventh choice among 10 betting interests, Princeville Condo paid $16.80, $8.40 and $6 and increased his lifetime earnings to $172,670 with his sixth career victory. Pick Six (Dynaformer) closed from last for runner-up honors as the 9-2 second choice as part of an entry, and it was a length back to 23-1 outsider Swains News (Swain [Ire]), who held for third after setting early fractions of :24 4/5, :50 2/5, 1:15 1/5 and 1:41 1/5.

"We'll keep him here for the season and keep going with the turf stakes series here," said Geier, who will eventually turn the horse back over to Boyce.


On the Louisiana worktab

QUIET TEMPER (Quiet American), who broke her maiden with a devastating 7 3/4-length score in the Delta Princess S. (G3), zipped five furlongs in 1:00 1/5 over Fair Grounds' fast track on Sunday.

Multiple stakes winner and Grade 3-placed GENTLEMAN CHESTER (Chester House) traveled a half-mile in :50 1/5.

Ellis Park Turf S. victress FINAL REFRAIN (Lion Cavern), fourth in the Blushing K. D. H. in her latest, breezed in :49 2/5.

River Cities S. diva MARTIN'S BAY (Graeme Hall) rattled off five panels in a bullet :59 3/5, fastest of 77 works at the distance.

Undefeated Gallery Furniture Distaff S. queen BUBBLER (Distorted Humor), three-for-three so far, sped in :59 4/5.

Multiple stakes scorer LOVE TO TELL (Stage Colony), sixth in the Blushing K. D., clocked 1:00 2/5.

Debut maiden winner WALKING THE BEACH (Medaglia d'Oro) completed his trial in 1:01 4/5.

 Spot Plays for Monday:

Fair Grounds (4th) Run Nicely, 10-1  (8th) Flatter Than Me, 9-2


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