02/05/2010 12:00AM

General Quarters getting ready for Mineshaft


NEW ORLEANS - General Quarters is being pointed toward the Grade 3 Mineshaft on Feb. 20 and a probable fourth meeting with Friesan Fire, who beat him by 1 3/4 lengths in the Louisiana Handicap here Jan. 23.

While Friesan Fire has already begun to work toward the Mineshaft, trainer Thomas McCarthy's plan for General Quarters has been to take it slower.

"I walked him for three days after the race, and then started him galloping," McCarthy said Friday, adding that General Quarters was to work a half-mile on Saturday.

General Quarters puts a lot into his gallops, McCarthy said.

"He gallops hard every day," he said. "He is a very aggressive horse."

In the Louisiana Handicap, General Quarters stalked pacesetter Friesan Fire for most of the race, but couldn't get past him.

"The other day there was no pace, and Friesan Fire went out and had his way," said McCarthy. "Hopefully there will be more pace in the Mineshaft."

Quiet Temper pointed for Kentucky Oaks

After finishing fifth as the odds-on favorite in the Tiffany Lass, Quiet Temper is being pointed for the Grade 3 Silverbulletday here Feb. 20, trainer Dale Romans said. Her long-term goal is the Kentucky Oaks.

"We're going to throw the Tiffany Lass out, and stay on track for the Oaks," said Romans. "She's doing well, and we will run in the next stakes."

Quiet Temper won the Grade 3 Delta Princess in December by 7 3/4 lengths. In her first race of 2010, a first level allowance at the Fair Grounds, she won, but not with the same ease, winning by 1 1/4 lengths.

The other star of Romans's New Orleans string, Hull, is working toward his first start since his fourth-place finish in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens in June. That is his only loss in his four starts.

Hull won the Grade 3 Derby Trial by four lengths last year, and was under consideration for the Preakness before his connections chose to try the Stephens.

He has worked twice at the Fair Grounds.

"We're very happy with how he's been breezing," said Romans. "We haven't picked a race for him yet. We'll see how he comes along."

Husbands to stay the winter

Patrick Husbands, seven-time Sovereign Award winner for best jockey in Canada, has decided to hang his tack in the crowded Fair Grounds jockey colony, and was scheduled to ride his first three mounts of the meet on Saturday.

Husbands was off for two months on holiday with his family in Barbados.

"I was there two months, and had a great time," said Husbands of Barbados. "I rode for one day in Barbados, and won one race."

Husbands, 36, rode for a few months two years ago at the Fair Grounds, and was briefly in New Orleans last year before deciding to winter in California.

"I'm going to stay out the meet here, and get back in shape for Toronto," said Husbands. "I can't complain with the year I had."

Husbands became the first Canada-based jockey to with more than $10 million in purse earnings last year, and he rode 188 winners at the last meet at Woodbine.