05/22/2010 12:00AM

General Quarters headed for Foster


LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- General Quarters has joined the prospective cast for the June 12 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs, with owner-trainer Tom McCarthy saying he needed to find a suitable stepping-stone for the 4-year-old colt toward the Aug. 21 Arlington Million.

General Quarters won the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on the May 1 Kentucky Derby undercard in his last start. McCarthy already has targeted the July 17 Arlington Handicap on the Arlington Park turf as a final prerace prep but said he needs to get a race into the colt before then.

"I really wasn't looking to take him off the grass, but there's nothing around here in the next few weeks that really fits him," he said. "I could've shipped to New York or New Jersey, but I'd rather not do that."

General Quarters would be part of what already is a terrific lineup for the Grade 1, $600,000 Foster. Blame, an impressive winner of his 4-year-old debut last weekend in the Schaefer Handicap at Pimlico, could be a slight favorite in a field also expected to include Arson Squad, Battle Plan, and Dubious Miss.

The 1 1/8-mile Foster has been mentioned as a possible next start for Rachel Alexandra, the 2009 Horse of the Year, but owner Jess Jackson and trainer Steve Asmussen have declined to commit to a specific race since the star filly was upset in the April 30 La Troienne Stakes at Churchill. Rachel Alexandra, who was scheduled to work Monday at Churchill, also is a logical candidate for the $200,000 Fleur de Lis Handicap, one of five graded races on the Foster card.

The other Foster Day races are the Grade 3 Northern Dancer, Grade 3 Jefferson Cup, and Grade 3 Regret.

Pretty Prolific to be freshened

Pretty Prolific will bypass her next projected race, the $100,000 Winning Colors here May 31, and is getting a brief rest, according to trainer Jim Baker. Pretty Prolific was second in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff on the Derby undercard in her last start. Baker said the Grade 1 Ballerina on Aug. 28 at Saratoga is the next main goal.

◗ The HullabaLOU music festival that Churchill will host July 23-25 has been projected to generate more than $37 million in revenue for the local economy, according to a statement released by the Churchill Downs Entertainment Group. A total of 66 artists will appear on five stages during the three-day event.