07/27/2016 10:29AM

Winning one for McCarthy


Tom McCarthy was memorialized and buried Tuesday in Louisville, but not before a sentimental goodbye from the great beyond.

The second-to-last starter for McCarthy before he died July 21 at age 82 was Blame Angel, who won a June 19 race at his home track, Churchill Downs. The day after McCarthy died, Blame Angel won a 1 1/16-mile turf race at Ellis Park, rallying to score by 2 3/4 lengths with Brian Hernandez Jr. up.

“There wasn’t a dry eye in the house,” said Jerry Hills, who befriended McCarthy in his later years when assisting him with a stable that typically comprised just one or two horses.

McCarthy was the focus of numerous touching stories as the owner and trainer of General Quarters, a $20,000 claim who won the 2009 Blue Grass Stakes before finishing 10th in the Kentucky Derby. McCarthy was a teacher, counselor, and principal at Louisville high schools for 34 years.