LOUISVILLE, Ky. &ndash; Tom McCarthy, whose success as the owner and trainer of the rags&#45;to&#45;riches horse General Quarters was one of the top feel&#45;good stories in racing in recent times, died early Thursday from melanoma. He was 82.McCarthy was a retired high school teacher and principal who had dabbled in racing in his later years when he claimed General Quarters for $20,000 as a 2&#45;year&#45;old in May 2008 at Churchill Downs. General Quarters went on to win the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland the following spring, thrusting McCarthy into the spotlight for the 2009 Kentucky Derby. The gray colt finished 10th at 10&#45;1 in the Derby, won by Mine That Bird.&ldquo;Tom was a truly great man, very humble and kind,&rdquo; said Jerry Hills, a close friend who assisted McCarthy with his small stable at Churchill and, in later years, at the nearby Trackside training center.General Quarters won the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on the 2010 Derby undercard before retiring with earnings of $1,226,655 from 27 career starts. McCarthy retained an ownership interest for the horse&rsquo;s stud career.McCarthy is survived by his wife and five adult children. Memorial services were pending Thursday.