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2009 Toyota Blue Grass Day at Keeneland

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General Quarters wins the 2009 Toyota Blue Grass
General Quarters winning the 2009 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland

General Quarters winning the 2009 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland

© Terence Dulay
April 11, 2009

The major Kentucky prep for the Triple Crown is the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G1) at Keeneland, which has yielded 16 Derby winners since 1950, and is contested at 1 1/8 miles on the Polytrack. Lane's End Stakes winner Hold Me Back was the 2-1 favorite in the field of 11 over Florida Derby 3rd place finisher Theregoesjojo at 3-1 and Futurity Stakes winner Charitable Man at 6-1.

Join in the Dance went to the front to set easy fractions of 24.40, 49.06, and 1:13.31 while being stalked by Theregoesjojo to his outside and Massone to his inside. General Quarters, who sat in 5th first time past the stands, gradually gained on the leaders down the backstretch. Turning for home, Join in the Dance tired and dropped from contention, as General Quarters took over the lead at the 3/16 pole. Hold Me Back, who was unhurried in 9th early, came out wide for the drive and closed well but was left with too much ground to make up, as General Quarters easily held him off by 1 1/2 lengths at the line, completing the 9 furlong trip in 1:49.26. It was another 1 1/4 lengths back to Massone third.
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