Edward P. Evans’ 2009 Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Quality Road leads a list of notable nominees for the $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I) Feb. 6 at Gulfstream Park.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Quality Road is the most accomplished of the nominees for the 1 1/8-mile Donn, and the son of Elusive Quality was very impressive tuning up for the contest when winning the one-mile Hal’s Hope Stakes (gr. III) on opening day in South Florida.
Two intriguing names on the list that would have to ship in for the race are Vinery Stable and Fox Hill Farm’s 4-year-old Friesan Fire, based at Fair Grounds with trainer Steve Asmussen, along with Natalie J. Baffert and George Jacobs’ 4-year-old Misremembered in California.
Friesan Fire, winner of the last year’s Louisiana Derby (gr. II) and beaten favorite in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum Brands (gr. I) went wire-to-wire to capture the Louisiana Handicap last weekend at Fair Grounds. The son of A.P. Indy was making his second start since going to the sidelines the Preakness (gr. I) in May.
Misremembered finished second last out in the Malibu Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita on Dec. 26. Bred by Bob Baffert, the chestnut son of Candy Ride won the Indiana Derby (gr. II) at Hoosier Park in early October and finished a game second, beaten a neck by Blame, in the Clark Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 27 in his two previous starts.