Edward Evans’ Quality Road , one of the probable favorites for next Saturday’s Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), has developed another quarter-crack, this one on the inside of his right-front hoof, putting his status for the Run for the Roses in question.
Trainer Jimmy Jerkens said Friday morning at Belmont Park he first noticed the crack April 23 after the homebred son of Elusive Quality —Kobla, by Strawberry Road colt returned from a routine morning gallop.
“He wasn’t sore or anything,” said Jerkens. “We brought him in to pull his shoes afterward and that’s when we noticed it.”
Jerkens said he was optimistic that Quality Road, who appears fully recovered from a slight quarter-crack in his right-hind hoof, could still make the 11/4-mile Derby. Noted hoof specialist Ian McKinlay, who successfully patched the first injury, is scheduled to treat the crack this afternoon.
“I saw Quality Road (Thursday) morning and that’s when we noticed the crack," McKinlay said. "I did him up with Animalintex (poultice), which draws out the infection. This morning, the crack was very clean. Obviously, he didn’t go to the track, so they tubbed him. They’ll dry him up and I’ll see him later this afternoon.
“It was a straight crack, with no infection. I really don’t think it is as serious as the other one (right-hind quarter crack). If we were able to get right on top of it, I’ll probably lace it this afternoon. You have to remember that we are dealing with a living organism and it has a mind of its own. There is only so much we can do, and then we hope for the best. I’ll know more when I see him this afternoon, and Saturday morning will tell us a lot.”
A quarter crack is a crack that appears in the wall of the hoof, often starting at the coronet band, where the hoof meets the hair, and growing down. It can also start in the wall and move upward.
“If Ian can lace it this afternoon, and the horse can gallop tomorrow, he could put a patch on right away and he can breeze on Sunday (April 26),” Jerkens added. “If he wants to wait another day, he can gallop Sunday, and then breeze Monday.”
Quality Road, owned by Edward P. Evans, is scheduled to depart Belmont Park for Churchill Downs April 28. Prior to the second quarter-crack, he was considered to be the second choice for the Kentucky Derby behind Wood Memorial (gr. I) winner I Want Revenge .
Quality Road has a record of 3-1-0 from four lifetime starts and earnings of $632,830.
In his last start he won the nine-furlong Blackberry Presents the 58th Running of the Florida Derby (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park by 1 3/4 lengths over fellow Kentucky Derby hopeful Dunkirk. Prior to that, he won the one-mile Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream by 41/4 lengths.
In the Fountain of Youth, Quality Road registered a 113 Beyer Speed Figure, the co-highest in the pre-Derby field, tying I Want Revenge’s number recorded when he won the March 7 Gotham Stakes (gr. II) at 1 1/16 miles at Aqueduct.