Quality Road to Skip Cigar Mile; Off to Fla.
It’s wait until next year for
“He’s doing great and everything is fine, but we’ve given it a lot of thought and we decided to focus on next year,” said Chris Baker, farm manager for owner Edward Evans. “He’ll leave for
Baker said all the extensive gate schooling since the Breeders’ Cup had to be done anyway, and he extends his gratitude to the NYRA gate crew for all their help.
“They’ll be seeing the horse again plenty, so all that effort was for a good reason and it answered a lot of questions for us and how effectively this horse will be able to race next year,” Baker said. “Granted, he hasn’t started in a race yet, but all that schooling gave us a lot of confidence that his experience at Santa Anita is not going to affect him next year.”
Baker said there were several factors involved in their decision, including the weather forecast for the weekend. Quality Road has been beaten on sloppy tracks in his last two races.
“They’re expecting rain starting Thursday night and continuing all through Friday, and it’s expected to end early Saturday morning, so you may or may not have a fast track, and we prefer to have a fast track,” Baker said.
“The others factors include the cross-country van ride from Santa Anita to
“We’re confident we’ve got a horse who will be competing for champion older horse and Horse of the Year if we manage him well, and we hope this proves to be effective management. We certainly want his next racing experience to be a positive one in as many ways as we can control. And we feel we’ve done all we can do to help his gate schooling.”
Even with Quality Road out of the Cigar Mile, as is trainer Todd Pletcher's other big horse, Munnings, due to a foot injury, the field still will be a strong one, with grade I winners Kodiak Kowboy, Vineyard Haven, Pyro, and Bribon, as well as Driven by Success.
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