Quality Road's starting gate saga looks as if it could have a happy ending after the colt passed his major test at Aqueduct Saturday morning with flying colors.
Quality Road, whose exploits have been followed closely since his traumatic encounter with the starting gate before the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) cleared a major hurdle Wednesday, schooling at Belmont to the satisfaction of trainer Todd Pletcher and starter Bob Duncan.
Quality Road, who was forced to scratch from the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) after suffering minor injuries during a bad incident at the starting gate, arrived safely at Todd Pletcher's barn at Belmont Park at 6 a.m. Tuesday following an uneventful cross-country van ride from Santa Anita.
Edward Evans' Quality Road, whose fiery antics caused him to be scratched at the gate prior to the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) Nov. 7 at Santa Anita, is scheduled to return to his Belmont Park stall Nov. 17 and be back on the track the following morning, according to trainer Todd Pletcher.
All the comments made about Quality Road being a rogue or crazy are way off base. Dr. Larry Bramlage called him a juvenile delinquent following his meltdown prior to the Breeders' Cup Classic. A juvenile, yes, in many ways, but being scared out of your wits does not make you a delinquent.
Quality Road not only suffered several injuries from his traumatic incident at the starting gate prior to the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), he suffered mentally as well and now will have to van home to Belmont Park from California after refusing to get on the plane.
Quality Road, who was scratched out of the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) after fighting to load into the gate, has only minor cuts.
If there is one thing you can always count on in the Breeders' Cup it's that it will have it's share of longshot winners and mid-price overlays who get lost in the handicapping frenzy that is so much a part of the event.
On an otherwise routine morning, Lillie Langtry tosses rider and forces trainer to climb aboard.
A hodgepodge of horses from all walks of life will converge on the Santa Anita Pro-Ride Nov. 7, most of whom would not be a surprise should they win.
A total of 166 horses were pre-entered Oct. 26 for the 2009 Breeders' Cup World Championships to be run Nov. 6 and 7 at Santa Anita.
Perhaps the best method of handicapping this year's perplexing Breeders' Cup Classic is to make a checklist comprising every major handicapping category that pertains to the race and see who qualifies in the most categories.
At 3, Quality Road is among the elder statesmen of Todd Pletcher's Breeders' Cup contingent, much of which is comprised of talented 2-year-olds.
If Sea the Stars does not make the trip to California, which seems more likely than not, and joins Rachel Alexandra on the absentee list, it will create a void never before seen in the Breeders' Cup.
Summer Bird continued his meteoric rise to the top of the Thoroughbred ranks, as he turned back fellow 3-year-old Quality Road to win the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) by a length Oct. 3 at Belmont Park.
Though his racing career began just seven months ago, Summer Bird has accomplished extraordinary things in a short period of time. The Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and Shadwell Travers (gr. I) winner will try to defy the odds once again when he faces older horses for the first time in the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational (gr. I) Oct. 3 at Belmont Park.
A trio of contenders for the Oct. 3 $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) had their final tune-ups for the 1 1/4-mile race on a busy morning at Belmont Park Sept. 26.
Trainer Rick Dutrow Jr., reported on several of his top horses Sept. 25 from Aqueduct, including Paul Pompa Jr.'s Futurity (gr. II) winner D' Funnybone, whose next start is still up in the air.
The son of Elusive Quality worked five furlongs in 1:01.14 in preparation for his next start Oct. 3 in the Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational (gr. I).
Summer Bird secured his place atop the 3-year-old male division with his resounding victory in the slop in the $1-million Shadwell Travers Stakes.
Enjoying the attention a day after Summer Bird's decisive 3 1/2-length win in the Shadwell Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Aug. 29, trainer Tim Ice was entertaining the possibility of reaching his ultimate goal, the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), without a race over Santa Anita's synthetic track.
Summer Bird continued his meteoric rise to the top of the nation's 3-year-old ranks, as he rolled through the slop for an easy 3 1/2-length score in the $1-million Shadwell Travers (gr. I) Aug. 29 at Saratoga.
With more than an inch of rain in the forecast overnight and into tomorrow, an off-track appears likely for the $1-million Shadwell Travers (gr. I) Aug. 29 at Saratoga.
Jason, Tom, and Les Instone of twinspires.com preview the Shadwell Travers Stakes (gr. I). Watch Now
A pair of quarter cracks may have kept Quality Road out of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), but nearly four months later the record-setting 3-year-old will get his shot at the next best thing -- the Mid-Summer Derby.
Edward P. Evans' Quality Road put in his final breeze before the Aug. 29, grade I, $1-million Shadwell Travers at Saratoga Race Course, covering five furlongs over the muddy main track in :59.68, fourth fastest of 24 at the distance on the morning of Aug. 24.
Quality Road, expected to be among the favorites for the $1 million Shadwell Travers (gr. I), turned in his first work since his record-setting victory in the Amsterdam (gr. II) Aug. 16 at Saratoga, covering six furlongs in 1:13.19.
Gulfstream Park added the name of unbeaten champion Zenyatta to the list of superstar nominees whose fees have been waived to the 2010 Donn Handicap (gr. I).
Gulfstream Park has waved the nomination fees for grade I winners Mine That Bird, Rachel Alexandra, Summer Bird, and Quality Road to next year's Donn Handicap.
After two NYRA clockers independently re-timed the Aug. 3 Amsterdam Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga, the final time was changed to 1:13.74, still a new track record for the 6 1/2-furlong distance.
Quality Road came out of his record-setting performance in the Aug. 3 Amsterdam (gr. II) in good condition and will be pointed toward the Aug. 29 Shadwell Travers (gr. I) as planned, trainer Todd Pletcher reported Aug. 4.
A story about Rachel Alexandra seems out of place in a column about the Breeders' Cup, but who cares. That's between Jess Jackson and the Breeders' Cup decision makers. Even though there will be no launching of the Rachel rocket on Nov. 7, it's still fun to "count down" to the imaginary blast off.
The son of Elusive Quality broke a 30-year-old track record for six and half furlongs at Saratoga in his first start since winning the Florida Derby (gr. I) back in March. The former record of 1:14 2/5 was set by Topsider on Aug. 1, 1979.
Quality Road, the winner of the BlackBerry Presents the 58th Running of the Florida Derby (gr. I) who was one of the early favorites for the Kentucky classic before being sidelined with injuries, makes his return to competition in the Aug. 3 Amsterdam (gr. II) at Saratoga.
Tracy Farmer's Commentator, the expected elder statesmen of the $750,000 Whitney Handicap (gr. I) on Aug. 8 at Saratoga, turned in a bullet work over the Oklahoma track at Saratoga July 23, breezing five furlongs in :59.12.
Edward Evans' homebred Quality Road worked five furlongs in 1:01.41 July 17 at Belmont Park and is on track to make his first start in more than four months in the $150,000 Amsterdam (gr. II) at Saratoga on Aug. 3.
Edward P. Evans' Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Quality Road continued on the comeback trail as he breezed July 5 for the first time since being transferred to the stable of trainer Todd Pletcher on June 15.
Quality Road, winner of this year's Florida Derby (gr. I) and Fountain of Youth (gr. II), has been transferred from Jimmy Jerkens' barn to Todd Pletcher by owner and breeder Edward P. Evans, who also took five other horses away from Jerkens.
Continued wet weather in the New York metropolitan area has left the final serious works of several contenders for the June 6 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) up in the air.
With Quality Road having returned to the track on May 3, galloping an eager 1 1/4 miles under exercise rider Juan Moreno, Jimmy Jerkens said the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) on June 6 remained a possibility for the Elusive Quality colt, who is owned by Edward P. Evans.
Wood Memorial (gr. I) winner I Want Revenge continued to be the top vote-getter in the latest National Thoroughbred Racing Association's 3-year-old poll of Thoroughbred as voted on by racing media representatives. I Want Revenge also held down the top spot the previous week.
Quality Road, who figured to be among the top choices for Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) will not start in the Run for the Roses, it was confirmed Monday morning by Chris Baker, farm manager of Edward Evans' Spring Hill Farm. Jockey John Velazquez will now ride Mr. Hot Stuff.
Racing fans trying to pick the winner of the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) won't get much help relying solely on the Dosage System.
Quality Road, a contender for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), returned from a mile and three-quarter gallop on the Belmont Park training track April 26 with a tinge of blood from a newly-patched quarter crack, but his connections remain optimistic he will make the May 2 "Run for the Roses."
In an April 25 conference call, trainer Jimmy Jerkens reported that Quality Road jogged a couple of miles around the Belmont Park track and experienced no further problems with his latest quarter crack, which was patched by hoof specialist Ian McKinlay earlier in the morning.
An edited transcript of the April 25 conference call with trainer Jimmy Jerkens regarding Quality Road and his recent quarter-crack problems.
Trainer Jimmy Jerkens expressed optimism on the afternoon of April 24 that Quality Road, a leading contender for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), would be able to make the May 2 classic after noted hoof specialist Ian McKinlay treated a second quarter crack in the colt's right-front hoof at Belmont Park.
Edward Evans' Quality Road, one of the 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.
Regal Ransom sneaks onto the list as Godolphin confirms he will run in the Derby.
This final Derby Trail column before departing for Louisville is more of a potpourri of thoughts, scenarios, angles, trivia, and a touch of nonsense.
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