Fountain of Youth S. (gr. II)
(gr. II , 8f ,)
Elusive Quality Kobla , by Strawberry Road (AUS)
BEdward P. Evans, VA.; OEdward P. Evans; TJames A. Jerkens
Brahms Slewie Blues , by Seattle Slew
BBob K Sliger, KY.; OSamotowka Stables, LLC, Delfiner Partners, Krall, George and Magdalena Racing; TKenneth G. McPeek
Sky Mesa Moonlight Sonata , by Carson City
BDeerbrook Racing, Inc., KY.; OJohn C. Oxley; TJohn T. Ward, Jr.
Margins: 4¼, 4, 1. Others: Capt. Candyman Can 122($12,500) , This Ones for Phil 120($7,500) , Bee Cee Cee 120($5,000) , Notonthesamepage 120 , Jack Spratt 120 , Taqarub 120 , Break Water Edison 122 . Winning Jockey, John R. Velazquez.
Quality Road stamped himself as a solid Triple Crown hopeful when he won the Feb. 28 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream. Now all his breeder/owner Edward P. Evans needs to do is nominate the Elusive Quality colt to the three classics.
ÒWe missed the first deadline for nominations, but weÕll put it up in March,Ó said trainer James Jerkens. ÒIt will just cost a little more.Ó
Late nominees can be made eligible by March 28 for a fee of $6,000. Original nominees, those entered by Jan. 24, were made eligible for a $600 fee.
Quality Road, who won the Fountain of Youth by a widening 41Ú4 lengths over Theregoesjojo, had started just twice before the mile stakes and prepped for it with a bullet workout of :582Ú5 for five furlongs Feb. 22 at Palm Meadows. In his first race Quality Road won at 61Ú2 furlongs in 1:16.11 at Aqueduct Nov. 29 and earned a 101 Beyer Speed Figure, which was one of the yearÕs highest for a 2-year-old. On Jan. 10 at Gulfstream, Quality Road ran second to Theregoesjojo in a seven-furlong allowance race.
One big plus in Quality RoadÕs Triple Crown quest is that Elusive Quality has sired a dual classic winner. Smarty Jones won the 2004 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and was beaten a length in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). He was voted champion 3-year-old male.
Five winners of the Fountain of Youth have won classics, the most recent being Thunder Gulch, the 1995 Kentucky Derby and Belmont winner. The first two, Tim Tam in 1958 and Kauai King in 1966 won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. In 1979 Spectacular Bid captured the Derby and Preakness. In 1987 Bet Twice took the Belmont.
Evans, who owns Spring Hill Farm near Casanova, Va., is one of North AmericaÕs premier breeders and owners. His top runners include grade I winners Christmas Kid, Gygistar, Prenup, Raging Fever, and Summer Colony.
Quality RoadÕs dam, Kobla (by Strawberry Road), is a full sister to 1997 champion 3-year-old filly Ajina. Evans bought Kobla for $1,050,000 at the 1999 Keeneland November breeding stock sale. In foal to Mt. Livermore, she was consigned by LaneÕs End, agent for Brookside Farms. The late Allen Paulson was the breeder of Ajina and Kobla and raced both distaffers.
LaneÕs End as agent consigned Quality Road to the 2007 Keeneland September yearling sale. Quality Road failed to reach his reserve and was bought back for $110,000.
Barren from a 2008 breeding to Tale of the Cat, Kobla has been bred this year to Elusive Quality.
Elusive Quality has sired 45 stakes winners. His six added-money winners this year also include grade II winners Royale Michele and True Quality. Elusive Quality stands for $75,000 at Sheikh MohammedÕs Darley, USA, near Lexington.ÑD.S.