Quality Road’s starting gate saga looks as if it could have a happy ending after the colt passed his major test at Aqueduct the morning of Nov. 21 with flying colors.
According to Chris Baker, farm manager for Edward Evans, Quality Road was vanned from Belmont to Aqueduct, along with two other horses owned by Evans, including Breeders’ Cup Marathon starter Nite Light. The trio was placed in the detention in order to simulate race conditions as closely as possible. They then were brought to the gate, which was situated in the one-mile chute, at about 11:15 a.m.
Baker said Quality Road was loaded in the gate six times without incident, much to the delight of trainer Todd Pletcher and starter Bob Duncan. He did well with jockey John Velazquez aboard and he did well being loaded without a rider.
Normal gate schooling for the son of Elusive Quality will resume at BelmontPark Sunday. The main objective for Quality Road is the Nov. 28 Hill ‘n’ Dale Cigar Mile (gr. I), with the Queens County Handicap (gr. III) being another alternative.