Quick Action Stretches Out in Whirlaway

Edited from NYRA release
One of the more important starts of the year for trainer D. Wayne Lukas racing stable will take place on the first Saturday in February at Aqueduct as Overbrook Farm's Quick Action faces his first test around two turns. The $75,000 Whirlaway for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles will help determine whether or not the son of Carson City continues on the Triple Crown trail.

Quick Action stamped himself as a juvenile to watch in November when he cruised home in a maiden special weight with Julie Krone aboard. The colt suffered from a slight lung infection before making his stakes debut in the Maria's Mon and he subsequently finished fourth in that spot after dueling for the lead.

Running back to the promise he showed in his first start, Quick Action set the pace and led all the way to a commanding romp in the Fred "Cappy" Capossela.

To this point, all of Quick Action's races have come at six furlongs and he has been on the lead each time. Saturday will be his first test past three-quarters of a mile in a race with several other front-end threats.

"My concern is that there might be too much pace in there," said Peter Hutton, top New York assistant to Lukas. "He's going to want to break and go. I'm under the impression that he doesn't necessarily need the lead, but if it turns out that he's one dimensional, he's capable of outrunning them on the lead, too."

Quick Action's workouts have been fast, but Hutton says the horse has learned to relax in morning gallops.

"He's a smart horse," Hutton said. "When we gallop him in company, he usually relaxes pretty well, picks it up at the three-eighths pole and explodes when he switches to his right lead at the top of the stretch. He's trained like a horse who will get a distance, but until you try it at race speed, you never can be sure."

With the possibility of messy weather Friday morning, Hutton gave Quick Action a stronger gallop on Thursday morning, just in case the horses are forced to remain in the barn when the winter mix hits.

Hutton has gotten to know Quick Action very well and is very pleased with the colt's progress. "He came down to Belmont from Saratoga in mid-summer," Hutton said. "The first time we worked him at Belmont he came down with an ankle problem, so we put him away and just kind of forgot about him for a while. His first work back was extraordinary and he's been doing terrific ever since.

"The Whirlaway will be a key race for him. I'm sure Wayne will be watching anxiously and I'll be biting my nails all day. He has to be a convincing first or second to continue in the distance races. If not, we know we have a very fast, talented sprinter."

The field, in post position order:
1. Little Matth Man, Pablo Fragoso, 118
2. Rb's Glitter, Aaron Gryder, 116
3. Quick Action, Heberto Castillo Jr., 116
4. Acclimate, Shaun Bridgmohan, 118
5. Cairne, Anthony Black, 118
6. Christian Anthony, Julian Pimentel, 116
7. Jaglander, Mike Luzzi, 116
8. Sinister G., Paul Toscano, 118
9. Ottawa Chief, Javier Castellano, 116
10. Risky Trick, Richard Migliore, 116