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.
The 2009 Florida Derby (gr. I) winner and Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) runner-up, who was forced to bypass the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) earlier in the year due to a quarter crack, is in the process of vanning to Churchill Downs from southern California after he balked at getting on a plane Nov. 9.
“He’s in transition to Churchill,” said Pletcher of the 3-year-old Elusive Quality colt. “He’ll lay up there a couple days and then be here Tuesday. The Cigar Mile is a possibility. Obviously, we would need everything to go perfectly between now and then, but he is under consideration. (Former NYRA starter) Bob Duncan will start working with him Wednesday morning.”
Pletcher doesn’t know exactly what caused Quality Road to act up before the Classic, but says the horse has never had any problems around the starting gate while schooling in the mornings.
“The horse is not a problematic horse,” he said. “He got upset the other day and things went the wrong way. He hasn’t been a problem in the morning. If he continues to do well, we’ll probably have some sort of afternoon schooling session at Aqueduct before we make any decisions.”
Quality Road has shown flashes of brilliance in the afternoon throughout his brief, seven-race career, setting new track records in his last two starts over a fast track, the Florida Derby and Amsterdam (gr. II) at Saratoga.