Metropolitan H. (gr. I)

(gr. I , 8f ,)

QUALITY ROAD (B h, 124 lb) $300,000
Elusive Quality —Kobla , by Strawberry Road (AUS)
B—Edward P. Evans, VA.; O—Edward P. Evans; T—Todd A. Pletcher

Musket Man (DK B/ h, 117 lb) $100,000
Yonaguska —Fortuesque , by Fortunate Prospect
B—Sergio De Sousa, KY.; O—Fein, Eric and Carlson, Vic; T—Derek S. Ryan

Tizway (DK B/ h, 115 lb) $50,000
Tiznow —Bethany , by Dayjur
B—Whisper Hill Farm, KY.; O—William L. Clifton, Jr.; T—H. James Bond

Margins: 1½, 1½, 4. Others: Convocation 115($25,000) , Le Grand Cru 117($15,000) , Warrior's Reward 118($3,334) , Kensei 116($3,334) , You and I Forever 116($3,332) . Winning Jockey, John R. Velazquez.

Edward P. EvansÕ 4-year-old homebred Quality Road continued his winning ways when outlasting Musket Man by 11Ú2 lengths in the May 31 Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park.

It was the third consecutive victory for the Virginia-bred son of Elusive Quality, who completed the one-mile dirt contest in 1:33.11 and now has earnings of more than $1.6 million.

As a 3-year-old Quality Road was the early favorite for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) after his victory in the BlackBerry Presents the 58th running of the Florida Derby, but was sidelined by foot problems.

ÒWe just felt racing him a mile coming off a break made more sense than a mile and an eighth,Ó trainer Todd Pletcher said before the race. ÒAnd the Met Mile is such a prestigious race from a breedersÕ perspective. Breeders hold it in such high regard that we feel itÕs an important race to win.Ó

Evans, a resident of Greenwich, Conn., bred Quality Road from the Strawberry Road mare Kobla. He purchased Kobla for $1.05 million at the 1999 Keeneland November mixed sale. Consigned by Brookside Farms through LaneÕs End, agent, she was in foal to Mt. Livermore.

Evans became involved in racing through his father, Thomas Mellon Evans, who started Buckland Farm in 1964. Evans owns Spring Hill Farm near Casanova, Va.

Kobla is a daughter of the grade II-winning Alydar mare Winglet and a full sister to 1997 champion 3-year-old female Ajina. Quality Road is the first stakes winner for 15-year-old Kobla, who is also from the family of European and English champion Bahri (by Riverman).

KoblaÕs most recent offspring is a 2-year-old Tale of the Cat filly named Kobla Cat.

Elusive Quality is the sire of 61 stakes winners. Among his 12 added-money winners of 2010 is Elusive Pimpernel (Eng-III). Elusive Quality stands for $75,000 at Darley near Lexington.ÑE.M.