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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Florida Derby Winner Quality Road Has A Quarter Crack & Puts Doubt In 2009 Kentucky Derby

Florida Derby winner and one of the leading Kentucky Derby contenders Quality Road has a quarter crack in his right hind hoof, putting in doubt his status for the 2009 Kentucky Derby on May 2 at Churchill Downs.

Quality Road galloped at Belmont Park, home of the 2009 Belmont Stakes, and came back to the barn with blood dripping from his foot.

Race horse trainer Jimmy Jerkens said that he is “very concerned” about the problem but that it’s premature to say the colt won’t run in the Kentucky Derby 135.

Quality Road is the second of the Kentucky Derby entries to encounter a problem.

The Pamplemousse, one of the West Coast’s leading 3-year-olds, was scratched from last Saturday’s Santa Anita Derby because of a lesion in his left front leg. The Pamplemousse is expected to be out at least 6 months.

Jerkens said he discovered the quarter crack in the winner’s circle after Quality Road won the Florida Derby on March 28 at Gulfstream Park.

Quarter cracks can bleed and make a horse lame. Movement and stress on the hoof can spread the crack and prevent it from healing. Quarter cracks can come from a genetic disposition that causes a thin hoof wall.

“The fact that he’s not lame from it is a good thing,” Jerkens told the Daily Racing Form. “He galloped this morning and he was absolutely sound on it, but it did trickle a little blood, which means there’s still some friction going on in there. We have to get that inflammation out before we do anything.”

Hoof specialist Ian McKinlay, who famously worked on Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown’s quarter crack last year, is tending to Quality Road.

McKinlay replaced a previous patch with a special shoe last Friday, then on Sunday he put in a set of wires to stabilize the crack.

Jerkens said Quality Road could still run in the Kentucky Derby if the colt is able to complete 2 workouts before he’s scheduled to leave New York on April 28 for Louisville, Kentucky.

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