Saturday, April 25, 2009

Kentucky Derby Contender Quality Road Has New Injury; 2009 Kentucky Derby Start Doubtful

Considered one of the top Kentucky Derby starters, Quality Road developed a quarter crack on the inside of his right front hoof–a few days after the same injury to the right hind hoof was declared healed by hoof specialist Ian McKinlay, who also treated last year’s Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Big Brown.

Race horse trainer Jimmy Jerkens said he first noticed the latest quarter crack Thursday after Quality Road returned from a gallop at Belmont Park, home of the 2009 Belmont Stakes.

Jimmy Jerkens tried to remain optimistic that his Florida Derby winner would still be able to race in the Kentucky Derby 135 on May 2 at Churchill Downs.

“He wasn’t sore or anything,” Jerkens said Friday. He hoped McKinlay would be able to “lace” up the split hoof and apply an acrylic patch to the area later Friday so Quality Road could put in a final workout either Sunday or Monday before being shipped to Louisville on Tuesday.

If the injury creates a setback in Quality Road’s training schedule it seems doubtful the colt would run in the Kentucky Derby 2009. Race horse trainer Jimmy Jerkens told the Daily Racing Form that if his colt was unable to post a workout by Monday “then it looks like we won’t be able to go.”

A quarter crack appears in the wall of the hoof, often starting where the hoof meets the hair.

“I really don’t think it is as serious as the other one,” hoof specialist Ian McKinlay said Friday, but added: “You have to remember we are dealing with a living organism and it has a mind of its own. There is only so much we can do, and then we hope for the best.”

Owned by Edward Evans, Quality Road has won 3 of 4 starts, including the Fountain of Youth Stakes by 4 1/4 lengths on Feb. 28 and the Florida Derby on March 28 over Dunkirk, also one of the top race horses in the Kentucky Derby field.

Quality Road, I Want Revenge and Pioneerof the Nile are considered the early Kentucky Derby favorites.

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