Thursday, February 4, 2010

Quality Road scares few away in Donn

Mike Welsch,
Daily Racing Form

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Despite the imposing presence of 123-pound highweight Quality Road, a surprisingly large field of 10 horses was drawn Wednesday for Saturday's $500,000 Donn Handicap, one of two Grade 1 stakes on the card along with the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap.

Quality Road will concede from six to 10 pounds in a lineup that also includes graded stakes winners Kiss the Kid, Duke of Mischief, Dry Martini, Mambo Meister, and Delightful Kiss. The field also includes You and I Forever, Helsinki, Past the Point, and Dubai Gold.

Quality Road, who will break from post 4 under regular rider John Velazquez, won the Grade 1 Florida Derby and Grade 2 Fountain of Youth here last year at 3 and the Grade 3 Hal's Hope making his 2010 debut on opening day.

Kiss the Kid was somewhat of a surprise entry in the Donn considering he has won a pair of turf stakes, including the Grade 3 Appleton, and finished fourth in the Gulfstream Turf Handicap here last winter.

Past the Point, who finished second behind Curlin in the 2008 Woodward, figures to pressure Quality Road during the early stages of the race. Past the Point was a game second behind Custom for Carlos after setting the pace in the Grade 3 Mr. Prospector earlier in the meet.

"We always felt he was a better horse going long," said Past the Point's trainer, Kiaran McLaughlin. "So we decided it's a Grade 1 and there's mainly one horse to beat, so why not give it a try."

Todd Pletcher, who trains Quality Road, will also send Take the Points in the 1 1/8-mile Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap. Take the Points and Court Vision are the favorites in a field of six that also includes Yates Black Cat, Never On Sunday, Le Grand Cru, and Court Vision's uncoupled stablemate Adagio.

Court Vision, the highweight at 121 pounds, will attempt to give trainer Rick Dutrow back-to-back wins in the Gulfstream Park Turf. Dutrow won the race a year ago with Kip Deville.

Court Vision will be making his first start since finishing fourth behind Goldikova in the Breeders' Cup Mile. He had won the Grade 1 Shadwell Mile in his previous start.

Take the Points won a pair of Grade 1 races at 3, the Secretariat and Jamaica Handicap, but will be facing older horses for the first time on Saturday.

The Grade 3, $125,000 Suwannee River for fillies and mares on the turf will close out Saturday's outstanding 11-race program.

1 comment:

horse information said...

Thanks for a very interesting post. Honestly as i read the tittle of the blog i did not feel any excitement but as i read through the sentences written, it gives me a chill and i can't stop reading through the lines. Good job.

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