Quality Road Quarter Crack Patched, Derby Decision Coming

Quality Road, a contender for the Kentucky Derby, returned from a mile and three-quarter gallop on the Belmont Park training track April 26 with a tinge of blood from a newly-patched quarter crack, but his connections remain optimistic he will make the May 2 "Run for the Roses."

A five-furlong breeze Monday morning will be the determining factor on whether the Elusive Quality colt makes the trip to Churchill Downs.

"He has to work to our liking and come out of it perfectly," said Jimmy Jerkens, who trains Quality Road for owner-breeder Edward P. Evans. "If he takes one bad step anywhere, forget it."

At about 7 a.m. Sunday, hoof specialist Ian McKinlay replaced a set of wires, inserted a drain, and then put an acrylic patch on the quarter crack on the inside of the colt's right-front hoof.

"He's well on the mend," said McKinlay, who successfully treated a quarter crack on the colt's right-hind foot that he developed during his track record performance in the grade I Florida Derby on March 28.

"This is live tissue--we're not changing a flat tire, so there are a lot of judgment calls," McKinlay said. "Everything had been stabilized and when I changed the wires today, the crack opened up. There was a bit of sensitive tissue aggravated during the process. Hopefully, there won't be a tinge of blood tomorrow when he breezes."

Jerkens said the hoof would be treated with Thrush Buster and Animalintex poultice on Sunday.

"He's got 24 hours to get better," said Jerkens. "I would have liked to have seen no blood, but it didn't surprise me because he was still tender. He's sound, he galloped the way he usually does, but I would have been more optimistic without blood."

(Originally published at BloodHorse.com.)  

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