Sunday, April 26, 2009
Not Top Quality
With just six days until the Kentucky Derby, every piece of news on the contenders is analyzed and then over analyzed by handicappers and fans alike. But one piece of news is tough to ignore no matter how many times it is brought up in the precious few days left before the race.
The quarter crack issue of Quality Road was a huge story a couple of weeks ago when the world learned he developed a quarter crack. Although it sounds relatively innocent, the malady can be painful and has been to known to put horses on the sidelines for weeks.
Trained Jimmy Jerkens (left), the son of Hall of Famer H. Allen Jerkens, called in one of the best in the racing business, Dr. Ian McKinlay, to deal with the initial quarter crack. After days of treatment and cautious training, Quality Road seemed to have left the problem behind and was back on target to run in the Derby. Low and behold, another crack developed on Friday and Jerkens called McKinlay back to perform his magic again.
On Sunday, there was a little optimism in the Quality Road camp but the damage already may have been done.
"If he takes one bad step anywhere, forget it." Jerkens said.
In my mind, his Derby chances are compromised and Jerkens should look to the Preakness and Belmont. Having a chance to run in the Derby can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity but if you are going win America's greatest race, the horse needs to be 100 percent.
Jerkens is a good horseman and hopefully logic will prevail and the talented colt will be on the sidelines on Saturday. If he does run and you choose to bet him, just know you are getting damaged goods.