QUALITY ROAD LATE SCRATCH IN CLASSIC

Continuing an improbable run of bad luck, Virginia-bred Quality Road was scratched at the gate prior to the running of Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Classic. The colt who missed the Kentucky Derby due to quarter cracks, and who ran over sloppy racetracks in both the Travers and Jockey Club Gold Cup refused to load.

When blindfolded, Quality Road went in the gate, but promptly pitched a fit which caused some minor scrapes and cuts on his gaskin and hind legs.

“We tried to challenge him a bit, put him with other horses, back him out, put him in [with] rider on, rider off, try to get him to misbehave so maybe we could figure out if he were to misbehave what we could do different,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “Basically, in three sessions here he never so much as hesitated.”

“We’re very disappointed but it’s just one of those things. We’ll have to regroup and try again. It was bad timing. We got the worse luck at the worst time on the biggest day,” said Pletcher.

The Breeders’ Cup refunded some $2.2 million in wagers when QR was scratched.

Quality Road will be shipped out of California this week. He’s now headed to Belmont Park and will point for the Cigar Mile Gr.I at Aqueduct on November 28. Evan’s Nite Light will join Quality Road in Pletcher’s barn at Belmont this week and be pointed toward the December 31 Gallant Fox at Aqueduct. The five-year-old finished well back in eighth in the Marathon on Friday.

(Photo by Jeandiva via Flickr)