VA-BRED QUALITY ROAD WORKS FOR GOLD CUP

On Saturday, Virginia-bred Quality Road and his stablemate, Denver, broke off together and went in fractions of 13.05 for the first eighth, 25.23 for the quarter, and 36.99 seconds for three furlongs before coming home in 24.66 seconds – 1:01.65.

Quality Road finished about a neck in front of Denver at the wire, though he did it totally on his own as jockey John Velazquez hardly flinched. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.86.

“He had a very solid work last time with a big gallop-out so we were just looking for a maintenance five-eighths,” said Todd Pletcher, trainer of Quality Road. “I’m very happy with the way he’s doing it; nice and relaxed.”

Quality Road won the Florida Derby on March 28 and then didn’t run again until Aug. 3 when he won the Grade 2 Amsterdam Stakes at Saratoga by 2 1/4 lengths, while running a track record 1:13.74 for 6 1/2 furlongs.

Other notable works Saturday included 2008 Virginia Derby Gr.II winner Gio Ponti, who went five furlongs in 1:00.97 on the turf in preparation for the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic.