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Quality Road gallops

4/8/2009

Quality Road, a leading contender for the Kentucky Derby, passed a significant test in his bid to make that race, galloping 1 3/8 miles at Belmont Park on Wednesday morning after having a new patch applied to the quarter crack on his right hind foot.

"He galloped good, looked like he's walking all right on it. Hopefully he comes out of the stall good this afternoon," trainer Jimmy Jerkens said Wednesday morning.

If all goes well, Quality Road could breeze at Belmont on Friday or Saturday, Jerkens said.

"If we get that into him it'll be a little bit of breathing room, I think," Jerkens said Wednesday morning. "You usually like to do something 10 days after he runs, even if it isn't a breeze, some kind of strong gallop. I think this is only the third gallop he's had since he ran."

Quality Road last ran on March 28 at Gulfstream, where he won the Florida Derby by 1 3/4 lengths over Dunkirk. Jerkens said he noticed in the winner's circle that Quality Road had suffered a quarter crack. A patch was put on the quarter crack, but it didn't hold well, and on Monday there was blood trickling from the area after Quality Road galloped at Belmont on Monday. Ian McKinlay, the equine hoof specialist, said there was still some heat in the colt's foot Monday.

But on Wednesday, McKinlay said Quality Road's foot was "ice-cold" and McKinlay put a new patch on the foot. Also, Quality Road was equipped with a regular shoe, replacing the bar shoe he had been wearing while there was no patch on the foot.

"We patched him, put a drain in so in case you have a little bit of blood," McKinlay said.

The drain, said McKinlay "starts at the hairline, comes down below the crack. It's just a precaution. I'm just happy it was cold."