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Derby contender Quality Road may be sidelined

The discovery of a second quarter crack, this time on the inside of his right front hoof, has jeopardized Florida Derby winner Quality Road's status for next Saturday's Kentucky Derby. Trainer Jimmy Jerkens said Friday morning at Belmont Park that he remains optimistic the colt can make the Derby, for which he is one of the early favorites.

Jerkens said he noticed the problem Thursday after a routine morning gallop. "He wasn't sore," he said. "We brought him in to pull his shoes afterward and that's when we noticed it.''

Noted hoof specialist Ian McKinlay, who treated Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown last year, was scheduled to examine the injury Friday afternoon. Jerkens hopes that after a patch is applied to the area, Quality Road can gallop Saturday or Sunday, then work out Sunday or Monday at Belmont. If he can't, it's very unlikely he'll be shipped Tuesday to Churchill Downs for the 135th Derby.

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