Hoof specialist Ian McKinlay plans to apply a patch at 7 a.m. Sunday to the half-inch quarter crack on the inside of Quality Road's right front hoof before the colt gallops at 9:20 a.m. at Belmont Park. If all goes well, he will work out Monday and be shipped Tuesday to Louisville to run in Saturday's Kentucky Derby.
"Sunday is the big day as far as finding out where we're going," trainer Jimmy Jerkens said Saturday morning. "After the patch is applied, he has to gallop sound. I'm pretty confident he can [make the race]. There's no infection and he hasn't been sore bearing weight. It shouldn't affect him at all [in the Derby] if we put the patch on and he has no problems.''
After the son of Elusive Quality jogged 2 miles Saturday morning, McKinlay said, "There was no blood and he's sound. He's feeling good and I couldn't be happier.''
Jerkens said Quality Road's feet are "a little on the small side" and that his hoof walls are "kind of thin." He suggested the problem might be hereditary because he trained a half-sister to Quality Road who had chronic problems with quarter cracks.
Jerkens noticed a quarter crack in the colt's right rear hoof March 28 in the winner's circle after the Florida Derby. He said it had healed completely before he noticed the latest one Thursday morning. "We'll definitely have to [have a workout] by Monday,'' Jerkens said. "Against the best 3-year-olds in the country, you don't want to be short of condition