NEW YORK (AP) - Quality Road has another hoof problem that could
knock him out of the Kentucky Derby.
Considered one of the top Derby contenders, Quality Road
developed a quarter crack on the inside of his right front hoof - a
few days after the same injury to the right hind hoof was declared
healed by hoof specialist Ian McKinley.
Trainer Jimmy Jerkens said he first noticed the latest quarter
crack Thursday after Quality Road returned from a gallop at Belmont
Park. The trainer tried to remain optimistic that his Florida Derby
winner would still be able to run for the roses at Churchill Downs
on May 2.
"He wasn't sore or anything," Jerkens said Friday. He hoped
McKinley would be able to "lace" up the split hoof and apply an
acrylic patch to the area later Friday so Quality Road could put in
a final workout either Sunday or Monday before being shipped to
Louisville on Tuesday.
If the injury creates a setback in Quality Road's training
schedule it seems doubtful the colt would run in the Derby.
A quarter crack appears in the wall of the hoof, often starting
where the hoof meets the hair.
After examining the latest crack Friday, McKinley said "it's a
straight crack, with no infection.
"I really don't think it is as serious as the other one," he
said, but added: "You have to remember we are dealing with a
living organism and it has a mind of its own. There is only so much
we can do, and then we hope for the best."
Quality Road has won three of four starts, including a 1¾-length
victory in the Florida Derby on March 28 over Dunkirk, also a top
Quality Road, I Want Revenge and Pioneerof the Nile are
considered the early Derby favorites.
McKinley treated last year's Derby and Preakness winner Big
Brown when the colt developed a quarter crack in the weeks leading
up to the Belmont Stakes.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)