All of the inside scoop on Virginia's biggest day of Steeplechase racing -- the Virginia Gold Cup. Hey, 50,000 of your closest friends can't be wrong! Do you have your tickets yet?

Monday, April 27, 2009


For those of us plotting how we were going to find our way to get in front of a television for the Kentucky Derby after a big, fun day at the 84th Virginia Gold Cup, things just got a little simpler regarding the logistics for this Saturday...

Edward P. Evans' Virginia-bred Quality Road, who figured to be among the top choices for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Gr. 1) will not start in the Run for the Roses, it was confirmed Monday morning by Chris Baker, farm manager of Evans’ Spring Hill Farm.

“There was some tenderness in the foot this morning and he’s not 100%. (Trainer) Jimmy (Jerkens) wasn’t comfortable breezing him, and without a work, he can’t go,” Baker said. “He’s not going to make the race.”

On Monday morning, Jerkens noticed the colt’s foot was sore and that he was favoring it. "You’re just kidding yourself if you think you can go out there and run in the biggest race in the world and haven’t trained,” Jerkens said. “It’s a shame because he’s so talented.”

Quality Road was aiming to become the fifth Virginia-bred horse to win the Kentucky Derby and the first Commonwealth-born horse to run in the prestigious race since 1996. Previous Virginia-bred winners were Reigh Count (1928), Secretariat (1973), Pleasant Colony (1981) and Sea Hero (1993).

Quality Road has three wins from four lifetimes starts. He was a smashing winner of the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) in his 3-year-old debut Feb. 28 at Gulfstream Park and last time out won the Blackberry Presents the 58th Running of the Florida Derby (gr. I).

“The good news is we have a very talented 3-year-old,” Baker said. “We’ll wait and get him right and go from there.”

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