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Sep 10, 2010

Quality Road rebounds to win Woodward Stakes


Saratoga Springs, NY (Sports Network) - Odds-on favorite Quality Road shook loose at the head of stretch Saturday to win the $750,000 Woodward Stakes at Saratoga Race Course. It was the colt's fourth win in five starts this year.

The colt, trained by Todd Pletcher, was coming off a narrow defeat four weeks ago to Blame in the Whitney Handicap. He was 1-4 in the morning-line and went off as the 3-10 pick in the seven horse field. More than $800,000 was wagered on Quality Road to show.

Ridden again by John Velazquez, the four-year-old broke sharply from the gate along with Arcodoro. David Cohen and Arcodoro took the lead entering the clubhouse turn followed closely by Quality Road. Mythical Power was racing third and Mine That Bird was close up in fourth.

Quality Road assumed the lead around the far turn as Mythical Power advanced on the outside into second. Mine That Bird, 2009 Kentucky Derby winner, began to tire.

Coming out of the final turn Quality Road opened up from his competition and was never challenged down the stretch. The colt hit the wire 4 3/4-lengths in front of second-place finisher Mythical Power.

Tranquil Manner finished third followed by Convocation, Indian Dance, Arcodoro and Mine That Bird. Ramon Dominguez replaced Kent Desormeaux as the jockey on Indian Dance. Desormeaux suffered an injury Friday at Saratoga when his horse broke down during the second race.

Quality Road covered the 1 1/8-miles in 1:50 on a fast track.

Quality Road returned $2.60, $2.10 and $2.10. Mythical Power paid $5.90 and $4.40, and Tranquil Manner paid $4.80 to show.

Owned by Edward Evans, Quality Road adds $450,000 to his lifetime earnings which now total more than $2.2 million. In his career the colt has won eight of 12 starts. This year his bankroll amounts to $1,260,000.

Before his loss in the Whitney, Quality Road had won three straight stakes to begin the year, the Hal's Hope Stakes, Donn Handicap and Met Mile.

In 2009 Quality Road won the Fountain of Youth Stakes, Florida Derby and Amsterdam Stakes. He was third in last year's Travers and second to Travers champ Summer Bird in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. He had to be scratched at the gate in the Breeders' Cup Classic when he became excitable when being loaded.

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