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Quality Road (2006 b by Elusive Quality x Kobla, by Strawberry Road)

Lane’s End $35,000

Physically, Quality Road is a big, masculine horse with great scope and presence. I caught him at 17 hands, with a girth of 77.5 inches. He has an impressively deep and well-angled shoulder, and his hindquarters have length and impressive proportions.

In all, he adds up to being the fastest horse among this group of entering stallions and was one of the fastest horses in the world up to a mile … period. As a result, he is one of the half-dozen horses in this group of entering stallions that one can evaluate with considerable expectation of success.

Another astute judge of stallion prospects without ties to Lane’s End described Quality Road as “the new sire we’ll be sending a couple of mares to because he had the most impressive turn of foot and won sire races.”

Among those impressive victories were the Metropolitan Mile and the Donn Handicap. The darling of the speed handicappers, Quality Road produced speed figures that put him in the rarefied company of some outstanding racers and sires, including his own, Elusive Quality.

The latter is a very big stallion, and heavier topped than his son, but Elusive Quality was a stallion prospect of great interest to some insightful breeders and owners, more because of the extraordinary speed he showed from time to time than from the consistency of his overall race record. But when he was good, Elusive Quality was exceptional.

And from his first crop to race, Elusive Quality has shown the ability to sire some outstanding racehorses. His Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Smarty Jones was most unlike his sire, tending more toward the size and shape of the In Reality line of his maternal grandsire Smile.

Quality Road appears to be much more his sire’s son, with some refinement and quality added by maternal grandsire Strawberry Road, a much underrated stallion who died far too young.

Considering that size and scope and extremely fine-tuned mechanics allowed Quality Road to excel, he may not prove the easiest stallion to match, but when all the factors are taken into account to produce a top individual, he is one to consider with high hopes.