04/23/2009 11:00PM

Another quarter crack for Quality Road


ELMONT, N.Y. - After getting over a quarter crack on his right hind foot, Quality Road has developed a quarter crack on his right front foot that puts his status for the May 2 Kentucky Derby in doubt.

Trainer Jimmy Jerkens canceled Saturday's scheduled workout at Belmont Park and said Friday morning that if the horse could not breeze by Monday "then it looks like we won't be able to go."

Based on victories in the Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby, Quality Road figured to be one of the Derby favorites.

Jerkens said he noticed the quarter crack Thursday morning as Quality Road was about to be get new shoes following his morning training session.

"We always pull him in the middle there to dry his legs off, look everything over and there it was," Jerkens said. "It didn t have any blood or anything but it was there. We pulled him into shoe him; it wasn t something you could see too easy unless you got real to close to it."

Quality Road had his wrapped in animalintex, which contains a mild antiseptic plus natural poultice agent designed to draw any heat or infection from the area. Jerkens said he did not think there was any infection. On Friday, Quality Road remained in the barn.

Ian McKinlay, the noted hoof equine specialist, saw the crack Thursday and was scheduled to examine Quality Road Friday afternoon. "This is a very low grade quarter crack," McKinlay said Friday morning. "No infection, no nothing."

Asked if Quality Road could still make the Derby, McKinlay said, "I wouldn't know why not."

Jerkens said if McKinlay were able to lace the crack Friday, the horse could gallop on Saturday. "If he comes back without any problems," Jerkens said, "then he can patch it right away. He'll have to determine if it'll need another day of drying out or not."

Jerkens said he would like to be able to gallop Quality Road on Saturday and work him on Sunday. "More realistically, I'm thinking it would be gallop him Sunday and work Monday."

Quality Road is scheduled to leave for Kentucky on Tuesday.

Quality Road suffered a quarter crack on his right hind foot while winning the Florida Derby on March 28. The original patch that was put on by a farrier in south Florida did not hold, and Quality Road had some blood coming from that foot following a routine gallop on April 6. McKinlay put a new patch on the hind foot April 8 and the horse has twice worked without any incident.