01/06/2011 4:04PM

Business as usual for Edward Evans stable in 2011


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – When Dance Quietly runs in Saturday’s $65,000 Busanda Stakes at Aqueduct, it will mark the first starter from owner/breeder Edward P. Evans’ stable since he died on Dec. 31 at the age of 68.

Dance Quietly will run under the banner of the Edward P. Evans Foundation, which has a board of trustees with Chris Baker retaining his position as farm and racing manager for Evans.

Baker said Thursday that he has been told by the foundation trustees that it should be “business as usual’’ for Evans’s racing operation, at least for 2011. Baker said that the Evans Foundation has approximately 54 race horses – 40 at the track and 14 lay-ups on the farm – between trainer Todd Pletcher and Tony Dutrow.

Dance Quietly, trained by Pletcher, is a daughter of A.P. Indy out of the mare Quiet Dance making her a half-sister to 2005 horse of the year Saint Liam, whom Evans bred but who raced for owner William K. Warren and trainer Richard Dutrow Jr.

“Those are the kind of opportunities you potentially got when you trained for him, the elite pedigrees in the business,’’ said Pletcher, who has trained for Evans for four years. “Certainly our stable will miss him, as will the entire industry.’’

In 2010, Pletcher trained Grade 1 winners Quality Road and Malibu Prayer for Evans.

“He took extra pride in the accomplishment of all the horses he bred,’’ Pletcher said. “That was very fulfilling for him to have horses like Quality Road, Malibu Prayer, and breeding Saint Liam was a crowning achievement for any breeder.’’

Dance Quietly will have to improve significantly to be in the class of a Malibu Prayer, but she has shown tenacity in her last two starts. She dropped a neck decision to Joyful Victory in a maiden race at Delaware Park, before surviving challenges from multiple horses in winning a maiden race at Monmouth Park by a neck on Nov. 14.

“I thought she ran courageous efforts in her last two and was just outsprinted the first time we ran her,’’ said Pletcher, referring to a seventh-place finish in a six-furlong race at Saratoga on Aug. 15. “She looks like a classic two-turn type filly that wants a route of ground. I think she’s physically matured through the course of the fall and into this year. I would anticipate she’s coming up to her best race.’’

Ramon Dominguez will ride Dance Quietly in the Busanda.