06/21/2017 4:09PM

Elusive Quality pensioned at age 24

Barbara D. Livingston
Elusive Quality set a world record for the mile in the 1998 Poker Stakes.

Classic sire and former world record-holder Elusive Quality has been pensioned from stallion duty. The 24-year-old stallion will live out his retirement at Darley’s American base at Jonabell Farm in Lexington, Ky.

Elusive Quality, a son of Gone West, was multiple Grade 2-placed on dirt and set a track record at Gulfstream going seven furlongs in 1:20.17. He carried his brilliance to turf later in his career, with a pair of Grade 3 wins in 1998, including a six-length score in the Poker Stakes at Belmont Park, scorching the mile in what was then a world-record 1:31.63.

Elusive Quality entered stud in 1999, and his first crop placed him a close third on the 2002 freshman sire list behind Distorted Humor and Awesome Again. All three would go on to be classic sires.

From his second crop emerged Smarty Jones, who won his first eight starts, including the 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, before finishing second in the Belmont Stakes to end his Triple Crown bid. The Eclipse Award champion powered Elusive Quality atop the North American general sire list for the season. He ranked in the top five on that list again in 2008, when his son Raven's Pass, a Group 1 winner in England, captured the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Four-time Grade 1 winner Quality Road inherited Elusive Quality’s brilliance, establishing multiple track records during his own career. Now a young stallion at Lane's End in Kentucky, he is represented by Kentucky Oaks winner Abel Tasman in his second crop. Elusive Quality's other standouts include Eclipse Award champion female sprinter Maryfield and champion steeplechase horse Demonstrative.

Elusive Quality also shuttled to Australia and Brazil for the international Darley operation. He was a leading sire in Brazil, siring champions Sai de Baixo and Ana Luisa. In Australia, he sired two-time champion Sepoy, now a Darley stallion. His other leading international runners included European champion Elusive Kate, a Group 1 winner in England and France, English Group 1 winner Certify, French Group 1 winner Elusive City, and Mexican champion El Capitan.

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