06/29/2010 12:00AM

Good comeback for The Usual Q.T.


A feeling of accomplishment and relief swept over trainer Jim Cassidy when the multiple stakes winner The Usual Q.T. returned from a three-month break to win a $71,500 allowance race on Sunday.

"It's a little of both," he said. "You never know how they'll come back."

The Usual Q.T. won the one-mile turf race by a half-length over Dakota Phone after stalking the pace for the first six furlongs. Cassidy saw the race as a prep for the Grade 1 Eddie Read Stakes. Last summer and fall, The Usual Q.T. won six consecutive races, including four stakes highlighted by the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby.

But earlier this year, The Usual Q.T. was ninth in the Sunshine Millions Classic on the synthetic main track at Santa Anita and fourth on turf in the $5 million Dubai Duty Free at Meydan racecourse.

The lengthy trip to Dubai led to the layoff that ended last weekend. In Sunday's race, Espinoza was impressed by the way that The Usual Q.T. stalked the pace instead of trying to engage the leaders.

"He settled down nicely," Espinoza told Cassidy. "Before when the speed was next to him, he wanted to go."