07/04/2010 11:00PM

Qualia looking worth the wait

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
This allowance victory by Qualia in May showed she is ready for Monday's Grade 3 Bed o' Roses.

ELMONT, N.Y. -- In this era of instant gratification in horse racing, patience is a trait rarely practiced. Few horses are allowed to exhaust all their allowance conditions before jumping into stakes company.

In that regard, the 4-year-old filly Qualia is a throwback. Owner Marc Keller and trainer Robert Ribaudo have skipped multiple opportunities to run their talented filly in stakes, opting to wait until she further developed. Monday, Keller and Ribaudo hope their patience pays off when Qualia makes her stakes debut in the Grade 3, $150,000 Bed o' Roses Handicap at Belmont Park. The Bed o' Roses, run at seven furlongs, highlights a 10-race holiday Monday card that begins at 1 p.m. Eastern.

Qualia, a daughter of Saarland, did not make it to the races until last October, winning her debut by 4 1/4 lengths. After losing her next start by a neck at Aqueduct, Qualia went to south Florida where she won her first and second-level allowance conditions to begin the year.

Ribaudo could have run Qualia in the Inside Information at Gulfstream in March, the Distaff at Aqueduct in April, or the Vagrancy at Belmont in May, but wanted one more allowance race. On May 28, the day before the Vagrancy, Qualia won her third-level allowance condition by nearly five lengths.

"I'm glad I waited," Ribaudo said Saturday morning. "Physically, she's doing much better. When she came back from Florida she lost weight; now it's back. We were dying for that allowance race to go. Since that race she's doing good, so that race didn't hurt her, so now she's ready. If she's good enough this is where she's going to be. At least we did it the right way."

Ribaudo was not thrilled with Qualia drawing the rail, but he is hopeful jockey Rajiv Maragh can get her to "sit behind a legitimate pace, and save ground."

Devil By Design, who is drawn in post 2, will try to work out the same type of trip as Qualia under Kent Desormeaux. Devil By Design is 3 for 3 at seven furlongs, with one of those wins coming against the subsequent Grade 1 winner Life at Ten.

There appears to be ample speed with Rightly So, Lady Alexander, and Amazing in the field. Rightly So ran too good to lose when second to Hour Glass in the Vagrancy last out and has recorded her best speed figures at Belmont Park.

McVictory is 2 for 2 in one-turn races in New York and is well-drawn on the outside with Ramon Dominguez.