12/11/2009 12:00AM

Quality Road aims for Hal's Hope


Trainer Todd Pletcher confirmed that Quality Road will return to the scene of his finest hour, Gulfstream Park, to open his 2010 campaign in the Grade 3 Hal's Hope Handicap on opening day, Jan. 3. Quality Road moved to the top of the 3-year-old division last spring with his impressive victory in the Grade 1 Florida Derby.

Quality Road worked for the first time since arriving at Palm Meadows on Monday.

"Right now we're focusing on the Hal's Hope and Donn Handicap for Quality Road," said Pletcher. "So far everything has been perfect with him since the Breeders' Cup. He continues to get in the gate a couple of times a week down here, and we haven't been able to identify any repercussions from his episode at Santa Anita."

Quality Road was scratched at the gate before the start of the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Pletcher also said that Dunkirk, who finished second in the 2009 Florida Derby, is scheduled to have his first workout on the comeback trail either Monday or Tuesday at Palm Meadows.