02/08/2010 12:00AM

Quality Road awarded 121 Beyer for Donn


Turns out Quality Road's record-setting 12 3/4-length victory in Saturday's Grade 1 Donn Handicap was as statistically brilliant as it was visually impressive. Quality Road, who set a track mark of 1:47.49 for 1 1/8 miles, was awarded a career-best 121 Beyer Speed Figure for his performance in the Donn, easy eclipsing his former high of 113 earned in the 2009 Fountain of Youth. Quality Road also won the Florida Derby, with a Beyer of 111, here a year ago.

"I thought it had to be a huge number since he broke the record over a track that wasn't lightning fast," Todd Pletcher, who trains Quality Road for Edward P. Evans, said on Sunday. "I was glad to see him perform to his capabilities like that. It's also nice that the program we had already set out for him was going to give him a little break because you'd want to give him time off an effort like that. Although you wouldn't know it by looking at him cooling out or this morning at the barn that he'd run that hard of a race."

Pletcher said Quality Road's next start would most likely be the Grade 1 Met Mile at Belmont on Memorial Day.

* Trainer Wesley Ward lost one of his top horses when the speedy grass specialist Hockeythehayman broke down while working over the turf course on Sunday and had to be put down. Hockeythehayman won his first four starts before suffering his only defeat when finishing second over a soft course in the Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint on Jan. 9.