04/17/2009 12:00AM

Quality Road works well for Derby


ELMONT, N.Y. - Quality Road continues to show no ill effects from a quarter crack in his right hind foot as he worked a strong six furlongs in 1:12.03 Friday morning over the Belmont Park training track in preparation for a start in the May 2 Kentucky Derby.

Working at 9:30 a.m, following the second renovation break, Quality Road went his first three furlongs in 36.93 seconds and his last three furlongs in 35.10 seconds as exercise rider Juan Moreno nudged on him only slightly outside the eighth pole. Quality Road galloped out seven furlongs in 1:25.55.

"He let him out at the end; still, it didn't look like he went in 1:12," said trainer Jimmy Jerkens, who caught him almost a second slower.

Quality Road suffered his quarter crack while winning the Grade 1 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park on March 28. Nine days later, Quality Road showed some blood coming from the quarter crack after a routine gallop at Belmont. But after receiving a new patch on April 8, Quality Road has not missed a beat in his training, working a half-mile in 48 seconds on April 10 leading up to Friday's drill.

"He lost a few pounds after the Florida Derby," Jerkens said. "I wanted to get that back on him. Losing a few pounds and having the quarter crack I was a little worried, but it looks like he put some flesh back on and the foot looks like it's in good shape, so we should be in good shape."

Jerkens said Quality Road would likely work once more at Belmont next weekend before shipping to Churchill Downs on April 28.