06/03/2010 11:00PM

Quality Road's path to Classic set


ELMONT, N.Y. − If all goes according to plan, Quality Road will make two more starts before the Breeders' Cup Classic in November, both in Grade 1 races at Saratoga this summer.

Impressive winner of the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap last Monday, Quality Road would make his next start in the $750,000 Whitney Handicap at Saratoga on Aug. 7, trainer Todd Pletcher said. That presumably would be followed by the $750,000 Woodward at the Spa on Sept. 4. Both races are run at 1 1/8 miles.

Following the Woodward, Quality Road would have nine weeks to the Classic, a 1 1/4-mile race at Churchill Downs on Nov. 6.

"He runs well fresh," Pletcher said Friday. "[Sixty-three] days, I think, is perfect. Obviously, things have to go just right, but that's what we're looking to do."

Quality Road returned to the track Friday morning for the first time since the Met Mile. He had come out of his 1 1/2-length victory in such good order that some consideration had been given to running him in the $300,000 Suburban Handicap on July 3. But the Grade 2 status of the race made it less attractive.

Also, the Suburban has been shortened from 1 1/4 miles to 1 1/8 miles. On Tuesday, Chris Baker, the farm manager for owner Ed Evans, had expressed an interest in running Quality Road in a 1 1/4-mile race before the Classic. The only two available on dirt are the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont and the Hawthorne Gold Cup in Chicago, both scheduled for Oct. 2.

Quality Road is winless in two starts at 1 1/4 miles, but both starts came over sloppy tracks. He finished third to Summer Bird in the Travers and second to the same rival in the Jockey Club Gold Cup.

"I think he gets a mile and a quarter all day, myself," Pletcher said.

Super Saver to pick it up soon

After a little bit of a freshening following his eighth-place finish in the Preakness, Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver has resumed galloping regularly and is likely to return to the work tab within two weeks, Pletcher said.

"He's been galloping every day," Pletcher said. "We'll start to pick it up with him next week. He's doing well, put on some weight. He's galloping well, seems happy."

Pletcher said the two choices for Super Saver's next start are the Jim Dandy at Saratoga on July 31 or the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park on Aug. 1.

Gozzip Girl works toward return

Gozzip Girl turned in her second straight sharp five-furlong workout Friday as she prepares for her 4-year-old debut in the Grade 2 New York Breeders' Cup Stakes on June 19.

Gozzip Girl, who won the Grade 1 American Oaks at Hollywood Park last summer, worked five furlongs in 1:00.64 over the main track. On May 29, she went five furlongs in 1:01.90. Gozzip Girl has not run since finishing third in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Keeneland last October.

"She's training as well as I've ever seen her," trainer Tom Albertrani said. "In her last two works she finished up strong."

Albertrani had initially targeted the Sheepshead Bay on May 22 for Gozzip Girl's return, but said he felt she was a few workouts shy of being her best. Albertrani said Friday that he is glad he opted to skip that race.

"She's really starting to come together right now," Albertrani said. "We needed a couple of more breezes, but she really looks well. She's carrying more condition."

Among Gozzip Girl's expected competitors in the New York is Treat Gently, winner of the Sheepshead Bay. On Friday, Treat Gently worked four furlongs in 50.56 seconds over Belmont's main track.

Studart gets 15-day suspension

The stewards suspended jockey Maylan Studart for 15 days for careless riding in Monday's sixth race at Belmont, a race she won. Studart has appealed the suspension and will continue to ride.

Studart was aboard Auric Girl, who came off the rail in the stretch and drifted out five paths while cutting in front of Peggy's Princess. Auric Girl went on to win the race by a neck. The stewards posted the inquiry sign but determined that Peggy's Princess's placing in the race − she finished sixth − was not affected by the incident.