08/05/2017 7:11PM

Spring Quality rallies from last to win Robellino Stakes


Spring Quality is lightly raced for a 5-year-old, leaving him with plenty of new horizons to pursue. The gelding made his sixth career start and stakes debut a winning one in the $100,000 Robellino Stakes for Pennsylvania-bred older horses Saturday night at Penn National, rallying from last to beat defending winner Edge of Reality.

The Robellino, originally carded on turf, was taken off the course and run at 1 1/16 miles on dirt.

Spring Quality ($5.80) won the first two starts of his career, those coming in October 2014 at Keeneland and March 2016 at Tampa. Off an 11-month layoff, he has run a busy campaign by his standards this season, making four starts at four different tracks for trainer Graham Motion. He now owns back-to-back victories, as he came into the Robellino off an allowance-optional victory in May at Pimlico.

Spring Quality was unhurried early under Edgar Prado in the Robellino, last of seven after a half as Saratoga Jack narrowly led Moe Trouble and Late Breaking News through an opening time of 46.96 seconds. Moe Trouble assumed the lead approaching the stretch, but Edge of Reality was revving up back in fourth, and unleashed a wide run to assume command, powering clear by 1 1/2 lengths into the stretch.

However, Spring Quality was rolling after circling the field. Edge of Reality attempted to stubbornly hang on, but Spring Quality caught him by a neck at the line. Grasshoppin was another neck back in third, with those three eight lengths clear of the field.

The final time for the 1 1/16-mile race was 1:44.92.