10/03/2009 12:00AM

The Usual Q. T. makes it three in a row


ARCADIA, Calif. - The Usual Q. T. is the sort of horse who suffers from bouts of nerves, trainer Jim Cassidy says.

In the hour before his win in Saturday's $125,000 California Cup Mile, the horse was spooked when he noticed a piece of paper on the ground, Cassidy said.

The way The Usual Q. T. has improved in recent starts, Cassidy may be suffering from nervous excitement soon. The Usual Q. T. won his third consecutive start in the Cal Cup Mile, his stakes debut. The style of the win suggested that The Usual Q. T. has further improvement.

"He gets worked up behind the gate and he was rank," Cassidy said.

"The thing I like the most is that he can run with a lot of good horses. I can get him to settle right down. The racing has been good for him."

Owned by a partnership, The Usual Q. T., a 3-year-old gelding by Unusual Heat, won the California Cup Mile by a length over Skimmetry. Ridden by Garrett Gomez, The Usual Q. T. ($8.80) was third early, raced three wide on the turn, and was timed in 1:33.39 in the turf race.

Skimmetry finished 1 3/4 lengths in front of Enriched, a half-brother to seven-time Grade 1 stakes winner Lava Man, who was making his stakes debut. Dewey's Special, the winner of the California Dreamin' Handicap at Del Mar in July, finished last of seven.

The Usual Q. T. has won 3 of 8 starts and $186,780. He was second in his first four starts, finished fifth in a sprint in July, and has not lost since, winning a maiden race and an optional claimer for California-breds at Del Mar.

Gomez said that The Usual Q. T. has shown improvement, which Cassidy said is encouraging.

"If Garrett says he is getting better, that's good because he doesn't see him every day," Cassidy said.