"A catastrophe involving Quality Road would have been insurmountable for the horse racing industry, Churchill Downs and every single fan amongst us who loves this game. It simply was a risk not worth taking, and believe you me, there are owners and trainers out there who would not have shown the discretion exhibited by Evans and Jerkens."
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Obviously, yesterday was a tough day for everybody in the Quality Road camp.
"It's devastating," trainer Jimmy Jerkens, 50, said about missing out on the chance to run in the Derby. "I don't know if you could ever get a horse for a race like the Derby with his credentials leading up to it."
Ned Evans, the owner and breeder of Quality Road, had been to Jerken's barn three consecutive mornings hoping to get some good news. Instead, he must now think ahead to other races, which could include the Preakness on May 16 but more likely will feature other 3-year-old races later this summer.
"It's very disappointing because everybody, everywhere was rooting for him, wanted him to get there," Evans said. "We raise horses; we got to do what's right for the horses. We're used to being told by the horse what to do. We've got several hundred horses on the farm telling us what to do. We're like the junior partner sometimes."