Monday, May 4, 2009


Florida Derby Gr. 1 and Fountain of Youth S. Gr. 2 winner, Virginia-bred Quality Road galloped 1 1/4 miles under exercise rider Juan Moreno on Sunday at Belmont Park for trainer Jimmy Jerkens. called his performance “eager.”

Along with 153,563 fans at Churchill Downs and millions of television viewers, Quality Road’s trainer Jimmy Jerkens was as confounded as everyone else when 50-1 shot Mine That Bird (Birdstone) dominated 18 rivals in Saturday's Derby.

"It was...weird," said Jerkens, "I can't imagine Quality Road would back up like the rest of them did. But I'm sure Larry Jones and Todd Pletcher couldn't imagine their horses wouldn't pick up their feet, either. I can't understand so many horses backing up like that.

"That horse who won is no slouch, don't get me wrong," he added. "I saw him in California when I was there for the Breeders' Cup (Juvenile [G1]) with Zaftig. They sent him to (Hall of Fame trainer Richard) Mandella and I remember him being really small."

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