Quality Road Quarter Crack Throws Off Everything

...And just when I was getting ready to finalize my pick, the winding and unpredictable Derby road throws a nasty curveball.

This morning's news of Quality Road's latest quarter crack was a shocker. As far as I was concerned, the first one had completely healed and it was no longer an issue. It was a done deal. He was going to be my pick.

Although I do not have to give my final selections on this blog until a day or two before the Derby, as a magazine writer I do not have that luxury. I am writing a "Derby analysis" feature that will appear in the May 2 issue of Blood-Horse and the deadline for the copy is Sunday, April 26. In light of that, I am forced to sit down and bang out my Derby selections a full week ahead of the race, without the benefit of final works or post positions.

That wasn't a problem for me this year. I've pretty much known that Quality Road was going to be my selection for two weeks now. To me, he was the best horse in a race that was going to set up very well for him from a pace scenario. As far as I was concerned, I didn't need to wait until a day before the Derby.

And now this.

The latest news of a second quarter crack throws a wrench into everything. In reading comments by Jimmy Jerkens and hoof specialist Ian McKinlay, they are saying the crack isn't as serious as the first one. I believe them, but still, it's a bad sign. And it has forced me to rethink this whole thing.

Again, as a blog writer, I have all week to decide whether or not Quality Road still deserves to be the pick, that is, if he even makes it to the race. I'll get to see him up close at Churchill and should be able to make an informed decision. But as a magazine writer, I must completely rework my thoughts - and quickly.

Any suggestions?

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