Quality Located

A couple of weeks ago we noted how well Elusive Quality's 2005 crop had done. They are headed by the now-retired Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Eng-I) winner Raven's Pass, and have been well-represented this year by the General George Handicap (gr. II) victor True Quality and Royale Michele, who took the Barbara Fritchie Handicap (gr. II). Now moving into the limelight is Elusive Quality's current 3-year-old crop, which significantly is the first one out of the mares bred to Elusive Quality (TrueNicks,SRO) following the championship season of his son Smarty Jones (TrueNicks,SRO) .

Three of this crop already won stakes at 2 -- with Elusive Bluff taking the Pligrim Stakes (gr. IIIT) and Evasive (GB) (TrueNicks rated A++) winning the Mountgrange Stud Horris Hill Stakes (Eng-III) -- and two more important stakes winners were added recently.

In mid-week, Devotee (TrueNicks B), who was grade I-placed in the U.S. at 2, landed the Meydan City U.A.E. Oaks. The race runs in the family, as Devotee is out of Danuta, a Sunday Silence half-sister to Folk, who took the same race (then called the Al Tayer Motors U.A.E. Oaks) and the Gulf News U.A.E. One Thousand Guineas, before finishing third in the CCA Oaks (gr. I). Devotee's granddam, Polish Style, is a French listed winner and graded-placed in Italy, by Danzig out of 1985 champion juvenile filly Family Style.

Then on Saturday, Quality Road, making only his third start, underlined his standing as a classic hopeful with a win in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II). TrueNicks rated A+ even before his win, Quality Road is out of the Strawberry Road (AUS) mare Kobla, a sister to champion 3-year-old filly Ajina. This is a beautifully structured pedigree, with 6 X 5 line-breeding to the important mare Flower Bowl, and inbreeding to Raise a Native through Mr. Prospector and Alydar. All this is arranged with many other complex relationships, and the full story will appear later in the week in the BloodHorse.com column Porter On Pedigrees.

Before leaving Elusive Quality's 3-year-old crop, we should also mention Elusive Heat. The daughter of champion Xtra Heat made a winning debut in New York last year, then was beaten a nose by Gemswick Park (by Speightstown (TrueNicks,SRO) ) in the Old Hat Stakes (gr. III). Since then, she returned to take an allowance at Gulfstream Park by more than 13 lengths while running a 108 Beyer.

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