Quality in Abundance

Last Saturday, Quality Road erased the Gulfstream Park nine furlong track record that he himself had established in the 2009 Florida Derby (gr. I), earning a Ghostzapper (TrueNicks,SRO) -like 121 Beyer in the process. Quality Road’s sire, Elusive Quality (TrueNicks,SRO) can now claim to be responsible for three truly outstanding horses; Smarty Jones (TrueNicks,SRO) , Raven’s Pass and Quality Road. He’s also been represented by two other Champions, the Champion Sprint Filly Maryfield and Elusive City, Champion Two-Year-Old in France.

Quality Road is a horse with a remarkably well structured pedigree. Out of a mare by the Nijinsky II line stallion, Strawberry Road, Quality Road has a 4 x 5 duplication of Northern Dancer. In Elusive Quality, this is through Hero’s Honor, who is by Northern Dancer out of a mare by Graustark, and if we look at Strawberry Road’s sire, Whiskey Road, we see he is by a son of Northern Dancer, out of a half-sister to Graustark. At the top and bottom of Quality Road’s, we find Gone West and Winglet (granddam of Quality Road). Both are by sons of Raise a Native (Mr. Prospector and Alydar, themselves genetic relatives who combine very well together), and both are out of mares by sons of Bold Ruler who also have Princequillo close up in the dam (Secretariat and Bold Bidder). Gone West and Alydar also give two crosses of the outstanding Calumet mare, Two Lea, one through a Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner (Tim Tam) and the other through On-and-On, the sire of a Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner (Forward Pass). Finally, Mr. Prospector and Winglet are also related. Both are from the Raise a Native line, out of Nasrullah line mares, and Mr. Prospector’s third dam, Miss Dogwood, is a three-parts-sister to Duranza, the fourth dam of Winglet, both from the same Frizette family as Elusive Quality himself.
Quality Road apart, Elusive Quality has enjoyed success with a wide variety of broodmare sires. In fact his nine grade I and grade II winners are from six different sire lines. Obviously Northern Dancer in general has been very strong, accounting for well over 30 of Elusive Quality’s stakes winners, with successful branches including Lyphard via Alzao (doubling Northern Dancer/Sir Ivor); Danzig (notably via Danehill, paralleling Northern Dancer/Graustark, but with Graustark’s brother, His Majesty, and via Dayjur, a reverse Northern Dancer/Mr. Prospector cross to Elusive Quality), we can also particularly note Deputy Minister, Dixieland Band, Storm Cat (doubling Secretariat, along with a reverse of his Nasrullah/Princequillo cross) and Sadler’s Wells.

Several of Elusive Quality’s best, however, are bred on less instantly predictable lines. Raven’s Pass (dam by Lord At War is an outcross at five generations), although there is a double of very close Nasrullah/Princequillo in the granddam. Smarty Jones is out of a mare by Smile (by In Reality) from the La Troienne family. He has the Bold Ruler/Tom Fool combination that has been very good for Gone West, and his granddam is inbred to Tourbillon (Frizette family). Maryfield is out of a mare by Damascus son, Desert Wine (who has a lot of Tourbillon/Frizette, including through Never Bend, who is in at least eight of Elusive Quality’s stakes winners); grade two winner Royal Michele is out of a mare by the Buckpasser (La Troienne family) line horse Groovy, and brings in Frizette through Never Bend; and grade two winner True Quality is out of a mare by Seeking the Gold (from Elusive Quality’s own Mr. Prospector line, and out of a Buckpasser mare) with Never Bend and My Babu (both bringing Frizette) in the dam.

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