BREAKING NEWS – since this post on the morning of August 14th, Quality Road has had another impressive winner. In race 6 at Saratoga, Blofeld breaks his maiden in 57.8 for Todd Pletcher and Glencrest Farm. Commenting on the race DRFs Mike Watchmaker said via twitter “Blofeld…is a nicer horse than his narrow win margin would suggest. Much nicer. I liked what I saw.”

Aug. 14, 2014

QUALITY ROAD, a top-four freshman sire by earnings, stakes winners and stakes horses, is poised for a huge fall as his first-crop runners gear up in earnest.

Among QUALITY ROAD’s runners is the outstanding juvenile Hootenanny. The Wesley Ward-trained gelding kicked off his career with a dashing victory at Keeneland, then shipped to the prestigious Royal Ascot meet to “dominate 23 overmatched rivals in the [Listed] Windsor Castle Stakes,” wrote The Blood-Horse.

“The 7-2 favorite, Hootenanny made nearly all the pace down the straight course and kicked on strongly in the final furlong to win by 3 1/2 lengths,” wrote the trade daily.

Hootenanny is now under consideration for the G1 Prix Morny at Deauville.

Meanwhile, up in Canada, QUALITY ROAD can boast of a pair of exciting stakes fillies. Roaming, the 9-5 favorite when she dispatched of seven rivals in a $56,000 maiden special at Woodbine July 12, just missed by a head when second in the $125,000 Ontario Debutante S. Aug. 9, a race in which she closed from last.

On July 26, QUALITY ROAD’s daughter Quality Lane completed the exacta in the Princess Margaret S., where the comment line reads, “Quality Lane had a slow start, saved ground, was well back of the field, went up the rail and closed fast late.”

And the best is yet to come for QUALITY ROAD. With just 11 runners to date (27% stakes horses to starters), he has fewer starters than any other horse on the Freshman Top 10, and with his priciest yearlings and juveniles readying to start, things could get exciting real fast this autumn.

Buyers have been so impressed with QUALITY ROAD’s stock that they’re supporting him even more than last year, when he was the third-leading freshman sire by yearling average (68 sold for an average of $109,735 in 2013). So far in 2014, QUALITY ROAD has seen six sell for $164,167–a near 50% increase over his 2013 yearling average!

QUALITY ROAD’s 2014 yearlings include a $350,000 half-brother to GSW Upgrade who sold to Alex and Jo Ann Lieblong at Fasig-Tipton Saratoga. The colt was bred by Mike Anderson Thoroughbreds LLC.

Earlier in the year, at the juvenile-in-training sales, QUALITY ROAD’S offspring were similarly popular. His babies included a $390,000 colt at OBSJUN who sold to Conquest Stables LLC; a $350,000 filly at OBSAPR who went to Martin Schwartz; a $310,000 filly at OBSMAR who sold to Repole Stable; etc.

Keep an eye out for these QUALITY ROAD runners as they hit the track, and for standouts from his second crop at the upcoming Keeneland September Yearling Sale! QUALITY ROAD has 31 youngsters catalogued at September, including three from Lane’s End’s draft: Hip 1045, a colt from a half-sister to G1SW Strong Mandate; Hip 1837, a colt from MSW Big Brownie; and Hip 2230, a granddaughter of Jenny Wiley winner Indian Fashion.

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