In an ultra-game effort, Exclusive Quality’s Sr. Quisqueyano set all the pace in the $150,000 Skip Away Stakes (G3), before dropping a narrow decision to Commissioner at the wire of the 1 3/16-mile test on the Florida Derby (G1) undercard at Gulfstream Park March 28.
With Edgard Zayas in the saddle for trainer Peter Walder, Sr. Quisqueyano assumed command early, clicking off an opening quarter in :24.38 and getting a half mile in :48.97 with Commissioner in close pursuit. After six furlongs in 1:13.81, Sr. Quisqueyano was joined on the front end by Commissioner, who ranged up to challenge for the lead.
Sr. Quisqueyano, however, was far from finished. He dug in bravely and simply refused to give an inch. The two horses separated themselves from the field as they battled the length of the stretch with Commissioner prevailing by a neck on the line, stopping the timer in 1:58.60. It was 7 ½ lengths back to distant third-place finisher Encryption.
“We knew Sr. Quisqueyano is a tough horse to get by,” winning trainer Todd Pletcher said of Exclusive Quality’s best son who galloped out ahead of Commissioner.
Sr. Quisqueyano, back from a trip to California for the March 7 Santa Anita Handicap (G1), increased his earnings to $743,510 and his slate now stands at 31-8-7-3.
Bred in Florida by Do-Little Farm and owned by Loooch Racing Stables, Sr. Quisqueyano is produced from the Polish Navy mare Royal Navy.
Exclusive Quality is Florida’s third-ranked leading sire of 2015, and the stakes-winning son of Elusive Quality (sire of champions Smarty Jones, Raven’s Pass, Maryfield and Florida Derby, Donn Handicap and Woodward Stakes winner Quality Road), stands for $2,500.