Exclusive Quality’s leading runner Sr. Quisqueyano makes his return to Gulfstream Park after leaving South Florida for the first time for the Santa Anita Handicap (G1) March 7, when he parades postward in the 25th running of the Skip Away Stakes (G3) Saturday, March 28.
“He seems like he came away from the ship well. Flying takes a whole lot less out of them than vanning does. I’d like another week but I don’t think the race is coming up super tough. He did run third in the race last year, so we’ll take a shot,” trainer Peter Walder said. “There were a couple other spots to consider, but this is home. It’s Florida Derby day and we want to support the cause. He loves the track and it’s the last shot to run here for good money.”
Walder claimed 5-year-old Sr. Quisqueyano, a career winner of nearly $715,000, for $62,500 on behalf of Ron Paolucci’s Loooch Racing Stables out of a runner-up finish to subsequent Grade 3 winner Race Day Dec. 21 at Gulfstream. In the first start for his new connections, he beat graded winners East Hall and Wildcat Red in the Sunshine Millions Classic.
“We didn’t look at it as an upset. He was 20-1 because the handicappers thought he was going to go to the lead. If the handicappers knew we were going to rate, I don’t think he was going to be 20-1,” Walder said. “Just because he ran for ($62,500) doesn’t he’s a claiming horse. Before that win he made $500,000 and you don’t do that by not being a good horse.”
Exclusive Quality currently ranks third on Florida’s leading sire list, and he is also represented by stakes winner and graded stakes-placed runner R Sassy Lass. Sr. Quisqueyano is Exclusive Quality’s leading runner this year with seasonal earnings of $153,700.