Edward P. Evans Virginia-bred Quality Road made easy work of the $500,000 Donn Handicap Gr.I at Gulfstream Park on Saturday. In doing so, the Elusive Quality colt broke his own track record and set a new record for margin of victory.
QR earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 121 – the best performance in a race at one mile or longer since Commentator won the Whitney Handicap at Saratoga in 2005.
The Donn has been a fixture on the Gulfstream calendar since the 1950’s and four previous winners have gone on to win the Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year or Champion Older Male. Those champions were Invasor, Saint Liam, Skip Away and Cigar.
The race is named after James Donn Sr. who owned Exotic Gardens and was one of the creditors left unpaid when Gulfstream closed in 1943. Donn stepped in to take over the reins in 1944 and Gulfstream ran a 20-day race meeting with an average attendance of 4,534 and an average handle of $281,902. The rest, as they say, is history.
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(Photo by Horsephotos.com/NTRA)