Trainer Bob Ribaudo and owner Marc Keller deliberated long and hard about the options facing multiple New York-bred stakes winner Quezon as her 4-year-old season wound down last fall.
They seemed to settle on three – keep the daughter of Tiz Wonderful in the Keeneland November breeding stock sale, develop a plan to breed the New York-bred mare in 2017 or give her the winter off and put her back in training.
Ribaudo and Keller settled on the third option and Quezon is back in Saratoga for her third summer and entered for the second time in the $100,000 Union Avenue Stakes, the feature on today’s nine-race card. Quezon, who drew the rail in the field of 10 New York-bred fillies and mares, is the 9-5 choice in the 6 1/2-furlong stakes.
“We had her entered in the sale last year but decided not to go and sell her,” Ribaudo said. “You have to do it so early and you want to have your options open. We entered her already for this year, too.”
A decision on whether Quezon goes through the ring come November will come later, just as it did last fall.
Second in last year’s Union Avenue behind Hot City Girl, also back in this year’s running, Quezon ended 2016 on a high note at Belmont Park. She finished second, beaten three-quarters of a length by eventual multiple Grade 1 winner Paulassilverlining, in the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom before returning to the state-bred ranks to easily win the Iroquois on Empire Showcase Day in late October.
Scratched from the November sale – where she was cataloged to sell on the first day of the prestigious auction that attracts buyers from around the world – she earned a freshening instead.
To read the rest of the Union Avenue preview, download Thursday’s digital edition of The Saratoga Special.