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Circular Quay - Kentucky Derby Contender


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2007 Kentucky Derby Contenders

Pedigree: Thunder Gulch - Circle Of Life (Belong To Me)

Owner: Michael & Doreen Tabor

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

The name: Circular Quay is the hub of Sydney Harbour, situated at a small inlet called Sydney Cove, the founding site for Sydney and Australia.

Stallion Farm: Journeyman Stud $7,500 Live Foal

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Favored Circular Quay, able to avoid the traffic issues he encountered in the Risen Star (gr. III) one month ago, circled the field five wide coming off the far turn under John Velazquez and rallied impressively to win the $594,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) by 2 1/4 lengths at Fair Grounds Saturday.

Date Race Distance Finish
Mar 10 2007 Louisiana Derby 8.5F 1st
Feb 10 2007 Risen Star 8.5 F 5th
Nov 4 2006 Breeders Cup J. 8.5 F 2nd
Oct 7 2006 Breeders Futurity 8.5 F 2nd
Sep 4 2006 Hopeful 7 F 1st
Jul 6 2006 Bashfor Manor 6 F 1st
Circular Quay Race Record

The chestnut son of Thunder Gulch snapped a three-race losing streak after winning the first three starts of his career and went over the $1 million mark in earnings. The well-regarded colt has been favored in all seven of his starts for trainer Todd Pletcher and owners Michael and Doreen Tabor, who bred him.

Circular Quay had a nightmare trip last time in the Risen Star, forced to swerve in the stretch to avoid a fallen horse on the inside and coming home fifth. Circular Quay drew the rail post Saturday but, after a ground-saving trip for Velazquez while racing near the rear of the pack to the the final turn, they angled out on the bend to avoid any problems. Circular Quay reached contention in upper stretch, overtaking the pacesetter Ketchikan leaving the eighth pole and winning as much the best.

“He didn’t redeem himself so much as he just got a good trip today,” said Pletcher, Eclipse Award-winning trainer for the last three years straight. “He was probably the best horse last time. Thank goodness he came out of it okay. Today, this was his natural running style – to come from the back of the pack with a late run.”

Pletcher said he would consider the Wood Memorial (gr. I) at Aqueduct April 7 next for Circular Quay.

“I think he’s shown from day one that he’s among the best of his generation," he said. "He’s never disappointed us.”