Preakness profile: Monday Morning Qb
Some horses are tougher to read than others. Monday Morning Qb falls in a difficult category, simply because the versatile 3-year-old hasn’t run enough to establish his optimum racing preferences.
From a pedigree perspective, Monday Morning Qb has the breeding to be a high-class route runner. His sire, Imagining, was a stoutly bred Grade 1 winner at 1 3/8 miles on grass, while damsire Not for Love has achieved renown through his daughter Love the Chase, who foaled Kentucky Derby (G1) winner and two-time Horse of the Year California Chrome.
Yet, despite the abundance of stamina in Monday Morning Qb’s pedigree, his racing preferences seem to slant toward sprinting.
Trained by Robert Reid, on behalf of Cash is King and LC Racing, the Maryland-bred colt debuted in a 6-furlong maiden race Oct. 12 at Parx, where he finished second, behind future Kentucky Derby starter Ny Traffic.
A month later, Monday Morning Qb won a 5 1/2-furlong event easily, which set the stage for a late-season victory in the 7-furlong Heft S. at Laurel Park.
Monday Morning Qb failed to carry his speed over 1 1/8 miles in the Feb. 1 Withers (G3) at Aqueduct, his graded stakes debut, though his performance was better than it appeared. A troubled start left the dark bay colt far off the pace early, and while he rallied to vie for the lead in mid-stretch, he ultimately flattened out to finish fourth, 4 1/4 lengths behind winner Max Player.
Perhaps the troubled start took a toll on Monday Morning Qb, as the colt spent six months on the sideline before he rejoined the work tab in August.
Five fast workouts prepared Monday Morning Qb for a return to action in the 1 1/8-mile Federico Tesio S. on Sept, 7 at Laurel Park, where he ran a game race in defeat. He sprinted straight to the lead, carved out slow fractions of :24.76, :48.82, and 1:13.13, and settled for second place, behind the undefeated Happy Saver. Monday Morning Qb finished nine lengths clear of third-place finisher Big City Bob.
So is Monday Morning Qb a sprinter or a router? Since he endured a troubled start in the Withers, and was returning from a long layoff in the Federico Tesio, the jury is still out.
We may receive a more conclusive answer if Monday Morning Qb competes in the Oct. 3 Preakness (G1) at Pimlico, where the 1 3/16-mile distance would provide a stiff test of his abilities. His connections are also considering the James W. Murphy S., a turf race on the Preakness undercard.
In any case, the fact Monday Morning Qb sold for just $25,000 as a yearling means he’s already been a lucrative investment for his connections.