Winless in his last six starts after beginning his career with three straight victories by a combined 28 ¾ lengths, Rosa Stephany Taveras’ Sr. Quisqueyano recaptured the brilliance that made him one of the most promising 2-year-olds based at Calder Casino & Race Course last year when a 7 ½-length front-running winner of the $250,000 Calder Derby.
“I’ve been getting on him in the morning and he was training so well,” winning rider Carlos Olivero said. “So going into the race, I felt good about his chances; I thought I was on the best horse.”
Breaking alertly from post one, Sr. Quisqueyano was never content to settle behind rivals, charging aggressively up the rail to claim the early lead, setting pressured splits of :23.76, :48.43, and 1:13.16 with even-money favorite Speak Logistics always prompting things from his outer flank.
“My plan going into the race was to stay close to the pace from either second or third,” Olivero said. “But early on, it felt like he wanted to run off with me. I didn’t want to take hold of him, so I just let him go out there and do his thing.”
Sr. Quisqueyano retained a slim advantage over Speak Logistics through the final turn, and whereas Olivero remained statuesque aboard the son of Exclusive Quality, jockey Joe Bravo, the rider of Speak Logistics, was calling on his colt desperately for run.
“I could tell that Joe was riding his horse pretty good behind me,” Olivero said. “And at that time, I really hadn’t asked my horse for anything yet.”
Once asked, Sr. Quisqueyano responded with unmatched acceleration, darting clear of his beaten foes to open up a four-length lead in mid-stretch before expanding that margin through the wire, stopping the timer in 1:52.71 for the 1 1/8-mile trip.
“When we straightened out, and I let my horse out a little, he just ran away from everyone,” Olivero added.
“My horse felt fine,” Bravo said after the race. “(Trainer) Luis (Olivares) just had his horse ready to run a great race today.”
Sr. Quisqueyano returned $10.80, $4.40, and $3.40 for the win, while Speak Logistics paid $2.60 and $2.10 as the runner-up. It was another four lengths back to Reporting Star, who brought back $5.60 when third.
Completing the order of finish was Joshua’s Comprise, Sky Captain, Michael With Us, Elmutahid, and Offlee Fast.
With his victory in the Calder Derby, Sr. Quisqueyano is now a four-time winner in 10 career starts with $319,950 in earnings. In addition to his Saturday stakes triumph, the colt captured last year’s $75,000 Seacliff Stakes at Calder, winning that race by 13 ¾ lengths, and is now four-for-seven at Calder.