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Quartern & Beckner do it again

March 8, 2005     E-mail this page to a friend!

Quatern guided to win in Mary Goldblatt by Twyla Beckner at Portland Meadows
(photo by Reed Palmer Photography)
by Patrick Kerrison
After paying forty cents on the dollar in her Mary Goldblatt Stakes victory Saturday afternoon, March 5, it is safe to say that Quartern's win shocked absolutely positively no one. Not a soul. Not a one.

But despite living up to the very high expectations set before her by the handicapping contingent, it cannot go without saying that she looked good.

Really good.

Stalking the leaders while saving ground on the rail, the three year old daughter of Danjur out of No Quarter (Son of Briartic) made her bid just prior to the quarter pole after a contentious pace of 23 1/5 and 47 4/5 was set by stablemate Gordys Sweet Jordy. As they entered the lane, Quartern drew off to a clear lead, unfettered and barely touched by her rider, Twyla Beckner, to be ridden hands and heels to the wire. It marked her third straight stakes victory.

"She really held it together well," Beckner said after the race. "She was well relaxed the whole way around. Before we got to the quarter pole I started to ask a little something more of her. As you watch her race, she was just sneakin' and sneakin' her way up. When the hole opened up on the rail she moved forward and there was just no stopping her."

Quartern has played the part of the consummate professional every time she sets foot on the racetrack. How about before she gets on the track? Hmmmm. Not so much. She's a handful in the paddock. OK, handful is being polite. She's a pain.

"She was giving us all sorts of trouble again!" said trainer Ben Root. "She's really funny that way. She's a royal pain to get her saddled but once we get her set and put Twyla on her, she seems to settle down quite a bit.

"Once she gets on the track, she's all business. The hard part is just getting her ready to get on the track."

Root eventually got her saddled, gave Beckner the leg up and when they hit the track the professional in her surfaced again. However, on this particular Saturday afternoon, she had to work a little harder than she is used to.

"She's beat," Root said. "She worked very hard today and she showed it. We are going to give her a bit of a break. There's a race in early April we're thinking about here and one early in the Emerald meet. We'll probably enter her in both and pick the spot we want her in when the time comes.

"She's been very good to us and the Petersons," Root continued. "She's showing us more and more every time she's out there. Although I have liked her from the start, she's really impressing us all beyond our expectations."

They aren't the only ones.

On November 27th in a maiden claiming event, Quartern won with plenty of daylight between her and her nearest competitor at 6/5 odds. Finishing fourth less than three lengths off the winner in her second start - the Jane Driggers Debutante on Oregon Day, December 11 - she went off at 6-1 and may not have quite earned much respect from the horseplayers. She returned a month later, New Years Day, at nearly 10-1 and rolled to victory in the OTBA Stallion Stakes.

One month later she toyed with five others, winning the Ms. Stakes by nearly eight lengths. This time the gamblers were paying closer attention and weren't going to be fooled again. Even money would have felt like a gift. Not unlike Saturday, when she broke from the gate at 2/5 then, too.

Quartern finished the eight-furlong test in 1:42 2/5, in front by six. Yourgoldgirl flew from out of the clouds at better than 45-1 to get second and Gordys Sweet Jordy raced well and held game to hold on to third. Root's remaining entrants in One Fast Cowgirl and My Emy My Amy finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

On what was another exceptionally beautiful and unseasonably warm afternoon at Portland Meadows, upstairs in the Turf Club, the Oregon Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association were handing out awards for Oregon's Champions of 2004. The Roots scored there too with Might E Man named as Champion Three Year Old Colt or Gelding and Leading Sire accolades for Baquero.

Outside the building, on the racetrack, Quartern most assuredly made her presence felt for consideration in 2005 as top three year old filly.

Also rans were Secret Victory, Mollala Cat, Cya Cahill and True Kitty Cat.