Darley’s top senior sire Elusive Quality, 20, is coming off a year in which his European-based two-year-old daughter Certify went four-for-four with the G1 Shadwell Fillies’ Mile and a championship to her credit for home team Godolphin. Additionally, his four-year-old filly Elusive Kate—the champion two-year-old filly of 2011—won the G1 Prix Rothschild last year for owner Terry Yoshida. By sire of sires Gone West, Elusive Quality has sired nearly 70 black type winners and nine G1 winners after beginning his career modestly. His sons and daughters have excelled on dirt, grass, and all-weather surfaces, and they include such high-class runners as Derby and Preakness winner Smarty Jones, Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Raven’s Pass, and multiple US G1 winner Quality Road, among others. His fee this year is $50,000 live foal.
I had the pleasure of visiting Elusive Quality recently in Kentucky. A one-time shuttler to Australia and later to Brazil, he’s now confined to stud duty in Lexington because of age—though he looks much younger than he is. He was brought out right after a quick “shower” but handled himself with aplomb like the veteran he is.