Circular Quay is another horse trained by Todd Pletcher, one of the best trainers in the business. The horse is owned by Michael and Doreen Tabor. Tabor was the principal owner of the Arthur Prince chain of betting shops in the UK until selling the business in 1996 for $50 million.
Circular Quay's sire is the 1995 Derby and Belmont winner Thunder Gulch and his Dam is Circle of Life. Both parents can trace their heritage back to 1964's Derby and Preakness winner Northern Dancer.
Circular Quay was the 5-2 favorite in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and, despite the deep field including Scat Daddy and King of the Roxy, lost to the 15-1 underdog Street Sense. At the Risen Star Stakes (GIII) on February 10, 2007, on the home turn, the horse in front of him, Slew's Tizzy, clipped heels with another horse and Slew's Tizzy lost his jockey. This forced Circular Quay to jump out of the way and took him down to a fifth place finish.
In the Louisiana Derby on March 10, 2007, Circular Quay finally ran his race. Under the control of Jockey John R. Velazquez, he was able to avoid traffic issues and circled the field five wide coming off the turn to rally and win the GII Derby at the Fair Grounds. This snapped his three-race losing streak after winning his first three starts.
What makes Circular Quay a contender? First off, for such a small colt, he has a big heart, just like Thunder Gulch. He is trained by one of the best in the business. And he has the genes. He is a deep closer, but I will need to see what he does in his next race: the Wood Memorial on April 7th before crowning him to the derby.
By the way, Circular Quay's namesake is a locality in Sydney, Australia. It was the site of the first European settlement in Australia and is now a major transport hub for the city's central business district, within several hundred metres of the Sydney Opera House.