TrainerBrad H. Cox
Jockey (from last start)
Essential Quality continues to flaunt the brilliance that has made him a superstar.
Last year’s Eclipse Award champion 2-year-old male and TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (G1) winner comes to the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) with a sterling resume from his 3-year-old season. He has gained even more respect this year for his fortitude that is the hallmark of superior Thoroughbreds with victories in the Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets (G1), the Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) at Saratoga, and half-length victory in the Runhappy Travers Stakes (G1) on Aug. 28.
Prior to that, the gray colt displays remarkable consistency and grittiness even in defeat. Compromised by his post position (14 in a field of 19) as the favorite in the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (G1), Essential Quality was forced to race wide and finished fourth. He was beaten just a length for the victory and arguably ran better than those who finished ahead of him. He reconfirmed his superiority five weeks later by cruising clear from Hot Rod Charlie in late stretch to win the Belmont Stakes.
Trainer Brad Cox recognized Essential Quality’s exceptional talent in one of his first timed workouts.
“He just never stopped,” Cox told Thoroughbred Daily News. “He just kept going and going and you're like, 'Whoa, we did too much with him.' Then he walks off the track like he did nothing. He gave us a lot of confidence when we led him over there (to the race) the first time and he's continued to do so every time we've run him.”
Essential Quality races for his breeder Godolphin, the global Thoroughbred operation headed by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the prime minister and vice president of the United Arab Emirates. He also is ruler of the emirate Dubai. Essential Quality is a son of world-renowned stallion Tapit and the broodmare Delightful Quality who also raced for Sheikh Mohammed.
Cox grew up near Churchill Downs and began following racing as a youngster. He won the Eclipse Award as outstanding trainer in 2020 when his achievements included winning a record-tying four Breeders’ Cup races.
|August 28, 2021||Runhappy Travers S.||SARATOGA||1||1|
|July 31, 2021||Jim Dandy S.||SARATOGA||2||1|
|June 05, 2021||Belmont S. Presented by NYRA Bets||BELMONT PARK||1||1|
|May 01, 2021||Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve||CHURCHILL DOWNS||1||4|
|April 03, 2021||Toyota Blue Grass S.||KEENELAND||2||1|
|February 27, 2021||Southwest S.||OAKLAWN PARK||3||1|
- October 21, 2021
This is the last of eight weekly news releases focusing on the horses and races leading to the 38th Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Friday, Nov. 5 and Saturday, Nov. 6 at Del Mar.
- October 12, 2021
Benefiting from Grade 1 victories in the Belmont Stakes and the Runhappy Travers Stakes, Godolphin’s 3-year-old Essential Quality has finished No. 1 in the final voting of the 2021 Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings, a weekly poll of the top 10 horses in contention for the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).