Essential Quality Nabs Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Spot With Dominant Breeders’ Futurity Score

Essential Quality entered the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland with the wind behind him after an electric debut score last month, and he lived up to the hype on Saturday with another powerful victory.

The Breeders’ Futurity also earned the 2-year-old son of Tapit a “Win and You’re In” berth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, which will be held next month at Keeneland.

Essential Quality got a clean start out of the gate and past the finish line for the first time, and he entered the first turn in second behind pace setter Upstriker. Those two led the proceedings through an opening quarter in :23.97, and they remained a relatively untested lead duo through the backstretch. Jockey Luis Saez pressed the leader aboard Essential Quality as they cleared the half-mile in :48.86, but Upstriker continued to hold off his adversary.

That changed as the backstretch turned into the bend, when Essential Quality drew even with Upstriker, then put a head in front on the outside, with the pacesetter fighting to hold off his rival. Essential Quality finally put away the early leader heading into the stretch, and he kicked clear to win by 3 1/4 lengths.

Keepmeinmind, a 52-1 longshot, staged a rally from the middle of the pack to finish second, ahead of third-place Super Stock. Upstriker carried on for fourth.

Essential Quality won the 1 1/16-mile race in 1:44.37 over a fast main track for owner Godolphin and trainer Brad Cox. He paid $5.80 to win as the favorite.

The colt is undefeated in two starts heading into this year’s Breeders’ Cup, after winning his debut at Churchill Downs by four lengths on Sept. 5. Saturday’s race was his first around two turns.

Essential Quality is a Kentucky homebred for the Godolphin operation, out of the Grade 3-placed Elusive Quality mare Delightful Quality; herself a Godolphin homebred.

To view the race’s chart, click here.

Quotes from the $400,000 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity, courtesy of the Keeneland notes team

Brad Cox (winning trainer of Essential Quality)

“We’ve had some very nice 2-year-old fillies, but this is probably the best (2-year-old colt) I’ve had as far as talent goes. He’s our first Grade 1 winner as a 2-year-old colt. He means a lot to us. He showed us from Day 1 that he’s special, very talented. Luis (Saez) did a good job of getting him to relax. He’s a very green horse. That was my concern today – could he put it all together? And he did. He pulled up a bit on the backside. He’s got some learning to do. If he can figure it out, he’s a serious animal.”

Luis Saez (winning rider)

“I thought he was gonna be right there. Second start. I never rode him before. I was watching the replay when he ran last time, and he looked like ‘Wow, what a horse.’ And today he proved that he’s a very good horse. He did it pretty easy. He was a little green when he came to the track – he was looking around a little bit, but he took off. He was running. What a horse. I’m so glad I’m on this horse.”

David Cohen (rider of runner-up Keepmeinmind)

“We had a little bit of trouble in the first turn with horses on the outside coming in, but I was happy I was able to maintain somewhat of a position. Down the backside, he got into a beautiful spot. He’s still a bit green. I was very happy with his courage and his finish. His gallop-out was tremendous.”

The post Essential Quality Nabs Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Spot With Dominant Breeders’ Futurity Score appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

DYFD Winter - 300x90

Comments are closed.