TAPIT’s champion Essential Quality continued his winning ways on Saturday with a Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) victory.
Making his first start since winning last month’s Belmont Stakes (G1), Essential Quality looked like he hadn’t missed a day as he tackled the 1 1/8 miles.
The colt happily raced in a shared last place position a few lengths off the leader where he sat comfortably under Luis Saez. Saez asked for him to start moving as they entered the final turn and he confronted the leaders before they reached the stretch.
A horse always happy to duel it out, Essential Quality got exactly what he wanted when only Grade 2 winner Keepmeinmind stuck with him. The pair started to pull away in the final furlong and Essential Quality made sure to get his head in front by the final sixteenth.
From there, the Brad Cox trainee built his margin with every stride for a half-length victory.
“The really good horses just show up and find a way to get things done and he has seemed to do that every start,” said Godolphin USA’s president, Jimmy Bell. “Consistency has been his hallmark and it was a battle down the stretch. It was probably good for him, which is easier to say after the race than when they’re at the sixteenth pole. He shows that determination, that class and that grit.”
It was the seventh win in eight starts for Godolphin homebred Essential Quality, whose only loss was a fourth place finish in the Kentucky Derby (G1). Earning Eclipse Champion 2-Year-Old Colt honors last year, the TAPIT son has competed at graded stakes level in all but one start.
The colt is now eying the Travers Stakes (G1) on August 28.
“As long as he comes out of it well, we’ll probably work him 7-14 days out weather permitting on the main track,” said Cox. “Similar works to what he had leading up to this. He’s going to get more out of this that he is working in the morning. I’m glad we were able to get this in him as a tightener for the Travers.”
Essential Quality is out of the multiple stakes0placed Delightful Quality, who is a half-sister to champion juvenile filly Folklore and stakes winner Divided Attention. Folklore is also the granddam of Japanese Triple Crown winner Contrail. The family also includes Grade 1 winner Come Dancing.
Delightful Quality returned to TAPIT this year.
Essential Quality is one of 26 stakes performers for TAPIT this year, the third best of any North American sire in 2021 with the group including nine stakes winners, six graded stakes winners, and 13 graded stakes performers.