TAPIT saw his eighth champion crowned on Thursday night when Godolphin’s Essential Quality took home the 2020 Eclipse Award for Champion 2-Year-Old Male.
Trained by newly crowned Champion Trainer Brad Cox, the Tapit son was undefeated in his three starts last year, including the Grade 1 double of the TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (G1) and the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1).
Also bred by Godolphin, Essential Quality is the second foal out of the Grade 3-placed Delightful Quality. That mare is a half-sister to Champion 2-Year-Old Filly Folklore, who is also the granddam of last year’s Japanese Triple Crown winner Contrail. Delightful Quality’s dam is also the dam of stakes winner and Grade 3-placed Divided Attention and the granddam of stakes winner Tiz Plan.
“That’s the cherry on top,” Darley’s Jimmy Bell told Blood-Horse Essential Quality being a homebred. “Everybody is always excited and grateful to have a winner at that level, no matter if purchased or not, but the fact that he is a homebred certainly doubles the meaning and certainly for Sheikh Mohammed.”
One of the most influential and breed-shaping sires in the past half-century, TAPIT also saw his late son Tapizar’s Monomoy Girl crowned as Champion Older Dirt Female – her second career Eclipse Award.