TAPIT’s Champion 2-Year-Old Essential Quality came back in a big way on Saturday with a win in the Southwest Stakes (G3) to kick off a top half-hour of stakes racing for his sire’s birthday. Only minutes after Essential Quality stayed undefeated in the Southwest, TAPIT’s Greatest Honour won his second straight Kentucky Derby prep in the Fountain Of Youth (G2).
Making his first start since his Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) victory, Essential Quality went off as the favorite in the 1 1/16 mile race and proved that a sealed Oaklawn track was no problem for him. Breaking from the inside post, Essential Quality broke strongly and worked his way to a few paths off the rail where the footing was firmer.
With Luis Saez aboard, the colt raced in fourth a few lengths off the leading Jackie’s Warrior. Saez made a move on his mount around the turn and Essential Quality passed the quarter pole in a three-way duel for the lead. The dual Grade 1 winner looked like he’d just been playing with the others as he easily galloped away down the stretch with just a few taps to win by 4 ¼ lengths over the second placed Spielberg with the rest of the field over eight lengths behind the winner.
The victory took the Godolphin homebred to a perfect four-from-four with nearly $1.8 million in earnings. Trained by Brad Cox, he is one of three stakes horses from eight runners by TAPIT’s out of Elusive Quality mares.
Essential Quality’s dam is the Grade 3-placed Delightful Quality, who is only one of a string of strong producers under her dam. Delightful Quality’s half-sister is the Champion 2-Year-Old Folklore. That dual Grade 1 winner is the granddam of Japan’s 2020 Triple Crown winner Contrail, who is also a two time champion in his country.
Another half-sister to Delightful Quality is the dam of stakes winner Tiz Plan and stakes placed Street Moxie. The family continues its blacktype through the generations with the horses under Essential Quality’s third dam including Grade 1 winner Come Dancing and Grade 3 winners Biddy Duke and Lord Alex.