TAPIT’s Essential Quality added a fourth Grade 1 victory to his resume Saturday night with a win in the Travers Stakes (G1) at Saratoga.
Luis Saez put Essential Quality firmly in the second place position in the 1 ¼ mile race and spent the first half of the race tracking Midnight Bourbon. Saez asked his mount to close the margin Midnight Bourbon had created as they raced around the final turn and it was clear Essential Quality was ready to run.
In what has become his trademark move, Essential Quality thrived on the duel Midnight Bourbon gave him and stuck beside the rival until it was time to get serious. In the final sixteenth, Essential Quality started to pull away to have his neck in front of the runner-up with the third placed runner five lengths behind them.
“He’s a true champion … I’m very happy for Sheikh Mohammed, Jimmy Bell, Dan Pride and the whole Godolphin team. They put so much effort into their organization. This horse has rewarded them in a big way. It’s a world-class operation and this is a world-class horse,” said trainer Brad Cox.
A Godolphin homebred, it was the eighth win in nine career starts for last year’s Champion 2-Year-Old Essential Quality. The colt’s earnings now sit at $4,215,144 with $2.88 million of that made this year.
Essential Quality is out of the multiple stakes placed mare Delightful Quality, who returned to TAPIT this year.
Delightful Quality is a half-sister to another juvenile champion in 2005 Champion 2-Year-Old Filly Folklore, who is the granddam of last year’s Japanese Triple Crown winner Contrail. Another of Delightful Quality’s half-sisters is stakes winner Divided Attention with a third sister producing stakes winner Tiz Plan.
The extended family also includes Grade 1 winner Come Dancing and Grade 2 winner Tizahit.
It has been a huge month for TAPIT, who also became the all-time leading North American sire by progeny earnings earlier this month.