Tag: Essential Quality

Trainer Rodolphe Brisset puts We the People through his Friday morning paces at Belmont Park. He is the 2/1 morning line favorite to win Saturday's 2022 Belmont Stakes. (Image: Skip . Dickstein)

Breaking Down the 2022 Belmont Stakes: Taking Constitutional Law 101

The first thing you need to remember about the Belmont Stakes is forget the long-believed idea the “Test of the Champion” is easy for closers to pass. It isn’t. It sounds counterintuitive, doesn’t it? Send horses 1 ½ miles – the longest distance any of them will ever run and […]

Joel Rosario and Knicks Go rode off with a combined three Eclipse Awards at Thursday night's Eclipse Awards ceremony at Santa Anita Park. Knicks Go won Horse of the Year and Champion Older Male Eclipses, while Rosario won his first Jockey of the Year Eclipse. (Image: Coglianese Photos/Ryan Thompson)

Knicks Go Rides Off With 2021 Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year

True to his running style, Knicks Go broke out to a big lead and proved uncatchable, capturing the Eclipse Award for 2021 Horse of the Year when the Eclipse Awards were announced Thursday night at Santa Anita Park. The now-6-year-old horse received 228 votes out a possible 235 first-place votes […]

The 51st Eclipse Awards winners will be announced Feb. 10. Sixteen of the 17 finalist categories were announced Saturday. (Image: NTRA)

Few Surprises Revealed as Eclipse Award Finalists Announced

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association, National Turf Writers and Broadcasters, and the Daily Racing Form announced the finalists for the 2021 Eclipse Awards on Saturday. The list of finalists did not include Horse of the Year candidates, for which Knicks Go is a virtual certainty. Instead, finalists in 16 of […]

Knicks Go breezed to victory in the 2020 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. He takes 5/2 morning-line favorite status for Saturday's $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic against a wealth of tougher contenders. (Image: Horsephotos)

Breeders’ Cup Classic: An All-Star Field With Numerous Possibilities

The first thing worth understanding about the Breeders’ Cup Classic is that it’s not kind to favorites. Unless you qualify for legend status, like Ferdinand, Alysheba, A.P. Indy, Cigar, Skip Away, Ghostzapper, Zenyatta and American Pharoah do. Last year’s winner, Authentic, was 5/1. Your favorite, meanwhile, was 3.20/1 Tiz the […]

Hot Rod Charlie earned his first Grade 1 win with this solid September score in the Pennsylvania Derby. He is the 4/1 third-favorite to win Saturday's Breeders' Cup Classic. (Image: Parx Racing)

Hot Rod Charlie’s Breeders’ Cup Journey: From Footnote to Headliner

The last time Hot Rod Charlie arrived at the Breeders’ Cup, he was a 94/1 afterthought in a Juvenile field that included favored Jackie’s Warrior, eventual winner Essential Quality and the highly regarded Keepmeinmind, among other “name” 2-year-olds. Name? Hot Rod Charlie had only that cool moniker going for him. […]

Knicks Go used this Lukas Classic victory as a tune-up for the Breeders' Cup Classic, where his speed figures top his competitors on two scales. (Image: Coady Photography)

Breeders’ Cup Speed Figures: Classic Questions, Possibilities Abound

Hot Rod Charlie, Art Collector, Medina Spirit and Stilleto Boy all come into the Breeders’ Cup Classic off career-best speed figures on all three barometers. Essential Quality and Max Player enter the fray off career-best marks on two tables. So what to make of this year’s 10-horse field in what […]

Essential Quality's August win in the Travers gave him his fourth Grade 1 victory. He and Maxfield will begin their stallion careers together after their final races. (Image: Adam Coglianese-NYRA/AP)

Essential Quality, Maxfield Headed to Stallion Careers After Final Races

Essential Quality and Maxfield, two of the biggest North American routing names of the last two-plus seasons, are both retiring to the breeding shed after their next races. Darley America, Godolphin’s North American affiliate, announced the pair will join the breeding and racing giant’s Jonabell, Kentucky, farm for the 2022 […]

Racing milestones, standout horses, riders and trainers and a record handle. The 2021 Saratoga meet had it all this summer. (Image: Saratoga.com)

Saratoga Closes the Gates On a Record Handle, Memorable Moments

Saratoga cracked $800 million in all-sources wagering handle for the first time in its storied history, ending its most successful summer meet with $815,508,063 in all-sources handle. That represented a 15.6% increase over the track’s previous record of $705,343,949 set in 2019. Saratoga set its new record last Wednesday, with […]

Firenze Fire bit off more than he could chew, savaging Forego Stakes rival Yaupon in deep stretch. Yaupon survived the sudden savaging, winning as the 2/1 favorite. (Image: Skip Dickstein)

Essential Quality Leads Chalk Parade to Travers Day Winner’s Circle

On a chalky betting day where favorites beat a path to the Saratoga winner’s circle, the New York Racing Association announced an all-sources Travers Day handle of $51,381,515. That came from a paid crowd of 44,507, which generated an on-track handle of $9,406,526. This provided an obvious boost from last […]

Can anyone stop the runaway train that is Essential Quality? Six others try derailing the 4/5 favorite in Saturday's Grade 1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga. (Image: Joe Labozzetta/Coglianese Photos/NYRA)

The Travers: Can Anyone Catch History-Making Essential Quality?

Brad Cox and Essential Quality are simultaneously chasing Travers Stakes history and running from it at the same time. This counterintuitive feat illustrates Cox’s training prowess, Essential Quality’s running prowess, and the Travers’ recent prowess as a destroyer of favorites. Cox, who trains the prohibitive 4/5 favorite for Saturday’s headline […]

Essential Quality nipped Keepmeinmind to win last month's Grade 2 Jim Dandy at Saratoga. The two tangle again in Saturday's Travers Stakes, one of six Grade 1s on Saratoga's Saturday card. (Image: Susie Raisher/NYRA Photo)

Saturday at Saratoga: One of Racing’s Biggest Days of 2021

The names of those racing on Saturday’s Travers Day at Saratoga sound like a Thoroughbred all-star team: Essential Quality, Gamine, Letruska, Tribhuvan, Jackie’s Warrior, Life Is Good, Whitmore, Swiss Skydiver. All of them – and others you may have heard of – are set to run in one of Saratoga’s […]

Reigning Champion Turf Male Channel Maker will try giving trainer Bill Mott his record-setting fifth Bowling Green title in this week's finale of the Cross Country Pick 5. (Image: Janet Garaguso/NYRA Photo)

Cross Country Pick 5 Takes to the Stakes This Week

Four stakes races up and down the graded-stakes ladder highlight this week’s New York Racing Association Cross Country Pick 5. The horizontal exotic once again brings you races from Monmouth Park, Saratoga, and Canada’s Woodbine. The minimum bet for the three-track, five-race wager is 50 cents. The Cross Country Pick […]

Essential Quality hasn't raced since beating Hot Rod Charlie in the June 5 Belmont Stakes. He is the prohibitive favorite to win his fourth graded stakes race of 2021: the Grade 2 Jim Dandy at Saratoga. (Image: Adam Coglianese/NYRA)

Essential Quality Looks Like a Real Jim Dandy Favorite Here

Proving not all graded stakes winners are viewed equally, Saturday’s Grade 2 Jim Dandy at Saratoga features five graded stakes winners in the six-horse field. None of them are viewed through the prism of expectations as Essential Quality. The Belmont Stakes champion comes in as the 1/2 favorite in the […]

Masqueparade (10) held off King Fury to win the Grade 3 Ohio Derby in June. Can the talented, but untested colt, make the next leap in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes? (Image: JJ Zamaiko Photography)

Talented, Barely Tested Masqueparade Ready for His Jim Dandy Close-Up

Masqueparade is a graded-stakes winner who impressively captured his last three races, turned away two Kentucky Derby horses, and who has more than a hint of the flavor du jour about him. And yet, trainer Al Stall Jr. has no illusions about what awaits his Ohio Derby winner in Saturday’s […]

Essential Quality (left) and Hot Rod Charlie separated themselves from their 3-year-old rivals at Saturday's Belmont Stakes. Both came out of the 1 1/2-mile race set for future summer contests. (Image: Al Bello/Getty)

Essential Quality, Hot Rod Charlie Ready For More After Belmont Stakes

Even after Hot Rod Charlie reeled off record early fractions, and even after Essential Quality caught and passed him in the stretch, both leading protagonists from Saturday’s Belmont Stakes came out of their 1 ½-mile “Test of the Champion” in fine form. “He looks amazing. It doesn’t look like he […]

Jockey Adam Kirby aboard 16/1 Adayar scored a resounding upset in Saturday's Epsom Derby. A game of musical jockeys put the 32-year-old Kirby on Adayar earlier in the week. (Image: PA Wire)

When the Music Stopped, Kirby and 16/1 Adayar Win Epsom Derby

Adam Kirby wasn’t supposed to be on Epsom Derby surprise winner Adayar. And Adayar wasn’t supposed to sniff the Epsom Derby winner’s circle. Not at 16/1, and not as Godolphin’s third-string colt. But in a replay of the Kentucky Derby here in the US, colts don’t realize they’re not supposed […]

Jockey Luis Saez won Saturday's Belmont Stakes for his first Triple Crown victory. He piloted 6/5 favorite Essential Quality to his third stakes win in 2021. (Image: Wendell Cruz/USA Today Sports)

Essential Quality Seizes His Moment, Wins 2021 Belmont Stakes

As the 153rd Belmont Stakes hit its stretch crescendo, Essential Quality would not be denied. At the end of this Triple Crown season, Essential Quality would not be denied his Triple Crown race victory. He would not be denied his place in history and trainer Brad Cox would not be […]