Belmont Stakes 2021 Horse Profile: Essential Quality

Brad Cox has the M/L favorite for the Belmont in Essential Quality
Brad Cox has the M/L favorite for the Belmont in Essential Quality

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The main event on Saturday is clearly the $1,500,000 grade I Belmont Stakes. As we've done for both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness - our in-house handicapper (Sean) and turf-man (J.N.) have put together their thoughts on all the runners for the race.

This piece features their thoughts on Morning Line favorite Essential Quality. He was a short-price to take out the Kentucky Derby but failed to get the job done. Does he go better in the Belmont?

You can bet on the Belmont with any of our betting partners via our Race Card at the bottom of the page.

Sean's Take...

Essential Quality:  Despite registering his first career loss in the Kentucky Derby, I thought he actually ran really well and even turned in a career-best effort. He wasn’t away alertly in the Derby, but he was able to attain a good position heading into the clubhouse turn and stayed on gamely in the stretch even after launching a wide rally around the far turn. I had some questions about his stamina heading into that race, however upon watching it back I’m confident he’s going to be able to handle this distance. This former champ is quite simply a major player in this race.

J.N's Take...

The choice by Brad Cox and Godolphin to send Essential Quality back into training was probably made after Medina Spirit tested positive in the wake of the Derby, and then as the colt failed to win in the Preakness. Now, we have an open Belmont field, with no Triple Crown on the line. “EQ” appears fit and ready for action.

That is how “The Boys in Blue” work, they regularly pit one against another, so it is common. It is all about the trip for Cox’s ace, and I would expect him to be more than competitive. The track sets up well for closers, and there is that history. I think the only concerns, and they are mild ones, are the distance and whether or not this Tapit offspring wants to go 1½. Will see … Could it be that EQ will end up the favorite over Rombauer? Cox is still looking for that first Triple Crown victory, after his colt was caught wide for most of the Derby. Very possible, in my estimation … Once again, my top pick ...

Here at HorseRacing.net we'll have comprehensive coverage of the action at Belmont Park throughout the week and on Belmont Stakes day itself. Our in-house handicapper will be handicapping the cards in-depth on Thursday, Friday and Saturday with our turf-man also providing his thoughts on all the Graded Stakes races throughout. So keep checking back with us all week for coverage of the Belmont Stakes and all the undercard races.

You can bet on the Belmont with any of our partners via the Race Card below.

Belmont Stakes 2021

Belmont Stakes 2021 Race Card

2
PP 2

Essential Quality

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: L. Saez /
  • Trainer: B. Cox /
Morning Line Odds

Morning Line favorite. Unbeaten before surprise defeat in Kentucky Derby. Got a bad trip that day. Very likeable horse.

3
PP 3

Rombauer

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: J. Velazquez /
  • Trainer: M. McCarthy /
Morning Line Odds

Shock Preakness winner. 3-1 is a short price for me. If he wins then has to be considered the top three-year-old so far this year.

4
PP 4

Hot Rod Charlie

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: F. Prat /
  • Trainer: D. O'Neill /
Morning Line Odds

Should provide the early pace. Importantly drawn inside other speed horse Rock Your World.

7
PP 7

Rock Your World

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: J. Rosario /
  • Trainer: J. Sadler /
Morning Line Odds

Winner at Grade I level on turf and dirt. Has the stamina. Got a terrible break in the Derby. Needs to get out front early. Contender

6
PP 6

Known Agenda

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: I. Ortiz Jr. /
  • Trainer: T. Pletcher /
Morning Line Odds

One of three Todd Pletcher horses entered. Probably his best shot. Won the Florida Derby but still not expected to challenge. Potential to hit the board.

1
PP 1

Bourbonic

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: K. Carmouche /
  • Trainer: T. Pletcher /

Won the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct but 13th in the Derby. Tough to use even in deep exotics.

8
PP 8

Overtook

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: M. Franco /
  • Trainer: T. Pletcher /

Only horse entered yet to have a Graded Stakes win to his name. Longshot.

5
PP 5

France Go de Ina

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: R. Santana Jr. /
  • Trainer: H. Mori /

Japanese invader did not do well in the Preakness. Struggled in the UAE Derby. Huge longshot.

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