NEWS ... Essential Quality Cements His Place Among the Stars, Wins the Travers

News ... Brad Cox's Essential Quality wins the Grade 1 Travers as only he can ... off the pace. See our take on the win below.
News ... Brad Cox's Essential Quality wins the Grade 1 Travers as only he can ... off the pace. See our take on the win below.

In the Grade 1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course in New York, it was Brad Cox's able-bodied colt, Essential Quality #2, who lived up to his odds of 1/2, winning what has become known as the "Midsummer Derby."

If there was any doubt whether he could comeback and best his performance in the prep for this race, the Grade 2 Jim Dandy last month on the MT, that was put to rest late in the afternoon on Saturday.

Luis Saez was once again at the controls, and he turned in yet another superb run going 1 1/4 against a field of "also-rans." With workouts that spoke to his special combination of speed and power, the Tapit colt broke well from the gate, and settled nicely near the rail, content to track the leader, Steve Asmussen's Midnight Bourbon #1.

With Ricardo Santana at the controls, that speedster shot to the lead, setting what amounted to a more than honest pace at the half mile maker at 48:96. While Santana trucked along on the engine, it was Saez who found a suitable cruising speed, just 3-4 lengths from his target.

Gradually, he inched closer and closer, all the while with Santana and Midnight Bourbon #1 in his crosshairs. When the lane arrived it was Essentially Quality who was full of run, settling just outside of his rival. Slowly rolling up next to the Winchell runner, the Godolphin "Blue" took the lead, and edge forward, scoring the Travers by little more than a neck.

Cox's colt was triumphant, dispelling any worry that his accomplished gray would join the fabled "Graveyard of Champions." With career winnings in excess of $4.2 million, he has quite a record that is not over yet. Paying $2.90 to win for $2.00 wager, "EQ," as he is affectionately known by his fans, now heads into the fall with a full head of steam ... poised to point towards the Breeders' Cup Classic, where his older stablemate, Knicks Go and others, await.

Travers Stakes Results & Payouts 2021
  • Position ...
  • Horse ...
  • Win ...
  • Place ...
  • Show ...

Position ...

  • Win:
  • Place:
  • Show:

Horse ...

  • Essential Quality #2
  • Midnight Bourbon #1
  • Miles D #5

Win ...

  • $2.90

Place ...

  • $2.30
  • $4.00

Show ...

  • $2.10
  • $3.30
  • $4.90

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