On Saturday, the favorite in a 2021 Triple Crown race finally came through. Essential Quality, the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Champion easily won the Belmont Stakes. The Brad Cox trainee is the first favorite to win a TC event this year. Check out how Essential Quality won the Belmont along with what happened to a few other runners in the 2021 Test of Champions so you can continue betting against MyBookie’s Horse Racing odds.
Complete Review of the 2021 Belmont Stakes Winner
2021 Belmont Stakes
- When: Saturday, June 5
How did Essential Quality win the Belmont Stakes?
There are two reasons for Essential Quality’s Belmont Stakes victory. The first is the Godolphin owned runner matured from the first Saturday in May to the first Saturday in June.
In earlier blogs, we discussed how Tapit sired three-year-olds often show their best in the late spring and early summer. North America’s top sire has now bred three Belmont Stakes winners.
Essential Quality didn’t have the same lung capacity in the Derby that he showed in the Belmont. If he had, he would have run right by Medina Spirit.
So, the first thing that led to Essential Quality’s win is growth. He got bigger, stronger, the lungs were able to expand more, and he could last the 1 ½ miles.
The second reason Essential Quality won is due to pace. Hot Rod Charlie, Rock Your World, and France Go de Ina blasted the first-quarter in less than 23 seconds.
Less than 23 seconds is fast in a 1 1/8 mile race much less a 1 ½ mile race. The pace set things up perfectly for Essential Quality to put in one of his patented come from behind runs.
What happened to Rock Your World?
The pace cooked the Santa Anita Derby winner. Simply put, Rock Your World ran too fast early on to have anything left for the stretch.
Few horses can run a blistering first-half like what Rock and Hot Rod Charlie did in the Belmont on Saturday and hang around to get its picture taken. Once the first-quarter came up in less than 23 seconds, anyone watching knew one of the closers, including Essential Quality, was going to win the race.
What’s next for second place finisher Hot Rod Charlie and third place finisher Rombauer?
Hot Rod Charlie ran one of the most amazing Belmont Stakes in history. Yes, Essential Quality beat the Doug O’Neill trainee, but Hot Rod was the leader through blistering fractions.
Charlie pulled away from the rest of the field and fought valiantly in the stretch. O’Neil can put Hot Rod Charlie in any race he wants.
The biggest event at the Del Mar meet this summer is the Grade 1 Pacific Classic. O’Neil may send Hot Rod to that race. Mike McCarthy, Rombauer’s trainer, is also based in Southern California. Rombauer could also run in the P. Classic.
There are also a few three-year-old races coming up including the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational and the Grade 1 Travers. O’Neil or McCarthy could decide to send their top three-olds to either of those big events.
What race is Brad Cox pointing winner Essential Quality to?
After Churchill disqualifies Medina Spirit, Cox trained Mandaloun will become the official Kentucky Derby winner. The trainer has said Mandaloun will run in the $1 million Haskell Invitational.
If Mandaloun does show up at Monmouth for the Haskell, there’s a good chance Cox runs Essential Quality in the Travers.
Either way, Cox figures to separate his two stars from each other until the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Juddmonte Farms owns Mandaloun while Godolphin owns Essential Quality. Neither wants to face the other’s three-year-old star until necessary.