Essential Quality proves a different class in G1 Breeders’ Futurity
Hugely exciting juvenile Essential Quality backed up the promise of an imposing debut win with a scintillating performance in the G1 Breeders’ Futurity on dirt at Keeneland, USA, on Saturday, 3 October.
The Brad Cox-trained colt, stretching out to an extended mile following a four-length success over six furlongs at Churchill Downs on Saturday, 5 September, broke on terms and raced prominently on the outside of the field until settling in second after the first quarter-mile.
Essential Quality loomed up to join Upstriker in front at the halfway point before taking up the running turning for home. The Godolphin homebred readily opened up daylight in the straight and was pushed out by Luis Saez to come home three and a quarter lengths clear of Keepmeinmind.
Brad Cox said: “We have been fortunate to have some very nice two-year-old fillies but Essential Quality is probably the best colt that I have had as far as talent goes. He is our first G1 winner as a two-year-old colt, so he means a lot to us.
“He has shown us from day one that he is special. He is very talented and Luis did a good job in getting him to relax. He is a very green horse and that was my concern today - whether he could put it all together and he did.
“He pulled up a bit on the backside and has some learning to do but, if he can figure it out, he is going to be a serious animal.”
Godolphin USA President Jimmy Bell said: “Brad Cox said that Essential Quality might struggle to win over six furlongs on his debut but that he would be pretty tough once he went over two turns. In the back of his mind, moving up to a mile and sixteenth was more of an opportunity today rather than a question mark.
“Essential Quality is still very immature mentally but has obviously shown an above-average amount of talent. It was only his second start and he still has a lot to learn, but he is a very exciting colt.”
Luis Saez added: “I expected Essential Quality to be right there. I hadn’t ridden him before but I watched the replay of his first run and thought ‘wow, what a horse!’. He proved today that he is a very, very good horse and he did it pretty easily.
“He was a little bit green when he came to the stretch and was looking around a bit but then he took off. I switched my stick to my left and hit him two times to make sure that he got into the race and that was it, he was running pretty hard. I am so glad that I was on this horse.”