PEERLESS JUVENILE Essential Quality maintained his faultless record and secured a second successive Grade One victory at Keeneland, with a swooping win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last Friday. The Brad Cox-trained son of Tapit had already established himself as one of the most exciting 2yos in the USA this year following a decisive success over the same 1700m trip in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity at the start of October. Essential Quality was held up in eighth by Luis Saez as Dreamer’s Disease set a strong early pace for the 14 runners. The Godolphin homebred took closer order leaving the back straight and made a significant move to press for third entering the final 400m. After being switched out at the top of the straight, Essential Quality stayed on powerfully to collar Hot Rod Charlie just inside the final 100m before galloping out strongly for a three-quarter length success.
Brad Cox said: “It was a tremendous effort by Essential Quality and Luis to stay after him the whole way. He overcame a lot today. Distance is no issue with him, he will run all day, and he is just a spectacular colt. I am very proud of him and very happy for the Godolphin organisation. “At the 600m pole, I saw that they had gone 45 and change, and I thought that we had a shot. Luis stayed after him pretty good and I was hoping that he wouldn’t flatten out but he just stayed on. He is a tremendous horse who has an amazing amount of stamina. He is some colt.” Essential Quality could now bid to emulate Street Sense and Nyquist, the two previous winners of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile who went on to capture the following season’s Kentucky Derby. Cox continued: “We are going to enjoy this one and the Kentucky Derby will be our goal moving forward.
Hopefully, he comes out of this in good order and that is where we will point for.” Luis Saez added: “I feel so blessed to be here and partnering this horse, it’s very special for me. The first day I rode Essential Quality, I knew that he was going to be a super horse; he won so easily and I couldn’t stop him. “He was very focused today and, when I started to let him roll at the 400m mark, he was really responding so well. When we came to the straight and saw Jackie’s Warrior and Hot Rod Charlie very close, I knew that we had it. He ran by them like it was nothing.”