Catching Up with 2020 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Winner Essential Quality

To celebrate the 40th running of the Breeders' Cup, the TDN will share a photo and catch up with a past winner in each of the 40 days leading up to the event. Today, we have Juvenile winner Essential Quality. | Sarah Andrew


As the wide-reaching Godolphin operation has used the names of different arms throughout the years–for example, 2001 Juvenile Fillies winner Tempera (A.P. Indy) was bred by Darley Stud Management, LLC but raced for Godolphin, LLC–it may be a surprise to learn Essential Quality was the first official Godolphin homebred to win the Breeders' Cup. Remarkably, in the two renewals since his win, another seven Godolphin homebreds have added to that number.

Undefeated at two, Essential Quality was a Belmont and Travers winner at three. His first foals were born this year.

Essential Quality was one of our best yearlings in his crop and he later proved to be the best of his whole crop,” said Michael Banahan, Director of Bloodstock at Godolphin, USA, “winning the Eclipse Award for being Champion 2-year-old and 3-year-old. He also holds a special place in the Godolphin honor roll as a homebred Classic winner. What really distinguished Essential Quality from other horses is that when he left our yearling farm to go into training, he never had a day off until after his last race. He never raced on any medication, was fast, tough, sound and durable. Hopefully, he will pass on those traits to his offspring which will propel him into having a great second career as a stallion.”

Essential Quality (2018 gray or roan horse, Tapit–Delightful Quality, by Elusive Quality)

Lifetime record: Ch. 2yo colt, Ch. 3yo colt, MGISW, 10-8-0-1, $4,755,144

Breeders' Cup connections: B-Godolphin (KY); O-Godolphin, LLC; T-Brad Cox; J-Luis Saez.

Current location: Jonabell Farm, Lexington, Ky.

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