Essential Quality Readies for Belmont

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Essential Quality | EquiSport

Godolphin's Essential Quality (Tapit) breezed a sharp five furlongs in :59.80 at Churchill Downs Saturday morning. The move was the fifth fastest of 40 horses at the distance. The grey worked in company with 5-year-old graded stakes winner Night Ops (Warrior's Reward) through early fractions of :24.20 and :47.60, according to Churchill Downs clocker John Nichols.

Named the juvenile champion colt following a victory in last fall's GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Keeneland, trained by Brad Cox-trained colt won the GIII Southwest S. and GII Toyota Blue Grass S. before finishing fourth as the 5-2 favorite in the May 1 Kentucky Derby.

A total of 169 horses registered works at Churchill Downs Saturday morning, including GII Risen Star S. winner Mandaloun (Into Mischief), who cruised an easy half-mile in :48.20. Runner-up in the Kentucky Derby, the Juddmonte homebred next start is still to be determined, according to Cox.

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