TDN Top Triple Crown Contenders

Essential Quality

1) ESSENTIAL QUALITY (c, TapitDelightful Quality, by Elusive Quality)
O/B-Godolphin (Ky); T-Brad Cox. Lifetime Record: GISW, 3-3-0-0, $1,335,144.
Last Start: 1st GI TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Kee, Nov. 6
Accomplishments Include: 1st GI Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity   ‘TDN Rising Star’
Next Start: Uncommitted.
Equineline PPs. Ky Derby Points: 30.

‘TDN Rising Star’ and presumptive divisional champ Essential Quality is the Top 12 kingpin on the cusp of his sophomore season. That also means this assertive gray will have a figurative target on his back as he attempts to buck the daunting, decades-long stat (2-for-36) that argues against the likelihood of the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner going on to win the Derby. This high-energy Tapit homebred for Godolphin earned top billing by orchestrating an authoritative, undefeated three-act performance over the span of just two months in 2020, and the scary-good thing is that Essential Quality hardly seemed to be running all out or scraping stamina bottom in any of those races. He broke his maiden sprinting over the Churchill surface, then won back-to-back Grade I routes over Keeneland’s short-stretch 1 1/16 miles configuration. His GI Breeders’ Futurity S. win was notable for the confident, pace-pressing ability this colt displayed before drawing off at will, and his late-closing Juvenile score earned the top two-turn Beyer Speed Figure (95) by any 2-year-old this year in a two-turn race. Essential Quality is wintering in New Orleans, with two December breezes so far at Fair Grounds and no prep races publicly disclosed.