By Alan Carasso
Essential Quality (Tapit) overcame some mid-stretch traffic trouble and shot away from his rivals to easily capture Saturday’s fourth race at Churchill Downs and earn ‘TDN Rising Star’ status in the process.
Bet into 19-10 favoritism in what appeared to be a strong race on paper, the Godolphin homebred broke without incident and settled in about sixth position down the backstretch racing in about the four path. Sent along to split horses at the 2 1/2-furlong pole, he was full of run, but was forced to steady sharply while short of room three-sixteenths of a mile out. Shaun Bridgmohan was able to get him out of jail and off the canvas at the furlong grounds, and Essential Quality did the rest, accelerating to score by four lengths in the finish.
Essential Quality’s MSW and GSP dam is a daughter of Contrive (Storm Cat), whose daughter Folklore (Tiznow) won the 2005 GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Belmont Park. Contrive was purchased by Godolphin for $3 million in foal to Pleasantly Perfect at the 2005 Fasig-Tipton November Sale. The 11-year-old Delightful Quality is the dam of a yearling colt by Uncle Mo, was barren to the same stallion for 2020 and was bred to Uncle Mo’s Darley-based Nyquist this past season.
Essential Quality is bred on the cross over Gone West that is responsible for Tapit’s Grade I winner Zazu and additional graded winners Flashback, Bandbox, Ticonderoga and Golden Hawk.
4th-Churchill Downs, $98,670, Msw, 9-5, 2yo, 6f, 1:09.98, ft.
ESSENTIAL QUALITY, c, 2, by Tapit
1st Dam: Delightful Quality (GSP, $253,900), by Elusive Quality
2nd Dam: Contrive, by Storm Cat
3rd Dam: Jeano, by Fappiano
Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $55,144. O/B-Godolphin LLC (KY); T-Brad H Cox. Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton. Click for the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.