Essential Quality runs southwest slop, remains undefeated

Two weeks of postponements and one off track weren’t enough to knock the Essential Quality champion out of his game.

On its first start from the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last November, Essential Quality took a 4 1/4 length win Saturday at Oaklawn Park in the Grade 3, $ 750,000 Southwest Stakes. House son Godolphin picked up another 10 points on the way to the 2021 Kentucky Derby, giving him 40 in total.

#EssentialQuality, a son of @Gainesway‘S #Touch it, keep rolling in @godolphin blue with the easiest of Southwest Stakes wins with Luis Saez leading @bradcoxracing.

– TwinSpires Racing ?? (@TwinSpires) February 27, 2021

The Southwest marked the 2021 debut for Essential Quality, which won the 2020 Eclipse Award for Champion 2-Year-Old Colt. Tapit colt won their debut at Churchill Downs with the Kentucky Derby undercard, then achieved consecutive grade 1 successes at Keeneland in the Breeders ‘Futurity and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

“You never know when they go from 2 to 3,” Essential Quality coach Brad Cox said at “America’s Day at the Races” after the win. “Just because they’re training well doesn’t mean they’re going to move …

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