Essential Quality wins the 153rd Belmont Stakes
Essential Quality has just won the 1153rd Belmont Stakes, the final leg of a dramatic 2021 Triple Crown.
This is trainer Brad Cox’s Belmont Debut. Jockey Luis Saez earned his first Triple Crown win after he finished first in the 2019 Kentucky Derby aboard Maximum Security before being disqualified for interference, NBC Sports reports.
Barclay Tagg’s Tiz the Law kicked off a scrambled 2020 Triple Crown by becoming the first New York-bred horse to win the Belmont Stakes since Forester in 1882, NBC Sports reports. Tiz the Law went on to win the Travers Stakes at Saratoga in convincing fashion. He headed south to Churchill Downs as the favorite in the 146th Kentucky Derby but fell short behind eventual Horse of the Year Authentic.
What started as a much-anticipated return to normal Triple Crown turned into controversy when, 147th Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit failed a post-race drug test. The Florida-born colt tested positive for 21 picograms of the steroid betamethasone, which was later revealed to be from a topical ointment called Otomax used to treat dermatitis on his hind end.
Churchill Downs immediately suspended Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert from running any horses at the track, and the Stronach Group and the Maryland Jockey Club set terms, including vigorous drug testing, for Baffert in order to run Medina Spirit in the Preakness the following Saturday.