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Horse Racing Betting: 2021 Triple Crown Predictions

For over twenty years the most powerful horse racing outfit in the world, Godolphin Racing based out of Dubai, has tried to win the Kentucky Derby. In 2021, Godolphin campaigns the best Derby contender they’ve ever had in Essential Quality. Does the Derby contender have what it takes to win the Triple Crown? Let’s find out so you can continue planning your bets and place them against their Triple Crown odds.

Triple Crown Betting Predictions: Essential Quality’s Triple Crown Prospects

Triple Crown of Horse Racing

  • When: May 1 – June 5
  • Where: Churchill Downs, Pimlico Racetrack, Belmont Park

What is the Triple Crown of Horse Racing?

Three races restricted to three-year-old colts or fillies comprise the Triple Crown of horse racing. All three races are on dirt but they’re at different racetracks and at different lengths. 

The first event is the most famous horse race in the U.S., the Kentucky Derby. The second is the Preakness Stakes. The third is the Belmont.

The Derby takes place at Churchill Downs. Horses run 1 ¼ miles. The Preakness happens at Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore, Maryland. Horses run 1 3/16 miles. The final leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes, happens at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.

The Belmont is called the Test of Champions because horses run 1 ½ miles. Only 13 horses have won the Triple Crown. Sir Barton was the first in 1919. 

Justify is thoroughbred racing’s latest Triple Crown winner. The Bob Baffert trainee took the Crown in 2018.

Essential Qualities Breeding

Based on breeding, there’s no reason to suspect Essential Quality can’t win all three Triple Crown races. When we discuss breeding and the Triple Crown, we’re often looking for a horse that has the ability to stay for 1 ½ miles.

By “stay”, we mean the three-year-old can run for 1 ½ miles without tiring. Horses that thrive at the Belmont distance should have no trouble at the 1 ¼ Kentucky Derby distance.

Essential Quality already proved he can run 1 1/16 miles. He easily took the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at that distance last year. Not only that but his sire, Tapit, is the father of three Belmont Stakes winners. 

Essential Qualities Connections

Godolphin has won every major race in Europe, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong and Australia. They’re the most powerful racing organization in the world. Only Coolmore can contend with Godolphin.

With that being written, Godolphin has had trouble winning the Derby. They’ve brought numerous contenders to the race, including Frosted who finished fourth behind American Pharoah in 2015. Street Cry didn’t run in the Kentucky Derby. But Street Cry did produce Street Sense, the 2007 winner on the first Saturday in May. 

Essential Quality’s trainer, Brad Cox, has limited Triple Crown race experience. However, Cox saddled Monomoy Girl to a Kentucky Oaks victory in 2018. Most horse racing fans consider Cox one of the top five trainers in North America along with Steve Asmussen, Bob Baffert, Todd Pletcher and Chad Brown.  

Does Essential Quality have what it takes to win the Triple Crown?

The Tapit sired runner has the breeding and connections to dominate his competition on the Triple Crown trail. The biggest problem? His style is conducive to winning both the Derby and the Belmont but could lead to a Preakness loss.

Essential Quality is a presser – closer type with a devastating turn of foot ala Victory Gallop, the 1998 Belmont winner. He used that turn of foot to blow past his rivals and win the BC Juvenile. In the Derby, having a turn of a foot is the best way to get it done. 

It’s also a great way to take the Test of Champions. But to win the Preakness, Essential Quality may have to stay much closer to the pace than he prefers. The closer a turn of foot horse stays to a fast pace, the less effective the turn of foot. 

If Essential Quality wins the Kentucky Derby, his toughest race will happen two weeks later in the Preakness. So, yes, Godolphin’s top Derby prospect can win the Triple Crown. The chances of him pulling it off aren’t as great as many may believe, though.

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