Essential Quality, Rock Your World, and Bourbonic acquired 100 qualifying points each on the Road to the KD, and secure themselves a ticket for the Kentucky Derby on May 1, 2021.
Road to the KD: Essential Quality Takes Toyota Blue Grass (Grade 2)
Brad Cox trainee Essential Quality took the $800,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, a hard-fought win on April 3 at Keeneland for a horse that remains unbeaten.
After a duel with pacesetter Highly Motivated down the stretch, the son of Tapit, ridden by experienced jockey Luis Saez, emerged as the winner (by a neck), completing the 9-furlong, 1 1/8-mile race in 1:48:50.
The win allowed Essential Quality to pick up 100 Road to the Kentucky Derby qualifying points. That moved him 1st on the KD leaderboard with a total of 140 points.
Needless to say, such a determined run proves that this juvenile male champ, with an outstanding record of 5-for-5, is a top favorite to win the Run for the Roses in less than a month.
4 of those victories are stakes races, including the TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (Grade-1).
So far in 2021, the racing campaign has been phenomenal for Essential Quality. Taking the Southwest Stakes (Grade-3) at Oaklawn Park earlier in the year, to then battle it out in the Blue Grass with Highly Motivated, a horse that also picked 40 points for second, securing him a Derby entry.
Road to the KD: Rock Your World Beats Favorite Medina Spirit, Takes Santa Anita Derby (G1)
A Candy Ride colt, Rock Your World secured a ticket for the Kentucky Derby by winning the $750,000 Runhappy Santa Anita Derby (G1) on April 3.
This was just the 3rd start for Rock Your World and just his first on dirt. And still, he managed to defeat favorite Medina Spirit by an impressive 4 1/4 lengths for the win in the 1 1/8-mile race.
Rock Your World was the dominating force, and was just slightly challenged during the 2nd turn by Medina Spirit.
After that, Rock Your World, ridden by Umberto Rispoli, continued to widen the margin between him, Medina Spirit, and third-place Dream Shake and conquered the 6-furlong race in 1:49.17.
The win secured 100 qualifying points for Rock Your World. And also a direct spot in the starting gate for the KD on May 1.
At Odds of 72-1, Bourbonic Took The Wood Memorial Stakes (Grade 1)
Bourbonic surprised everybody as the Todd A. Pletcher trainee took the $750,000 Wood Memorial Stakes (G1) over 2-1 Favorite Risk Taking, who finished seventh.
Ridden by Kendrick Carmouche, Bourbonic rallied from last in a field of 9, beating Dynamic One by a head. Earning 100 qualifying points to secure a place at the KD. This was his 3rd win in 6 starts and also his stakes debut.
Those 100 points are setting Bourbonic as seventh on the KD leaderboard. Dynamic One also secured 40 points and is 18th on that same Kentucky Derby leaders table.
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