Belmont Stakes 2021: Essential Quality Takes First Place

by Evan Reier
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The final race of the legendary Triple Crown has concluded, as Essential Quality claimed victory at the 2021 running of the Belmont Stakes.

Just before 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, eight horses raced out of the paddock at the Belmont Stakes. Less than three minutes later, Essential Quality proved why he was the race’s favorite as he cleared Hot Rod Charlie for a Triple Crown race win.

Hot Rod Charlie opened up ahead, but was eventually ran down by Essential Quality. The horse was able to get far enough ahead to leave it beyond question. Preakness winner Rombauer was in the mix as well, but finished third.

Storylines Coming into Belmont Stakes

The 153rd edition of the Belmont Stakes has been clouded by the suspension of Bob Baffert after his horse Medina Spirit won at the Kentucky Derby. The horse failed two drug tests after the victory, and led to the Kentucky Derby suspending him from racing for two years.

Medina Spirit finished third at the 2021 Preakness Stakes.

However, there was the other noteworthy storyline of Rombauer, who won at the Preakness and could still finish with 2 out of 3 wins in the Triple Crown. Rombauer did not race at the Kentucky Derby.

It’s also worth noting that none of the horses who ran today competed in the Preakness, other than Rombauer

Odds for All Horses Coming into Race

Per NBC Sports, here were the odds for each horse and jockey coming into the Belmont Stakes.

Essential Quality (2-1)
– Trainer: Brad Cox
– Jockey: Luis Saez

Rombauer (3-1)
– Trainer: Michael McCarthy
– Jockey: John Velazquez

Hot Rod Charlie (7-2)
– Trainer: Doug O’Neill
– Jockey: Flavien Prat

Rock Your World (9-2)
– Trainer: John Sadler
– Jockey: Joel Rosario

Known Agenda (6-1)
– Trainer: Todd Pletcher
– Jockey: Jose Ortiz (replaces Irad Ortiz Jr.)

Bourbonic (15-1)
– Trainer: Todd Pletcher
– Jockey: Kendrick Carmouche

Overtook (20-1)
– Trainer: Todd Pletcher
– Jockey: Manny Franco

France Go de Ina (30-1)
– Trainer: Hideyuki Mori
– Jockey: Ricardo Santana Jr.

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