The battle for the 153rd Belmont stakes came down to the money choice, Essential Quality and fan favorite Hot Rod Charlie, with Quality winning the stretch dual by a length at 6/5, in a time of 2:27.11. The three old's only loss was in the Derby by a length [4th-bumped] as he now has six victories.
The Belmont win over the mile and half oval pushed his earnings over $3.2 million from seven starts. He is trained by Louisville native Brad Cox who happens to be trainer of the 2020 year as his horse was bred in Kentucky. Luis Saez, who was denied the Derby in 19' aboard Maximum Security for flagrant riding was in the irons for this $1.5 million dollar event in Elmont, New York.
It wasn't the normal 60,000 - 90,000 on hand but 11,000 [vaccinated restriction plus cap] cheered as loudly as EQ overtook Hot Rod Charlie at the eighth pole and won by a solid length in the end, on a weekend that saw 15 stakes races. Cox stated the "Whitney" could be next in line for EQ at Saratoga which opens July Thursday July 15th. It is best one be vaccinated for entry will be difficult.