Essential Quality beats Hot Rod Charlie to win 153rd Belmont Stakes

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New York Daily News

ELMONT, N.Y. — Last summer at Keeneland, Brad Cox had just seen Essential Quality complete a strong workout when the trainer made a proclamation. “That’s my Belmont Stakes horse,” Cox said. And he was right. Essential Quality, under a patient ride by Luis Saez, started picking off horses on the far turn and by the top of the stretch was side-by-side with leader Hot Rod Charlie before pulling away with about 100 yards left to win by 1 1/4 lengths. The 1 1/2-mile race started with Hot Rod Charlie going to the front with France Go De Ina and Rock Your World right there with him. In the middle of …

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