(Essential Quality / Coady Photography & Courtesy of Keeneland)

From the Keeneland Media Team:

Brad Cox (winning trainer of Essential Quality)

“We’ve had some very nice 2-year-old fillies, but this is probably the best (2-year-old colt) I’ve had as far as talent goes. He’s our first Grade 1 winner as a 2-year-old colt. He means a lot to us. He showed us from Day 1 that he’s special, very talented. Luis (Saez) did a good job of getting him to relax. He’s a very green horse. That was my concern today – could he put it all together? And he did. He pulled up a bit on the backside. He’s got some learning to do. If he can figure it out, he’s a serious animal.”

Luis Saez (winning rider)

“I thought he was gonna be right there. Second start. I never rode him before. I was watching the replay when he ran last time, and he looked like ‘Wow, what a horse.’ And today he proved that he’s a very good horse. He did it pretty easy. He was a little green when he came to the track – he was looking around a little bit, but he took off. He was running. What a horse. I’m so glad I’m on this horse.”

David Cohen (rider of runner-up Keepmeinmind)

“We had a little bit of trouble in the first turn with horses on the outside coming in, but I was happy I was able to maintain somewhat of a position. Down the backside, he got into a beautiful spot. He’s still a bit green. I was very happy with his courage and his finish. His gallop-out was tremendous.”