Belmont Stakes 2021: Race recap, results, video

Essential Quality wins 2021 Belmont Stakes

Brad Cox's favorite Essential Quality ran down a furious pacesetting Hot Rod Charlie down the stretch to win the 2021 Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park. New York regular Luis Saez was in the irons.

United Arab Emirates ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum owns Essential Quality.

The victory by Essential Quality could bring extra scrutiny of human rights issues involving the sheikh after a judge in England ruled that he orchestrated the abductions of two of his adult daughters.

This is the first Belmont Stakes win for all connections, and it was Cox's debut in the final leg of the Triple Crown.

Hot Rod Charlie took the early lead and led a fast field around Big Sandy. Essential Quality sat just a few lengths behind before going wide around the far turn and working his way up the pack. It became a two-horse competition between the colts, but Essential Quality proved too much for the frontrunner. Preakness champ Rombauer finished third.

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HORSE RACING SCHEDULE

2021 ROYAL ASCOT

TUESDAY, JUNE 15 to

SATURDAY, JUNE 19

2021 BREEDERS' CUP

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5th to

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 6th