Essential Quality, Hot Rod Charlie had great head-to-head finish at Belmont
Essential Quality and Hot Rod Charlie turned Saturday’s Belmont Stakes into a match race that culminated in a great finish.
Hot Rod Charlie led for the first mile of the race. Essential Quality, who was the favorite, hung close to Hot Rod Charlie. But as they turned the final corner towards the home stretch, Essential Quality started to kick it into high gear.
It was just the two horses down the final stretch battling to see who would win. The final stretch was thrilling:
ESSENTIAL QUALITY WINS THE 153rd @BelmontStakes!
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) June 5, 2021
The 153rd running of the Belmont Stakes went to Essential Quality, who is trained by Brad Cox. No Bob Baffert-trained horses were involved in the race, as Baffert was banned by the New York Racing Association.
Over 11,000 fans attended the race in New York. This marked the first Triple Crown win for Cox and jockey Luis Saez.