Essential Quality won the 153rd running of the Belmont Stakes, the third and final leg of the Triple Crown for thoroughbred racing.
Brad Cox’s gray colt remained a 2-1 favorite leading into the race with Kentucky Derby third-place finisher Hot Rod Charlie being the second choice in the wagering at 7-2 over an hour before the race began.
This Triple Crown season has been dramatic and tumultuous thanks to another Bob Baffert drug scandal. His horse, Medina Spirit, won the Kentucky Derby, but then tested positive for the steroid betamethasone afterward, throwing the world of horse racing into turmoil. In a statement released by Baffert, he alleged that Medina Spirit’s positive drug test could be explained by an ointment used to treat dermatitis on the racehorse.