Nyquist went out for a jog today in preparation for his final Kentucky Derby training session on Friday. The speedster is currently at Keeneland working with trainer Doug O’Neill and expects to move to Churchill Downs over the weekend.
The undefeated three-year old Nyquist has been ridden by Mario Gutierrez in all seven of his wins. The rider will arrive to submit his final works with the anticipated favorite for the Kentucky Derby. It’s a day that every onlooker is highly anticipating.
“Tomorrow is the big day, and Mario is coming in to work him,” O’Neill said. “We wanted to give him one more easy day. We haven’t missed a beat here. The main track does dry out quickly, but the training track is a luxury.” The training track at Keeneland is synthetic, which is much easier on horses and more reliable in terms of providing suitable conditions.
Nyquist entered the Triple Crown preseason as the preferred choice in the futures market. He was deemed unbeatable after a rousing victory at the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile with many horse men stating that the only horse that could beat him was Songbird, a filly of the same age. Along the way, Mohaymen built a solid case by winning five consecutive races during Nyquist’s continued absence on the derby trail. It wasn’t a tactic or mind game; trainer Doug O’Neill simply applied a “less is more” approach to his horse’s training schedule.
The two eventually clashed at the Florida Derby, where Mohaymen had slipped ahead of Nyquist as the presumptive favorite for the Kentucky Derby.
The results were phenomenal as Nyquist buried the field and Mohaymen at the Florida Derby in his only major prep work, showing the type of brilliant speed and patience you look for in a champion. O’Neill and his team will run Nyquist a final time on Friday before shipping him to Churchill Downs down the road. You can bet that we will all be tuned in to see how that goes.