Kentucky Derby favorite Nyquist takes it easy on day before final work

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TwinSpires Staff

April 28th, 2016

Edited press release from Keeneland

On the eve of his final work before the Kentucky Derby (G1) on May 7 at Churchill Downs, Reddam Racing’s Nyquist on Thursday about 7:30 a.m. (EDT) returned to Keeneland’s five-furlong training track for the second consecutive morning.

With exercise Jonny Garcia aboard, Nyquist jogged twice around the training track alongside assistant Jack Sisterson on the pony.

“Tomorrow’s a big day,” trainer Doug O’Neill said. “We initially thought about taking him to the main track today, but when it was raining earlier, we just decided to take him to the training track, give him an easy day and save him up for tomorrow.”

O’Neill had said his reason for sending Nyquist to Keeneland on April, the day after the Uncle Mo colt won the Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park, was to take advantage of the all-weather training track in case of rain.

“It’s been great,” he said about the plan. “We haven’t missed a beat. You have the luxury of staying on schedule with this great training track here.”

At 12:15 p.m. on Friday, closing day of Keeneland’s 2016 Spring Meet, Nyquist, with jockey Mario Gutierrez aboard, is to work in company with Grade 1 winner Ralis. 

“He’ll probably walk tomorrow around this time (7:30 a.m.) for a little bit and get geared up – almost like you would for a race,” O’Neill said.

O’Neill has two horses entered in Friday’s 7TH race, an allowance race. In that race, Gutierrez is named to ride Sorryaboutnothing, and Florent Geroux will be aboard Barton Lodge.

On Thursday about 9 a.m. Reddam Racing’s Land Over Sea, being pointed at the May 6 Kentucky Oaks (G1), also jogged twice around the training track alongside the pony.

O’Neill said the daughter of Bellamy Road would work Friday morning around 8:45 a.m. with Garcia aboard.

He said the horses likely would leave Keeneland for their trip to Churchill around noon on Saturday.

Photo courtesy Keeneland/Coady Photography.