Kentucky Derby favorite Nyquist turns in gallop at Keeneland
The Kentucky Derby (G1) favorite extended his winning sequence to seven in the April 2 Florida Derby (G1), then shipped to Keeneland the next day.
After routine bloodwork revealed a “slightly elevated” white blood cell count, Nyquist got a couple of extra days’ rest and just walked the shedrow. A subsequent check found a normal white blood cell count, and the Doug O’Neill trainee was happy to hit the track Saturday morning. Both Saturday and Sunday, he jogged twice around the main track with exercise rider Jonny Garcia. Assistant trainer Jack Sisterson accompanied them a pony.
Nyquist is scheduled to post his first work back since the Florida Derby on Friday, according to The Blood-Horse’s Ron Mitchell.
The other Nyquist news on Monday involved fans’ access to the champion in the build-up to Derby 142. Team O’Neill, which does a great job of engaging fans on social media, explained why they had to put up a fence around his Keeneland barn.
O’Neill posted the following update on Facebook:
We appreciate very much the excitement surrounding Nyquist and the fans wanting/asking for the opportunity to meet him. However, it’s important to remember that he is in training for the Kentucky Derby and beyond, and we need to respect the wishes of the owner to curtail the visits. In addition, we have several other horses in training at Keeneland, and it’s only fair that those owners receive the same courtesy.
A fence around our barn at Keeneland has been erected and we have 24/7 security inside the barn to monitor not only Nyquist, but the other horses we have in training in Kentucky.
Again, we appreciate the support but ask for your understanding as well.
Photos courtesy Keeneland/Coady Photography.