Nyquist enjoys routine morning at Keeneland
Nyquist continued his preparation for the $2 million Kentucky Derby (G1) by jogging twice around the main track Tuesday morning before the renovation break.
Undefeated in seven starts, Nyquist was partnered as usual by Jonny Garcia and jogged alongside a pony with Jack Sisterson, assistant to trainer Doug O'Neill, aboard.
"Another good morning," Sisterson said. "He will jog one and gallop one tomorrow, jog Thursday and then work Friday."
Sisterson was a member of the O'Neill team in 2012 when I'll Have Another had a magical run of victories in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness (G1). However, this year there is more attention being paid to Nyquist, the champion two-year-old of 2015.
"Nobody was following us at all," Sisterson said of the lack of an entourage during morning training. "When he won the Robert Lewis (G2) that was his first race back since the Hopeful (G1). He was doing well, so we gave him a chance. He won the Santa Anita Derby (G1) and then he was 15-1 in the Derby."
Like 2012, O'Neill has a string of horses with his Derby hopeful.
"His buddy, Donworth, came in yesterday and will be here a couple of days and then come back here," Sisterson said of the four-year-old colt who figures to be one of the favorites in Saturday's $1.25 Charles Town Classic (G2).
"Both Nyquist and I'll Have Another are laid-back, push-button kinds of horses that you can do anything with. We try to keep the environment much the same as it is at home at Santa Anita. We will have 12-15 horses at Churchill Downs and we will try to keep a routine that worked so well for us four years ago."
On the same work schedule as Nyquist is Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) winner Land Over Sea. Also owned by Reddam Racing, Land Over Sea and Nyquist could accomplish something that has not been done since 1952 for their connections.
The most recent owner-trainer combination to win the Kentucky Oaks (G1) and Derby the same year was Calumet Farm and Ben Jones, who took the 1952 Oaks with Real Delight and the Derby with Hill Gail.