Nyquist has 102 fever, delaying scheduled ship to Belmont

Profile Picture: Kellie Reilly

May 23rd, 2016

Kentucky Derby (G1) champion Nyquist spiked a 102-degree fever Monday morning, two days after suffering his first career loss in the Preakness (G1). The breaking news was first reported by Daily Racing Form’s David Grening.

Plans had called for Nyquist to ship from Pimlico to Belmont on Monday, but that was obviously shelved in the circumstances.

Trainer Doug O’Neill also told Grening that bloodwork was done Monday on Nyquist. Results, due back Tuesday, will shed more light on his condition.

Nyquist’s status for the June 11 Belmont (G1), and an eagerly awaited rematch with Preakness winner Exaggerator, is thus pending. Hopefully this will prove to be a minor hiccup that Nyquist will get over fast, much like his mildly elevated white blood count diagnosed after he shipped from Gulfstream Park to Keeneland in early April.

Monday afternoon update: Team O'Neill posted the following bulletin on the stable's Facebook Page.

Some of you may have heard that Nyquist spiked a fever this morning and we did not ship him to Belmont, as planned. 
We treated for the fever, and his temperature is back to normal. 
We are awaiting blood work results, which we should have tomorrow to see if he has a bug that needs to be treated. When he will go to Belmont and the next step, will be dependent upon the blood work report.

Meanwhile, the Maryland Jockey Club’s Monday morning briefing on Exaggerator was routine. The Keith Desormeaux trainee walked the shedrow at Pimlico.

“He didn’t do anything today but walk,” Desormeaux said. “We’ll probably go back to the track [Tuesday] morning.”

Exaggerator will remain in Baltimore for the rest of the week and head out for Belmont Park on Sunday.

Nyquist photo by Cecilia Gustavsson/