Nyquist out of Belmont Stakes

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TwinSpires Staff

May 24th, 2016

Trainer Doug O’Neill has ruled Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist out of the June 11 Belmont Stakes (G1) due to an elevated white blood cell count and fever, Daily Racing Form’s David Grening reported Tuesday morning.

After winning his first eight starts, the 2-year-old champion sustained his first career setback finishing third in the Preakness (G1). Connections announced Sunday that Nyquist would head to Belmont Park for the final leg of the Triple Crown, but a 102 temperature Monday morning put those plans on hold.

Blood tests came back irregular on Tuesday and Nyquist has started medication to get healthy.

“He is officially out,” O’Neill told Blood-Horse. “Right about the time we got his blood work back this morning, which showed an elevated white blood count, his temperature went back up. We just have to get strong with the antibiotics and get him right. He’s under the weather now, which we all get once in a while. Thank God it’s nothing leg-related.

“We’ll live to fight another day.”

O’Neill is looking forward to a summer campaign and hopes to send the Uncle Mo colt to Saratoga, with the July 30 Jim Dandy (G2) and/or August 27 Travers (G1) as possible targets for Nyquist.

Photo courtesy of Churchill Downs/Coady Photography