Nyquist records a mile in 1:41 in final Kentucky Derby workout

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April 29th, 2016

Kentucky Derby favorite Nyquist completed serious preparations on Friday afternoon at Keeneland, breezing a mile in 1:41 with jockey Mario Gutierrez.

“I thought he looked great,” O’Neill said. “Not a lot of effort but a really good time. He’s cooling out super, so we’re very happy.

“(He) exceeded our expectations.”

Working in company with Grade 1-winning stablemate Ralis, Nyquist clocked splits in :27, :51 and 1:15 over the fast track. Keeneland set up a private training session for the 2-year-old champion, who stepped onto the track around 12:15 p.m. (EDT), less than an hour before the 1st race on the closing-day of the meet.

“It’s calming for you knowing that you and your other horse are the only ones on the track, so you don’t have to worry about a loose horse or anything silly happening,” O’Neill said. “I’ve got to thank Keeneland management for letting this happen.”

Nyquist will ship to Churchill Downs on Saturday and is scheduled to jog over the track on Sunday.

An authoritative winner of the Florida Derby (G1) in his final prep, Nyquist switched back to his left lead approaching the finish line on Friday but was drawing away at the same time from Ralis.

Nyquist is 7-for-7 overall and will bring earnings of $3,322,600 into the $2 million Kentucky Derby.

Nyquist (red shadow roll) photos courtesy of Keeneland/Coady Photography