Nyquist remains undefeated as 142nd Kentucky Derby champion

Profile Picture: Jen Caldwell

Jen Caldwell

May 7th, 2016

Reddam Racing LLC’s Nyquist made it a perfect eight-for-eight on Saturday when easily capturing the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs.

With regular rider Mario Gutierrez aboard, the bay son of Uncle Mo tracked in third just outside of Gun Runner, who kept in close contact with pacesetter Danzing Candy through early splits of :22.58, :45.72 and 1:10.40.

The trio maintained those spots heading into the final turn of the $2,391,600 Run for the Roses, but Danzing Candy began fading upon hitting the stretch. Nyquist was quick to take over and cruised down the lane with Gun Runner to his inside still fighting for the win.

In the end Gun Runner couldn’t keep pace with Nyquist, who continued pulling away to finish 1 1/4 miles over the fast main track in 2:01.31 as the 2-1 favorite. Exaggerator cut into his lead late, but was unable to catch his rival while 1 1/4 lengths behind in second. Gun Runner came next by 3 1/4 lengths, keeping his head in front of Mohaymen, who in turn had a nose up on Suddenbreakingnews in fifth.

Completing the order of finish were Destin, Brody’s Cause, Mo Tom, Lani, Mor Spirit, My Man Sam, Tom’s Ready, Creator, Outwork, Danzing Candy, Trojan Nation, Oscar Nominated, Majesto, Whitmore and Shagaf.

The Doug O’Neill-trained Nyquist has now captured seven straight graded events, beginning with the Best Pal S. (G2) at Del Mar last August. He followed that with easy scores in the Del Mar Futurity (G1) and FrontRunner (G1) before venturing outside of California to take part in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Keeneland.

His win in the Breeders’ Cup last October 31 saw the Kentucky-bred honored with an Eclipse Award as the 2015 champion two-year-old male. Nyquist took the San Vicente (G2) on February 15 to open his sophomore campaign and then romped in the Florida Derby (G1) in his final major prep for the Kentucky Derby.

Bred in Kentucky by Summerhill Farm, Nyquist is the first registered foal out of the Forestry mare Seeking Gabrielle, who is herself a daughter of Grade 2 heroine Seeking Regina. That mare also produced Grade 3 victress Seeking the Sky, who in turn foaled Grade 1 winner Sahara Sky. This black-type rich female family is also responsible for Grade 1 score Bachelor Beau and Grade 2 queen Just Jenda.

Nyquist photo courtesy of Jessie Holmes/EquiSport Photos