05/08/2016 10:36AM

Few foes beaten by Nyquist in Kentucky Derby willing to try again in Preakness

Ciara Bowen
Nyquist will likely be facing a field comprised mostly of horses who did not run in the Kentucky Derby when he goes in the May 21 Preakness at Pimlico.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Nyquist, the Kentucky Derby winner, emerged from the race in good order on Sunday morning, according to trainer Doug O’Neill, and was set to head to Baltimore on Monday to begin preparations for the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown, on May 21.

 Nyquist remained unbeaten in eight starts with his victory in the Derby, and it was so impressive – he got a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 103 -- very few who ran against him are going to try again at the Preakness. Runner-up Exaggerator is definite, but after that, only a few are even possible; they are far from definite.

 In fact, most of the Preakness field might end up being horses who skipped the Derby, either by choice, or because they were excluded on points at entry time. That group includes Cherry Wine and Laoban, who ended up on the also-eligible list for the Derby and failed to scratch in, and Awesome Speed, Collected, Stradivari, and Uncle Lino.

 Nyquist “looked well this morning,” O’Neill said in a text message on Sunday morning while en route to the airport to catch an early flight back to California, where he is based. He said Nyquist would fly to Baltimore on Monday, which is the exact same schedule he had four years ago with I’ll Have Another after his Derby victory. I’ll Have Another also won the Preakness.

 Informed he now had as many Derby victories as legendary trainers Woody Stephens and Charlie Whittingham, O’Neill said, “Wow. That’s crazy.”

 Leandro Mora, O’Neill’s top assistant, was overseeing Nyquist at the Churchill Downs barn on Sunday morning and said the colt had cleaned his feed tub and seemed well. He called the barn’s second Derby victory in four years “another dream come true.”

 Keith Desormeaux, the trainer of Exaggerator, immediately after the Derby said he would come back in the Preakness. Desormeaux now has run second to Nyquist in six of Nyquist’s eight races – four times with Swipe, twice with Exaggerator.

 Steve Asmussen, trainer of Gun Runner, who was third, and Creator, who was 13th, said he would wait until later in the week before making definitive plans for the Preakness, though he didn’t sound eager to take on Nyquist real soon.

 “You look at that resume and think, why argue?” he said.

 Kiaran McLaughlin, trainer of fourth-place finisher Mohaymen, said Mohaymen would be pointed to the Travers this summer at Saratoga and would not compete in either the Preakness or the final leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes on June 11 in New York.

 Bob Baffert is unlikely to press on with Mor Spirit, who finished 10th. He came out of the Derby fine, according to assistant Jim Barnes. Baffert will definitely run Collected, a three-time stakes winner who most recently captured the Lexington at Keeneland.

 Todd Pletcher said plans for both Destin, who was sixth, and Outwork, who was 14th, would be determined after they return to New York on Monday, but he did not sound as though either would run back in the Preakness. He is, however, planning on running Stradivari, a recent Keeneland allowance winner, in the Preakness.

Awesome Speed earned an automatic berth to the Preakness by virtue of his victory in the Tesio Stakes last month at Laurel.

 Uncle Lino won the California Chrome Stakes at Los Alamitos on April 30 after finishing third behind Exaggerator in the Santa Anita Derby on April 9.

 A maximum of 14 horses can run in the Preakness. Entries are taken and posts drawn May 18.

- additional reporting by David Grening



Rick Broth More than 1 year ago
Anybody that cashed in this Derby, is a loser!
Jerry Mann More than 1 year ago
this guy is for real...WOW..
George Mayo More than 1 year ago
I wish someone could please tell me why drf and others are insisting that american pharo won the kentucky derby in 2015 and the preakness in 2015 when in fact it was california chrome who won both those races in 2015 and the belmont and became the triple crown winner. Mr. David Grening can you enlighten me on this?????????????????
VanSavant More than 1 year ago

They all live in an alternate universe where up is down, and down is up.

You are right.  They should all stop insisting that American Pharoah won the Triple Crown in 2015.  It was, afterall, California Chrome who did this. 

Up is down, and down is up.
Vick Harris More than 1 year ago
I think your retarted to think it was California chrome that won triple crown you need to stop taking drugs 
Robert More than 1 year ago
Explain what ? Look it up ? It's old news 
Patty Harbison More than 1 year ago
I'm not sur you are capable of being enlightened, sir. A quick Google search would reveal that you are mistaken. CC won the Derby in 2014.  AP won the triple crown last year, which was 2015, seeing as how this year is 2016. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Chrome
Jamessi64477963 More than 1 year ago
And American pharoah was a Beast, none of the horses ever laid back or down he was that dang fast and good so don't ever say hr needed a triple crown winner, you got to earn it
Jamessi64477963 More than 1 year ago
Got to also look at none of them horses ever went that distance before, and nyquist was wearing down at the end 
Richard Kennedy More than 1 year ago
VICTOR More than 1 year ago
Hope Steve runs Gun Run, wet track at yum brands didn't help, it did exxgrtr. with another 
 good post, & style, shorter distance a good chance vs nyquist et al....be 10-1+ again
Ronnie Malo Rodriguez More than 1 year ago
collected in the preakness
Jonathan Epstein More than 1 year ago
I think Lucky Debonaire will win the Preakness!
Ken Goldfarb More than 1 year ago
are we back in 1965 ?
Adoula Faroulk More than 1 year ago
Maybe some suffolk downs horses can run.