03/30/2016 2:20PM

Gomo more than just company for Nyquist

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Keeneland/Coady Photography
Gomo hasn't raced since this victory in the Alcibiades at Keeneland in October.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – The filly Gomo was more than a travel companion for the champion Nyquist on his cross-country journey for Saturday’s $1 million Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park. She is a major player in the Grade 2, $250,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks on the same card.

Gomo was one of seven 3-year-old fillies entered in the Oaks, a 1 1/16-mile race that offers 170 qualifying points (100-40-20-10) toward the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs on May 6.

Gomo, a daughter of Uncle Mo, has not raced since winning the Grade 1 Alcibiades last Oct. 2 at Keeneland. In subsequent training toward the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, Gomo was found to have a chip in an ankle that needed to be surgically removed.

Originally, trainer Doug O’Neill was going to run Gomo in the Santa Anita Oaks, where she would have faced the undefeated champion Songbird. But when the undefeated Cathryn Sophia was pointed toward the Ashland at Keeneland, that opened up the Gulfstream Oaks significantly.

“It was so convenient to put her on the plane with Nyquist and run her on the same day,” O’Neill said Wednesday. “She’s won long on the grass, she won the Alcibiades on a sloppy track, she’s handled just about any kind of footing.”

O’Neill got a quartet of five-furlong workouts into Gomo leading up to her return.

Gomo likely will be the second choice to Off the Tracks, who makes her two-turn debut after winning her first three starts by a combined 11 3/4 lengths. Newtown Anner Stud purchased a majority interest in Off the Tracks following a win in the Margate Handicap at Gulfstream on Feb. 21 and moved her to trainer Todd Pletcher.

Also entered in the Florida Oaks were recent maiden winners Double Entendre, Paola Queen, Go Maggie Go, and Mo’ Green as well as Hold on Momma.