05/19/2016 1:20PM

Nyquist, Collected eye up each other

Kim Pratt
Nyquist (right), under Jonny Garcia, and Collected, with Jorge Alvarez aboard, get to know each other while training at Pimlico on Thursday.

BALTIMORE – Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist’s final gallop before Saturday’s $1.5 million Preakness Stakes got a little interesting Thursday morning when one of his rivals – the Bob Baffert-trained Collected – got a little too close for comfort.

Nyquist was scheduled to gallop a strong mile Thursday, going at what is known as a two-minute clip – each eighth at approximately 15 seconds.

Nyquist was going to start at the six-furlong pole. As Nyquist was getting moving under exercise rider Jonny Garcia, Collected, under Jorge Alvarez, came up along the inside. Nyquist got a little tough, forcing Garcia to take a bit of a hold.

After a few strides, Alvarez eased Collected back and maneuvered him outside, a few paths away from Nyquist.

When Collected first came up inside Nyquist, Garcia “gave me a dirty look,” said Alvarez, who was the exercise rider for 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. “He asked me to back off. I’ve been in that situation before. We’re rivals, but you have to be a gentleman. I helped him out. I backed off, and he went on.”

Alvarez said he thought Nyquist got aggressive when Collected was in front of him, but that Nyquist got better when he let him go.

Garcia declined comment.

Coming to the top of the stretch, Garcia was seen looking behind him a couple of times to locate Collected, who was basically finishing up his gallop by the time Nyquist came into the stretch. From the quarter pole to the wire, Nyquist went in 28.91 seconds and then went another eighth of a mile in 13.80 seconds, for a three-furlong gallop in 42.71 seconds.

Trainer Doug O’Neill and owners Paul and Zillah Reddam watched the training session from the porch on the press-box level. When O’Neill was asked about Alvarez keeping Collected in close proximity, he said: “That’s okay, he can gig at him all he wants. We’ll be okay.”

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Nyquist was expected to jog on Friday. He is not expected to train Saturday morning.

A horse got loose on the track just moments after Nyquist came on following the renovation break. The loose horse never got near Nyquist, who stood at the quarter pole alongside a stable pony, and he was apprehended by the outrider. Nyquist then continued on his way, backing up to the seven-furlong pole.

Also on track following the renovation break was Cherry Wine, who visited the starting gate and then found himself galloping alongside Collected before those two caught up with Nyquist at the end of the clubhouse turn. Cherry Wine had completed his exercise before Nyquist and Collected got into their game.

– additional reporting by Jay Privman

RaceTote More than 1 year ago
 Can Nyquist be beaten in the Preakness Stakes? Of course, any horse, even the great ones can be beaten. We've seen it time and time again. 
 What concerns me is how he breaks and path around the track. Put "Any" horse on the deepest part of a sloppy or muddy track, and watch as he wears himself out of the money. 
 Every track I've ever walked, following a heavy rain, has an area off the rail that animals sink into like a swamp. To avoid it riders need to hug the rail or go very wide. 
 Well, we all know what happens when a horse runs seven wide around the turns. Therefore, there is only a single sensible option. Get to the lead quickly, and stay close to the rail. Nyquist coming out the #3 hole, with his proven early speed, is in a perfect position to grab the lead and cross the finish line ahead of the field, but no horse, I don't care how talented, none of these colts can run, in slop or mud, three to six wide and expect to win.
Robert Phelan More than 1 year ago
can he be beat well of coarse i guess the jock could fall off will he be beat?not a chance on gods green earth. AND just to sum up my prediction his belmont victory WILL RIVAL THAT OF SECRETARIAT
RaceTote More than 1 year ago
 Stradivari ran a sub 1:49, 1 1/8 mile race on a "fast track" leaving his competition in the dust. Raw speeds shouldn't be ignored, but consider this: Stradivari won by 14 1/2 lengths. We're forced to conclude, that if pressured, he could have run even quicker. That said, can he come close to Nyquist this Saturday? Well, in my opinion he has everything against him.  
 When Considering the anticipated track condition, a terrible post draw, and the level of completion, it's doubtful he can finish in the money, forget about besting Nyquist or Exaggerator, the two favorites. 
 However, this is horse racing, and stranger things have happened. 
 Stradivari is a talented colt, and proved himself a two turn horse. He has both speed and endurance. 
 Bet against Nyquist coming out the #3 hole? Forget about it. Even if Nyquist has a bad start or finds himself wide on the turns, Exaggerator has a wonderful post position- #5, and is unquestionably the most talented colt after the champ. I like Stradivari, but not in this Preakness Stakes. 
Mindy Harris More than 1 year ago
They aren't jockeys they're exercise riders.
Anthony Mario More than 1 year ago
I would say that these Jockeys need to grow up but then if they did they wouldn't be Jockeys.
Vince Piscitelli More than 1 year ago