04/04/2016 3:26PM

The week that was in racing, March 28-April 3, 2016

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Barbara D. Livingston
Nyquist, with Mario Gutierrez up, wins the Grade 1 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park.

Here's a collection of some of the biggest stories in horse racing, all in one place. Unless noted, all of the links here are to free stories on DRF.com.

Nyquist turns “two-horse race” into runaway

What was billed as a showdown between two undefeated colts, arguably the top two contenders for the Kentucky Derby, turned into a dominant wire-to-wire victory for Nyquist in the Grade 1 Florida Derby on Saturday. The juvenile champion dueled with two longshots until the backstretch, repelled a challenge from favored Mohaymen while forcing him wide on the second turn, and drew clear in the stretch to remain perfect in seven starts. Nyquist’s pedigree, by Uncle Mo out of a Forestry mare, has led some to question whether he can get the ten furlongs in the Kentucky Derby, but others are a bit more forgiving.

Oscar Nominated a sharp claim for Ramseys

Last October, owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey and trainer Mike Maker claimed Oscar Nominated for $75,000; on Saturday, he earned a berth in the Kentucky Derby by winning the Grade 3 Spiral Stakes in a blanket finish. Though Oscar Nominated was not Triple Crown nominated, the winner’s share of the $500,000 purse will more than cover the $200,000 entry fee to the Derby.

Go Maggie Go wins Gulfstream Oaks in second start

With just a single race under her belt, a victory in a six-furlong sprint, trainer Dale Romans decided Go Maggie Go a chance in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks. She rewarded the gamble with a win by more than two lengths, and she may very well have convinced Romans to enter her in the Kentucky Oaks as well.

Graded stakes action around the country

Kentucky Derby and Oaks preps were not the only graded stakes races over the weekend, and they weren’t the only ones at Gulfstream Park. In fact, Saturday offered five other graded stakes races at Gulfstream alone. In those races, Valid won the Grade 3 Skip Away as a strong favorite, Kaigun broke a nine-race losing streak in the Grade 2 Pan American, Celestine led every step of the way in the Grade 2 Honey Fox, Photo Call disposed of early pace pressure then held off the closers in the Grade 3 Orchid, and Reporting Star earned his second career graded stakes victory in the Grade 3 Appleton.

Other top performances

Nyquist earned a 94 Beyer Speed Figure in winning the Florida Derby on Saturday. That number was equaled five races earlier in the card in a maiden victory by Dig Deep, a 3-year old colt by Candy Ride.

Breeding news

Mohaymen may have come up short in the Florida Derby on Saturday, but a few days prior, his dam foaled a full brother to the Kentucky Derby contender.

Horses to watch

Santa Anita:

MISS GIFTED, by Einstein
Trainer: Gary Sherlock
Last race: April 1, 8th
Finish: 4th by 10 3/4
Beyer: 65
Off slowly in a turf route, pulled hard early, veered out on the first turn while unhappy, shuffled back in traffic into the far turn, and finished evenly. Trouble-prone filly prefers to sprint.

DRF Plus subscribers can see the rest of Brad Free’s horses to watch from last week by clicking here.

reporting by David Grening, Mike Hogan, Marty McGee, Jay Privman, Nicole Russo, Mike Watchmaker, and Mike Welsch