UNDEFEATED NYQUIST DRILLS FIVE FURLONGS IN 1:02.09 WITH GUTIERREZ UP; ‘I SAW WHAT I WANTED’ IS O’NEILL’S ASSESSMENT OF FINAL WORK IN PREPARATION
ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 23, 2015)—Reddam Racing’s undefeated Nyquist, in his final drill in preparation for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Oct. 31, worked a handy five furlongs early Friday afternoon in 1:02.09, prompting trainer Doug O’Neill to opine “I saw what I wanted, I really did.” With regular rider Mario Gutierrez up, Nyquist, who sat in behind stablemate Semper Fortis leaving the 5 ½ furlong pole, took the lead three furlongs from home while cruising through splits of 24.94 and 49.68 en route to an eventual gallop out time of 1:15.70 for six furlongs.
“I just wanted a traffic-free fresh track and I do have to thank Santa Anita so much for offering that,” said O’Neill, who was granted permission to work 45 minutes in advance of Friday’s first race. “I was very happy, I got him coming home the last eighth in 12 and we actually two minute licked him for three furlongs going into the work….He looked like he did it easily.
“We ran over to meet Mario on him afterwards and he said that he had a ton of horse all the way around there. We really just wanted a nice, steady work before jumping on the plane to go to Kentucky and that’s exactly what we got.”
A three quarter length winner of Santa Anita’s Grade I, 1 1/16 miles FrontRunner Stakes at odds of 1-2 on Sept. 26, Nyquist, a Kentucky-bred colt by Uncle Mo, has won all four of his starts in combination with Gutierrez, who piloted Reddam and O’Neill’s I’ll Have Another to stirring victories in the 2012 Santa Anita Derby, Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.
A first out maiden winner going five furlongs here on June 5, Nyquist was a subsequent winner of the Grade II, 6 ½ furlong Best Pal Stakes on Aug. 8 and notched his first Grade I win in the seven furlong Del Mar Futurity Sept. 7. With the Juvenile looming eight days hence at Keeneland, Nyquist will depart for Lexington early Sunday morning.