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Undefeated Champion and Kentucky Derby Favorite Nyquist Returns to Keeneland to Train for Derby

April 3, 2016

Colt won Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile here last October

LEXINGTON, KY (April 3, 2016) – Winner of Saturday’s $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park, Reddam Racing’s undefeated champion Nyquist arrived at Keeneland around 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday to continue preparations for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1).

Click here for video of Nyquist’s arrival at Keeneland.

Trained by Doug O’Neill, the champion 2-year-old male of 2015 and winner of the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) here last fall extended his unbeaten streak to seven with Saturday’s victory at Gulfstream Park.

“We were very impressed with the way he did it,” said Jack Sisterson, assistant to O’Neill. “It was very humid and he handled it well. (Jockey) Mario (Gutierrez) gave him a great ride.”

Sisterson said Nyquist, who has earned $2,322,600, would return to the track Wednesday morning to continue his preparations for the $2 million Kentucky Derby on May 7.

“Doug chose to bring him here to enjoy the surroundings and also take advantage of the synthetic training track in case there is bad weather,” Sisterson said.

Also on the flight with Nyquist was stablemate Gomo, who finished fourth Saturday in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) in her first start since winning the Darley Alcibiades (G1) here last fall.

Gomo has accumulated 20 points toward the Kentucky Oaks (G1), good for 16th in the standings. The Oaks is limited to 14 starters and leading the points chase for the race is stablemate Land Over Sea with 128 points.

“I am not sure about the Oaks or if we are going to keep them separate,” Sisterson said. “If both get in the gate (for the Oaks), it would be special.”

Land Over Sea, winner of the TwinSpires.com Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) in her most recent start, is scheduled to ship to Keeneland Tuesday from her Southern California base.

Also in the O’Neill barn at Keeneland is Ralis, who was beaten less than a length in a fifth-place finish in Saturday’s Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral (G3) at Turfway Park. Winner of the Hopeful (G1) at Saratoga last summer, Ralis has accumulated no points toward the Kentucky Derby.

“We will see how he comes out of the race,” Sisterson said. “He will let us know when he is ready.”

Nyquist is a graduate of two Keeneland auctions. In 2013, Paramount Sales, agent, consigned him as a weanling to the November Breeding Stock Sale, where he was purchased by Madison Farm for $180,000. At the 2014 September Yearling Sale, consignor Dromoland Farm, agent, sold Nyquist to Sutton Place Stables for $230,000.

Accompanying Nyquist and Gomo on Sunday’s flight from West Palm Beach, Fla., to Blue Grass Airport were a number of horses that will train and race at Keeneland during the 2016 Spring Meet that runs April 8-29.