Underdog Nyquist Finds Himself in New Role as KY Derby Fave

Underdog Nyquist Finds Himself in New Role as KY Derby Fave

Category : News - Sun 03/04/2016 - 11:00 EDT

Coming into the Grade 1 Florida Derby April 2 at Gulfstream Park, there was little doubt that the winner of the highly-anticipated showdown between a pair of unbeaten challengers in Nyquist and Mohaymen would produce the Kentucky Derby favorite. Indeed it did.

Nyquist, making just the second start of his three year-old campaign and first career start beyond a mile and a sixteenth, broke to the front, raced aggressively on the lead and easily fended off a brief threat from Mohaymen entering the stretch to pull away for a 3 1/4-length win. In addition to the winner's share of the $1 million purse, Nyquist's connections also netted an additional million - the carrot that lured them from southern California to Florida - as part of a bonus structure offered by Fasig Tipton to any graduate of their Florida two year-olds in training sale prosperous enough to win the Florida Derby. Now Nyquist is perfect in seven starts including four grade 1 stakes victories, giving him credentials more laudatory than perhaps any Kentucky Derby favorite in the race's illustrious history.

Silencing the skeptics 

Like every potential Derby horse, Nyquist still has questions to answer on the first Saturday in May, but there's no reason to start doubting the champ now. He's made a living so far out of silencing the skeptics. Despite his undefeated record, he was a popular play-against in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Despite his undefeated record, he played second-fiddle in the Florida Derby wagering to Mohaymen. For the record, the colt is still undefeated and waiting for a new round of critics to diminish his chances of winning the Kentucky Derby. 

No chinks in the armor 

Even after the colt's undefeated juvenile campaign and three grade 1 scores, pundits pointed to Nyquist's "unimpressive" speed figures. But, in two starts as a three year-old, Nyquist has delieverd consecutive plus-100 Beyer Speed Figures, making him the swiftest of the three year-old class so far. The Derby is a race that requires a bit of luck, but often horses create their own luck by being talented, versatile and level-headed. Nyqust has each of those qualities in spades along with an impeccable resume and penchant for proving people wrong. 

Category : News

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