Nyquist Breezes at Keeneland
Today at Keeneland, Nyquist worked for the first time since winning the Florida Derby, and the move left his team happy.
He went five furlongs in 1:02.60, breezing, over a fast track on a mild Friday morning.
With regular exercise rider Jonny Garcia aboard, Nyquist backtracked to the half-mile pole alongside a pony and then jogged around to the sixteenth pole, where he broke away from the pony. He two-minute licked for about a half-mile, then began his work in earnest.
Keeneland clockers caught Nyquist in fractions of 12.60, 24.80 and 37.20, and out six furlongs in 1:17.20 for the final segments of the morning’s activity.
It was the first of three scheduled works at Keeneland, all on Fridays, before Nyquist is relocated to Churchill Downs for the Derby. He's expected to ship on Saturday, April 30.
“We were very happy with the work,” trainer Doug O’Neill said. “Jonny got him nice and settled and he actually went a mile. He got his first half in around a minute and the last half right at :50. He was stretching out good and straight as an arrow. We are all very happy with the breeze.”
“This is what we do at home a lot of the time,” O’Neill said. “He has enough natural speed that we are not looking to add any speed, and we will continue with the maintenance.”
Working after the break was Reddam’s Land Over Sea. Winner of the Fair Grounds Oaks and headed to the May 6 Kentucky Oaks, Land Over Sea worked five furlongs in 1:02.80 with fractions of 13, 25.60, 37.40 and out six furlongs in 1:17.20.
“She looks great,” O’Neill said about the daughter of Bellamy Road. “She worked well. She was eager the first part of it, but Jonny got her to settle.”
Also working for O’Neill before the break were Hopeful winner Ralis and El Camino Real Derby winner Frank Conversation, who most recently finished last in the UAE Derby.
Ralis, fifth in the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral in his most recent start, worked five furlongs in company in 1:04.60. Frank Conversation worked three furlongs in :39.60. Both horses are owned by Reddam.
O’Neill said Ralis is being pointed to the Pat Day Mile at Churchill, with Frank Conversation scheduled to run the same day in the American Turf.
Edited Keeneland release with additional content by Dick Downey Photo by Keeneland