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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Rainy Morning at Keeneland....


Nyquist Will Work Saturday

Trainer Doug O’Neill pushed back a scheduled Friday workout for Nyquist after rain fell on Keeneland.

“I played the conservative card today,” O’Neill said. “The track was plenty safe, but there was some standing water in spots, and I have seen horses react to that.”

Nyquist went to the synthetic training track at 7:30 a.m. with exercise rider Jonny Garcia aboard, jogged one lap around next to the pony with O’Neill assistant Jack Sisterson aboard, stood for a short time and galloped once around on his own.

“Working on Fridays, we kind of have the luxury to call an audible,” O’Neill said. “His normal time is 7:00, and there was still a lot of rain in the area, so why take a chance? It will be better tomorrow.”

The forecast on Saturday looks good. Nyquist’s work will be the second of three scheduled breezes at Keeneland before the Uncle Mo colt ships to Churchill Downs on April 30. Last Friday, Nyquist worked five furlongs in 1:02.60 on his own.

“He is going to go wire to wire in company with Ralis,” O’Neill said. “They will two-minute lick the first three-eighths and then five-eighths in around 1:01 and change.”

Ralis won the Hopeful last summer at Saratoga and most recently was a close fifth in the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral at Turfway Park. He is being pointed to the Pat Day Mile at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby day.

Also scheduled to work Saturday for O’Neill is Kentucky Oaks candidate Land Over Sea, who had a similar morning routine Friday to Nyquist.

“She will go at 9:00 and work by herself,” O’Neill said of the daughter of Bellamy Road. She won the Fair Grounds Oaks, a fertile ground for Kentucky Oaks winners, in her most recent start.

Edited Keeneland release with additional content by Dick Downey

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