Nyquist Breezes in Company
By Dick Downey
Updated 2:15 p.m. ET
Nyquist, working in company with Ralis, worked an easy five furlongs today on the main track at Keeneland.
Track clockers caught him in 1:01.80 (19/34), breezing, out six furlongs in 1:18. His internal fractions were 12, 23.80 and 35.80.
As mapped out by trainer Doug O'Neill, Nyquist and Ralis began a gallop near the finish line. They broke off together at the five furlong pole with Nyquist on the outside. Nyquist had a slight advantage down the stretch, as shown by a tweet from @Keenelandracing.
O'Neill said after the move, "We thought him going in company, he's just, he would do it easier. Cause he's so competitive, and sometimes by himself Jonny's got to ask him a little bit, so we thought it would be easier on him, and man, he was strong early, he really wanted to go, so at this point, really happy.
"At this point, he's fit and ready, so we're just strictly looking for maintenance," the trainer continued. "We told Jonny 1:01 and I think the clockers gave him 1:01 and four, so that's pretty good."
Nyquist's final workout for the Kentucky Derby will be next Saturday. O'Neill said he is undecided whether it will be in company.
Asked if Nyquist is the best horse he's ever trained, O'Neill said, "He is right now, yeah, yep, he's a special horse for sure. He's really thriving on the training, he's really loving Kentucky, we couldn't be happier with the way he's acting and looking."
"He sleeps a lot in his stall, he really takes care of himself, he preserves his energy for when he needs it out there on the track."
O'Neill Interview video
O'Neill said Nyquist's ship date to Churchill Downs will be Sunday. Nyquist will be taken out at 7:00, earlier than the training window reserved for Kentucky Derby and Oaks horses that starts at 8:30.