Nyquist returns to work tab at Santa Anita

Friday’s workout was the start of his preparation for a summer campaign that has yet to be defined. Trainer Doug O’Neill said this week that races at Del Mar, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga in July are possibilities. Nyquist races for Paul and Zillah Reddam.

Nyquist worked alone at 7 a.m. Pacific under exercise rider Jonny Garcia. Starting slowly, Nyquist ran the first furlong in 12.80 seconds, according to Santa Anita clockers, before quickening noticeably going into the turn. Nyquist went the first quarter-mile in 24.60 and the final quarter-mile in 24 without being urged. Nyquist galloped out five furlongs in 1:02.

O’Neill timed Nyquist in a slightly quicker 48.40 seconds for the half-mile.

“His energy is back, and he looks good,” O’Neill said. “He’s bright-eyed, and his appetite is strong. He’s asking to do more.”

Nyquist has won 8 of 9 starts and earned $5,119,200. Aside from the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 7, Nyquist has won six stakes, including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Keeneland last October and the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park on April 2. Nyquist was the champion 2-year-old male of 2015.

O’Neill said he and the Reddams will decide on Nyquist’s race plans after the colt has a few more workouts. The options in July include such races as the $200,000 San Diego Handicap against older horses at Del Mar on July 23 and two lucrative races against 3-year-olds – the $600,000 Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga on July 30 or the $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park on July 31.

“We’ll listen to the horse, and we won’t get too far ahead of ourselves,” O’Neill said.

Tom Franklin is a senior contributor at US Racing.
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