BALTIMORE – Just under 48 hours after he captured the Kentucky Derby, Nyquist arrived Monday at Pimlico Race Course where he will try to win the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown – the 141st Preakness Stakes – on Saturday, May 21.
Baltimore City Police provided an escort for J. Paul Reddam’s unbeaten colt from Baltimore-Washington International Airport to Pimlico, the final leg of his journey from Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. The van carrying Nyquist and six other Doug O’Neill-trained horses expected to compete in races at Pimlico arrived at the historic track at 6:08 p.m.
Nyquist was placed in Stall 24 in the Barn D. Assistant trainer Jack Sisterson said the colt will walk the shedrow on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings and is likely to go to the track for some light exercise on Thursday morning.
Sisterson accompanied the Derby winner on what was an uneventful journey to Maryland.
“The trip went very well,” Sisterson said. “The thing about Nyquist is that he is mentally so prepared for anything you put in front of him. We’re just blessed to have a horse like him.”
O’Neill flew to California from Kentucky on Sunday and is expected to be in Baltimore Thursday to oversee preparations for the Preakness.
Nyquist won the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby by 1 ¼ lengths Saturday evening. He was the fourth consecutive favorite to win the Derby – just the third time in the history of the race and first time in 40 years that favorites had won four straight. At odds of $2.30-1, he was the shortest-priced favorite to win the Derby since 2000 when Fusaichi Pegasus went off at the same price. Fusaichi Pegasus’ try for the Triple Crown ended in the Preakness when he finished second to Red Bullet.
O’Neill followed the same approach to shipping in early to Pimlico that he used in 2012 with Reddam’s I’ll Have Another, an upset winner of the Derby. I’ll Have Another charged through the stretch in the Preakness to overtake Bodemeister and win by a neck. His quest for the Triple Crown ended the day before the Belmont Stakes when he was retired due to a tendon injury.
Fifteen horses are considered as possible candidates to be entered in the Preakness. That group includes Derby runner-up Exaggerator and the third-place finisher, Gun Runner. Other prospects from the Derby are Suddenbreakingnews, who was fifth; Brody’s Cause, who was seventh; and the Japanese-owned Lani, ninth in the Derby after winning the U.A.E Derby. The so-called new shooters include Cherry Wine and Laoban, who were on the also-eligible list for the Derby but did not draw into the field; Federico Tesio winner Awesome Speed; trainer Bob Baffert’s Lexington winner Collected; impressive Keeneland allowance winner Stradivari trained by Todd Pletcher; Pat Day Mile winner Sharp Azteca; Uncle Lino, winner of the California Chrome Stakes on April 30; Fellowship, fourth in the Pat Day Mile; and Dazzling Gem, who was fourth in the Arkansas Derby.
Traveling with Nyquist from Louisville was Land Over Sea, the runner-up in the Kentucky Oaks and a candidate for the Black-Eyed Susan (G2) on Friday, May 20. Sisterson said that plans for the other five runners have not been finalized, but that they are expected to run at Pimlico.
Pimlico Race Course