Nyquist, the undefeated Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) victor, worked the Santa Anita Park main track for four furlongs to prepare for his three-year-old debut, which will take place on February 3rd at the $200,000 San Vicente Stakes (gr. II).
“He worked great today,” said Reddam Racing trainer Doug O’Neill. “He went (:48 2/5), just cruising. As long as he stays injury-free and El Niño doesn’t come blasting through the door, we’re on for the Feb. 15 race.”
The San Vicente Stakes is the first piece of a puzzle that has the Kentucky Derby in its sights as the final piece, according to O’Neill. “Timing-wise, after the San Vicente, the Florida Derby (gr. I) would be perfect, because it would be five weeks out before the big dance (the Kentucky Derby, May 7),” he said. “In an ideal world, it would be the San Vicente, the Florida Derby, and the Kentucky Derby.”
Also taking in a training run was the undefeated Songbird, who is Nyquist’s female counterpart. It was the first time she hit the track since a dominating win at the 14 Hands Winery Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) on October 31st. She ran three furlongs in a time of :36 2/5 during her training session.
As long as weather permits, Songbird is being prepped for the $200,000 Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. II), which will be held on February 6th at Santa Anita. “Everything would have to go right with the weather,” said assistant trainer Dan Ward. “We can’t miss anything.”