The 2016 San Vicente Stakes ran on Monday, February 15th and undefeated Nyquist made short work of the small field at Santa Anita Park. The Eclipse Award winner for two-year olds was unfazed after pressure came during the two turns before he blazed down the stretch to win by 1 1/2 lengths. It was a much needed reminder of the Triple Crown hopeful’s supreme talent.
At 6-0-0 in six starts, Nyquist padded his undefeated record with a casual effort at the San Vicente Stakes. Jockey Mario Gutierrez barely needed his whip down the stretch as the hyper competitive Nyquist tore off in the final sprint to ensure an ancitipated victory. His 1:20.71 time over the 7-furlong distance was the third fastest in the history of the race.
Nyquist paid out $2.80, $2.10 and $2.10 win the win.
Exaggerator tried his damnedest to give Nyquist a run for his money, but fell short in second place. The horse relented towards the finish line, realizing that catching the Triple Crown hopeful was next to impossible. Still, Nyquist made a fan out of Keith Desormeaux, the trainer for Exaggerator. “Anybody not a believer in Nyquist now that was an awesome race. To set those kinds of fractions and still finish in close to track record time for a 3-year-old in February? Wow. Hat’s off to Nyquist.”
The shorter distance of the San Vicente Stakes is a curious choice for the handlers of Nyquist. This is not part of the prep races for the Kentucky Derby, though Nyquist is probably pointed down a strategic path mapped out by his trainer Doug O’Neill. It’s obvious that his next challenge will be at a longer distance, but no target has been firmly set by his handlers. They’re more than happy to bask in the win for one
It couldn’t have come at a better time, quite frankly. Nyquist fell to second in the Kentucky Derby Futures Wager behind Mohaymen, who now leads the pack at 4/1. Nyquist dropped from 9/1 to 7/1 over the weekend’s second pool of betting. Reeling in $29,557.47, there are still many that believe that Nyquist is the horse to beat at the Kentucky Derby. However, Mohaymen put forth a serious rally in the second pool. His odds went from 11/1 to 4/1 while he raked in $49,698.48 in handle.
Those that need convincing of Nyquist’s incredible talents need to watch the video. His 2015 season was filled with wins at the Best Pal Stakes, Del Mar Futirity, Frontrunner Stakes and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. His win at the San Vicente Stakes is just the start of his 2016 season, and horse players around the world have to be excited about the result.