With up to two inches of rain expected Jan. 31 in Southern California, trainer Doug O'Neill moved Nyquist 's regular Sunday work up a day to Jan. 30, and the champion 2-year-old male of 2015 impressed on the track once again in preparation for his 3-year-old debut.
The undefeated Uncle Mo colt was credited with a six-furlong drill in 1:16 1/5 by the Santa Anita Park clockers, but he broke at the wire and ran a full lap around the track under regular exercise rider Jonny Garcia.
"I'm very happy and Jonny was very happy, which is the main thing, and the horse looks phenomenal," O'Neill said after the workout.
The final time was ultimately slow for Nyquist, but running a speedy drill wasn't the goal. O'Neill was most impressed by the final furlong, which the Reddam Racing runner covered in :11 4/5.
"The final time is a little slow, but it's the way he did it, the way he finished, and the way he's cooling out—that's the important thing," O'Neill said. "(The final furlong) is the money run. You want them to be able to settle, breathe, and relax, and finish with a flurry.
"He's got so much natural speed, I'm just happy Jonny has got him settled and finishing up with a lot of run. If you let him do his thing, he could very easily go really fast."
Nyquist is scheduled to record one more timed workout in preparation for the Feb. 15 San Vicente Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita.
Also out on the Santa Anita main track for the first time in 2016 was three-time champion Beholder, who returned to the barn of Richard Mandella Jan. 29. The 6-year-old daughter of Henny Hughes galloped just before the sun peeked over the horizon.
"We'll go out early every day for a while," Mandella said. "She looks great—bigger and stronger than ever."
Beholder's Hall of Fame trainer said her time turned out not only served her well physically, but also mentally.
"It's nice for any horse to get sent out," Mandella said. "I'm just waiting for someone to send me out."