In his final timed workout in preparation for the April 2 Florida Derby (gr. I), trainer Doug O'Neill kept the distance the same for Reddam Racing's undefeated Nyquist , but added some company to spice things up March 25 at Santa Anita Park.
Nyquist worked his standard mile, starting slowly and finishing up quickly, but added a workmate. O'Neill timed the standout colt's wire-to-wire drill in 1:49 3/5, but had his last eighth in :11 3/5.
O'Neill similarly added a workmate in the Uncle Mo colt's last workout before his start in the Feb. 15 San Vicente (gr. II) to add some competitiveness right before the race. On Friday, he worked with fellow Reddam runner Pay the Fine, who received a time of 1:04 2/5 for five furlongs from Santa Anita's clockers, while Nyquist got 1:03 with the "breezing" tag.
"It was a really nice, strong maintenance work," O'Neill said of Nyquist, who will ship to Gulfstream Park March 28. "He went in company and was really fluid. That last eighth was really good after the (slow start to increase stamina)."
The other Eclipse Award winner to work Friday was Spendthrift Farm's Beholder, who covered five furlongs in 1:01 3/5 a day after trainer Richard Mandella indicated her first start of 2016 may come on the Santa Anita grass in the May 6 Royal Heroine Stakes (gr. IIT).
Other notable workers Friday at Santa Anita were Catch a Flight (three furlongs, :37 4/5), Donworth (four furlongs, :48 1/5), Imperative (four furlongs, :50 3/5), Malibu Sunset (four furlongs, :48 3/5), Midnight Hawk (four furlongs, :48 2/5), and Paulina's Love (five furlongs, 1:04 1/5).