Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Nyquist will make his next start in the $1 million Betfair.com Haskell Invitational (gr. I) at Monmouth Park at 1 1/8 miles July 31, according to Paul Reddam, who owns the Uncle Mo colt with his wife, Zillah, in the name of their Reddam Racing.
Nyquist, who finished third in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) after setting blistering early fractions, came out of that race with a fever and was returned to his Southern California base with trainer Doug O’Neill after a recuperation period at Pimlico Race Course. Nyquist worked five furlongs in :59 July 11 at Santa Anita Park before the final decision was made to go to the Jersey Shore and a rematch with Kentucky Derby third-place finisher Gun Runner.
“The Haskell was always the obvious choice, and it’s a ‘Win and You’re In’ race (for the grade I Breeders’ Cup Classic), too,” Reddam said. “We just didn’t want to paint ourselves into a corner by announcing he was going to run somewhere and then have him not be ready.
“The report I got is he worked very well this morning, well within himself, and Doug said he went in :59 very comfortably. Depending on flight availability Nyquist should go out to Monmouth three or four days before the race.
“I expect the field to be relatively short, with the Jim Dandy (gr. II) running the day before and the West Virginia Derby (gr. II) the following week.”
Nyquist, the 2-year-old champion of 2015, suffered his first defeat in the Preakness after eight wins to start his career. Bred by Summerhill Farm out of the Forestry mare Seeking Gabrielle, he has earned $5,119,200 to date.