Kentucky Derby king Nyquist worked four furlongs at Santa Anita Monday morning in 48.60 as he prepares for his first race since finishing third in the Preakness Stakes on May 21.
Under exercise rider Jonny Garcia, the son of Uncle Mo trained by Doug O’Neill for owners Paul and Zillah Reddam worked in company with Malware (50.20) and came back well after his 7 a.m. drill.
“He worked great, 48 and change and (galloped out) a two-minute lick from the wire to the half in under two minutes,” O’Neill said. “He went really well. We’re really happy with him. He’s cooling out great so we’re all smiling right now.
“It just felt right to have Jonny work him this morning. Mario (regular rider Mario Gutierrez) is here, but Jonny knows him really well, as does Mario.”
As to where and when Nyquist returns to the races, O’Neill is playing it close to the vest.
“I’m going to meet with Paul on Wednesday, so we should know more Thursday. You can circle a race like the (Kentucky) Derby when you’re heading that way, but that’s not the case now. You’re at a point where you’re going to run him when he’s right.
“When you say a specific race and it doesn’t work out, there is a lot of second-guessing, so I don’t know if my stress level can handle being painted in a corner. We’ll let the horse tell us and hopefully it will be soon.”
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