Nyquist capped an undefeated season in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), overcoming a wide trip on both turns to score comfortably for owner Reddam Racing and trainer Doug O’Neill, and the talented youngster easily earned the Eclipse Award for champion 2-year-old male.
The final margin was 255-3 and Nyquist followed in the hoofsteps of his leading freshman sire Uncle Mo, the champion 2-year-old of 2010.
Out of the winning Forestry mare Seeking Gabrielle, the Kentucky-bred Nyquist captured his first career start by a head, taking a 5-furlong maiden special weight at Santa Anita on June 5, and that was the closest the competition ever came to beating him in 2015.
The bay colt followed with a convincing 5 ¼-length decision in the August 8 Best Pal (G2) at Del Mar before posting a spectacular 3 ¾-length victory in the meet’s signature 2-year-old event, the September 7 Del Mar Futurity (G1), with regular rider Mario Gutierrez gearing down the convincing winner well before the wire.
Nyquist had to work a little harder in the FrontRunner (G1) at Santa Anita on September 26, repulsing a pair of challengers before edging away by nearly a length in his first two-turn start. After being heavily favored in his first three stakes, Nyquist left California for the first time to contest the October 31 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Keeneland.
He drew a tough outside post (12) in the Juvenile, with a short run to the first turn in the 1 1/16-mile event, and got caught widest of all heading into the first bend while in midpack. Nyquist continued to take the overland route, circling rivals with a bold move on the far turn, and accelerated into a clear lead entering the stretch drive.
Nyquist has earned $1,613,600 from his five starts.
Bred by Summerhill Farm, Nyquist passed through the sales auction three times. He initially sold for $180,000 as a weanling before bringing $230,000 as a yearling, and connections purchased him for $400,000 at the 2015 Fasig-Tipton Florida March Two-Year-Old Sale.
Reddam and O’Neill teamed to win an Eclipse Award with I’ll Have Another, the champion 3-year-old male of 2012 following wins in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, and O’Neill has also conditioned 2005 champion 2-year-old male Stevie Wonderboy and 2006 champion male sprinter Thor’s Echo.
An early favorite for the Kentucky Derby on May 7, Nyquist presently leads all 3-year-olds with 30 points toward a Kentucky Derby berth. He’s scheduled to make his 2016 bow in the 7-furlong San Vicente (G2) at Santa Anita on February 15.