Pedigree profile: Nysos

February 5th, 2024

After two blowout victories sprinting, it was no surprise to see Nysos dominate his two-turn debut, winning the one-mile Robert B. Lewis S. (G3) at Santa Anita by 7 1/2 lengths.

Indeed, the early brilliance of Nysos in sprints can be attributed more to raw talent than a predisposition for sprinting. At least, that’s what his stamina-oriented pedigree suggests.

Nysos is a son of Nyquist, the 2015 champion two-year-old male and 2016 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner. The five-time Grade 1 winner was fast enough to nab a trio of graded sprints, including the seven-furlong Del Mar Futurity (G1), but his biggest wins came over distances from 1 1/16 miles to 1 1/4 miles.

Nyquist is passing on his combination of speed and stamina at stud. His progeny win at an average distance of 7.1 furlongs, with the best of them tending to shine over at least one mile. They include champion two-year-old filly Vequist, 1 1/4-mile Alabama (G1) winner Randomized, 1 1/8-mile Awesome Again (G1) hero Slow Down Andy, and one-mile Summer (G1) winner Gretzky the Great.

Meanwhile, the dam of Nysos is Zetta Z, an unraced daughter of 2006 champion three-year-old male Bernardini. Bernardini won the 1 3/16-mile Preakness (G1) plus the Travers (G1) and Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) over 1 1/4 miles, and he’s passed on stamina at stud, with his progeny compiling a 7.5-furlong average winning distance. The best include Travers winners Stay Thirsty and Alpha plus 1 1/8-mile Pegasus World Cup (G1) Art Collector.

Bernardini is also a stamina influence as a broodmare sire, with his daughters foaling Clairiere, Serengeti Empress, Catholic Boy, Maxfield, Colonel Liam, and Dunbar Road, all Grade 1 winners racing 1 1/8 miles or farther.

There’s no reason to believe the stamina in Nysos’ pedigree comes at the expense of speed, since his speed is readily apparent on track. But it’s reassuring to note Zetta Z previously foaled the capable sprinters Mr. Axel and Attabe, the latter placed in the seven-furlong Ruling Angel S. at Woodbine.

Taking all of these factors together, Nysos has the pedigree to shine over classic distances, and a race like the 1 3/16-mile Preakness (G1) could be a perfect fit for the undefeated colt.