Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Kentucky triumph for unbeaten Nyquist

Published:Sunday | May 8, 2016 | 5:00 AM
Mario Guitierrez rides Nyquist (right) to victory in the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs yesterday.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP):

The racing world wondered if there was a worthy successor to last year's Triple Crown champion American Pharoah.

Enter Nyquist.

The bay colt who lacks any distinctive markings won the Kentucky Derby by 11/4 lengths yesterday improving to 8-0 in his career as the fourth consecutive favourite to win the race.

Ridden by Mario Gutierrez, Nyquist ran 2000 metres in 2:01.31. The three-year-old colt became the eighth unbeaten winner in the race's 142-year history, and the first since Big Brown in 2008. He the 2-1 favourite in the full field of 20 horses.

"We got a beautiful trip from the start to the end," Gutierrez said.

Nyquist delivered a second Derby win for Gutierrez, trainer Doug O'Neill and owner J. Paul Reddam. The southern California-based team was behind 2012 Derby and Preakness winner I'll Have Another.

"This is such a special horse," O'Neill said. "You can see it in his eye on a daily basis and he's such a professional."

The bay colt is from the first crop of sire Uncle Mo, who never got the chance to run in the Derby after being the early favourite for the 2011 race. He was scratched the day before with a stomach illness.