On a quiet Sunday morning where no Kentucky Derby contenders posted timed workouts, unbeaten champion Nyquist had the focus on him as he took his first spin around Churchill Downs after shipping to Louisville from Keeneland Saturday afternoon.
The multiple Grade I-winning son of Uncle Mo jogged once around the big oval under exercise rider Jonny Garcia. With assistant trainer Jack Sisterson guiding him aboard loyal pony, Satire, Nyquist passed through the six-furlong gap and finished up in short order before heading back to the barn.
“He jogged today and he’ll jog tomorrow,” said trainer Doug O’Neill, who besides Nyquist has nine other Thoroughbreds on the Churchill backstretch, including Kentucky Oaks contender Land Over Sea. “He looked good and Jonny said he felt great. He had a really good breeze (Friday) so the intention is just to have a couple easy days, more of a mental exercise today and tomorrow.”
Exaggerator, Brody’s Cause in good order
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Grade I winners Exaggerator and Brody’s Cause both walked Sunday morning and were reported to have come out of their Saturday workouts in good order by their respective connections.
Trainer Keith Desormeaux joked that Exaggerator was “full of you-know-what and vinegar” on Sunday after working five furlongs in 1:02.60 Saturday. Both he and Brody’s Cause, who is trained by Dale Romans, are slated to go back to the track Monday.
Trainers’ kids providing Derby dish
Horse trainers’ kids might be the ultimate insiders in a Kentucky Derby camp, and they’ll be sharing their up-close-and-personal experiences, insights, hopes and even handicapping on @KyHBPA, the Twitter feed of Kentucky’s largest horsemen’s group, during Kentucky Derby Week.
In a venture overseen by Hall of Fame turf journalist Jennie Rees and Bailey Romans, daughter of trainer Dale Romans, at least 11 sons and daughters of Kentucky Derby horsemen will be tweeting on the @KyHBPA account and with the hashtag #KYDerbyKids. More are expected to be added, including children or grandchildren of the owners of Derby horses.
“It will bring a new eye to horse racing, a more behind-the-scene look at what goes on,” said Bailey Romans. “Everything is about the day of the races, the Kentucky Derby is the greatest two minutes in sports, but there’s more that goes into it than just those two minutes. I think this will give people an opportunity to see the work involved in making these horses champions.”
The Kentucky division of the Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association is donating $100 to the charity of choice for all the #KyDerbyKids participants.