Nyquist, winner of the 2016 Kentucky Derby, will return to racing July 31 for the $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park, track officials announced Monday.
Trainer Doug O’Neill said the 3-year-old colt turned in an impressive workout earlier in the day at Santa Anita racetrack in California, covering five furlongs in 59 seconds. O’Neill said it hasn’t been decided when Nyquist will be shipped to New Jersey, but the travel plans should be worked out in the near future.
Nyquist has not raced since suffering his first career defeat in the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore on May 21. Nyquist spiked a fever after finishing third in the Preakness and was held out of the third race of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes on June 11.
Nyquist, based in Southern California, will be the 10th Kentucky Derby winner to run in the Haskell. Last year, Triple Crown winner American Pharoah attracted a record crowd of 60,983 to the track in Oceanport, N.J., and won the Haskell.
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Bob Kulina, president of Darby Development, the operators of Monmouth Park, told the Asbury Park Press, “Obviously, it’s always great to get the Derby winner. Now we can go out and try to put together a really good race on the heels of last year’s Haskell.’’
Nyquist won the first eight starts of his career, including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Keeneland and the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.