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Nyquist breezes in Kentucky Derby

 Nyquist, ridden by Mario Gutierrez, crosses the finish line during the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 7. Rob Carr/Getty Images. Photo from  npr.org .

Nyquist, ridden by Mario Gutierrez, crosses the finish line during the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 7. Rob Carr/Getty Images. Photo from npr.org.

For all the doubters, Nyquist had the answer – a Kentucky Derby win.

The bay colt, named for Detroit Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist – the horse’s owner, J. Paul Reddam, is a big hockey fan – became the eighth undefeated horse to win the Derby and improves to 8-0. Next up is the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Maryland May 21.

Exaggerator – our friend Thomas DeChiara’s pick – was a hard-charging second and looks to be a worthy rival. Gun Runner was third.

But really, it was all Nyquist, who bided his time close to the lead and then found that extra gear that defines the true champion. 

Wonder what the naysayers are saying now? Frankly, I never doubted Nyquist would do it, but doubt, dismissiveness and divisiveness rule the digital age.

Now that the horse has erased one doubt, another looms: Can he go 9-0 at the Preakness?

I not only think he can, I’ll go one better: I think he can win the Triple Crown, becoming the first horse since Seattle Slew to do it while being previously undefeated.

Back to back Triple Crown champs: Wouldn’t that be something?

Meanwhile, what about that Lani, the temperamental gray entry from Japan, sired by top stud Tapit? Kicking, digging in his hooves, having to stand in the paddock early by himself so he doesn’t go after his competitors: Talk about not playing nice with others. If Lani keeps this up, he’s going to become the Nick Kyrgios of Thoroughbreds. (Although given the way Nick has improved this year, that may be unfair to say of the saucy Aussie tennis stud.)

Maybe Lani is just tired of being trailed by the Japanese paparazzi. Lani, we love a bad boy but chillax a bit, will you?

And Nyquist, run, baby, run to daylight.

 

Tags: Nyquist, Kentucky Derby, Seattle Slew, Lani, Tapit, Exaggerator, Gun Runner, Nick Kyrgios, Preakness Stakes