The favorite Nyquist won the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. He pulled ahead in the final stretch, finishing the 1 1/4 mile race in just more than two minutes.
Exaggerator finished strong to take second place. Gun Runner and Mohaymen followed across the finish line.
Nyquist is unbeaten in eight races. He’s trained by Doug ONeill.
“He’s a special horse,” O’Neill said in an interview after the race.
Saturday’s victory marks O’Neill’s second Kentucky Derby win. During a press conference after the race, he said Nyquist — who is named after former Detroit Red Wings hockey player Gustav Nyquist — is “a special horse.”
“I think now it’s safe to say he’s the best horse I’ve ever been around,” he said. “This horse is so strong and does everything so easy, he’s never tired.”
Nyquist took first place in front of a crowd of more than 167,000. Saturday’s crowd was the second-highest attendance ever at Churchill Downs.
The horse will be sent to Baltimore next week to begin training for the second leg of the triple crown of horse racing. The Preakness, held annually at the Pimlico Race Course, is set for later this month.
Jockey Mario Gutierrez said he never saw the late push by second-place finisher Exaggerator. He said Nyquist is the kind of horse that won’t allow another horse pass him down the stretch.
“He’s the kind of horse that always has something left,” he said.