Nyquist won the 2016 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on a beautiful sunny Saturday evening in Louisville. Exaggerator was second by 1-1/4 lengths and Gun Runner third by 4-1/2.
With the victory Nyquist paid $6.60 to win on a $2 bet, $4.80 to place and $3.60 to show. Exaggerator paid $5.40 to place and $4.20 to show. Gun Runner paid $6.00 to show.
Nyquist is the first to go 8-for-8 since 1969 and the eighth unbeaten Kentucky Derby winner of all time.
As expected Danzing Candy led at the $2 million, mile-and-a-quarter race at the quarter-mile mark, chased by Nyquist and Gun Runner. Danzing Candy held the lead until the far turn, but Gun Runner passed at that point. Nyquist began to pull away down the stretch. Danzing Candy finished 15th.
Trained by Doug O'Neill and jockeyed by Mario Gutierrez, Nyquist came into the race as a 2-1 favorite after going a perfect 7-for-7 to open his career. He defeated Mohaymen and Majesto at the Florida Derby in April, and Exaggerator at the San Vincente Stakes in February.
Nyquist, owned by Paul Reddam, is named for Detroit Red Wings hockey player Gustav Nyquist. The Wings were Reddam's favorite team, as he grew up across the border from Detroit in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
Eyes now turn to the Preakness Stakes May 21 in Pimlico. A year ago American Pharoah won the Triple Crown by riding his Kentucky Derby momentum through Pimlico and finally Belmont. In 1977 and 1978, we saw Seattle Slew and Affirmed win the Triple Crown in back to back years. Will it be done again? Only time will tell.
O'Neill and Gutierrez have been at this point before in 2012 with I'll Have Another. They won the first two races of the Triple Crown but had to scratch before the Belmont.
Exaggerator, trained by Keith Desormeaux and ridden by his Hall of Fame jockey brother, Kent, entered the race at 5-1. They were attempting to become the first pair of siblings to win the Kentucky Derby.
More than 167,000 people were in attendance, the second most in Kentucky Derby history, trailing only last year.