Nyquist Heading to Louisville as Kentucky Derby Favorite

The undefeated Nyquist is headed to Churchill Downs in Louisville in four weeks as the betting favorite for the Kentucky Derby (G1) after he defeated the previously perfect Mohaymen in the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) on April 2.

Nyquist is listed at betting odds of +300 at Bodog for the Kentucky Derby, now just four weeks away. The Doug O’Neill trainee is perfect in seven starts and looking to give his trainer a second win in the Run for the Roses. O’Neill won with I’ll Have Another in 2012.

Nyquist was overtaken by Mohaymen in future Kentucky Derby betting earlier this year after that colt won the Holy Bull (G2) and Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream Park impressively, but he then suffered his first defeat when checking in a disappointing fourth in the Florida Derby.

Mohaymen is now listed as the third choice in Kentucky Derby wagering at Bodog at +800, with Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner Exaggerator second in the betting at +750.

Nyquist was perfect as a juvenile, capping off his year by winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), which earned him the Eclipse Award for the top juvenile of 2015. Street Sense (2007) is the lone horse who has won both the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and the Kentucky Derby.

After Mohaymen’s two impressive wins earlier this year his price for the Kentucky Derby dropped as low as +225 at Bodog, but his price has drifted up since his first loss. He likely will battle with Exaggerator for second choice honors on the first Saturday of May.

Exaggerator was beaten by Nyquist in the San Vicente (G3) and then was third behind Danzing Candy and Mor Sprit in the San Felipe (G2), but put it all together in his impressive Santa Anita Derby victory.

His 103 Beyer Speed Figure is the highest number earned in any of the Road to the Kentucky Derby points races this year.

Danzing Candy had moved up to third choice in early Kentucky Derby wagering at +1200 after his score in the San Felipe, but has now drifted to +2200, while Mor Spirit is now at +1500.

The Bob Baffert trained Cupid, currently at +1600 in early Kentucky Derby betting, is the headliner in Saturday’s $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1), the final major Kentucky Derby prep race.

The Hall of Fame trainer won the Arkansas Derby last year with American Pharoah, who went on to win the Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).

Handicapper Michael Dempsey will be providing his full card analysis for Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby Day at turfnsport.com.