The career of this son of Uncle Mo lasted all of eleven starts. Despite the limited number of races he competed in, he still managed to make some history while simultaneously collecting wins in some of Thoroughbred racing's most prestigious events.
Named after professional hockey player Gustav Nyquist, the Doug O'Neill trainee was unstoppable as a juvenile in 2015. In five starts, he went undefeated with jockey Mario Gutierrez (the only jockey he would know on race days), scoring wins in the Grade I Del Mar Futurity and Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Keeneland to garner the Eclipse Award for Top Juvenile Male. Overall, Nyquist won four stakes in his freshman campaign, a trio of them at the Grade I level.
That body of work put him in the Kentucky Derby conversation, and his prep season went perfectly. First came a victory in the Grade II San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita. That was followed by a trip to Gulfstream Park for a showdown with Mohaymen, who boasted a perfect record as well. Nyquist kept the winning streak going, and marched into Churchill Downs as the favorite for the Kentucky Derby.
Going into the Run for the Roses, Nyquist had largely stayed close to the pace before making a move in previous starts. That is exactly what he did on the First Saturday in May. Breaking from the gate well, the colt followed Danzing Candy, who set a very fast pace for the opening half-mile. The fractions helped Nyquist, and when he straightened into the stretch, he took over to win the race that eluded his father five years earlier (Uncle Mo was scratched before the race and did not participate). Four years after I'll Have Another's stirring win, O'Neill, Gutierrez, and Reddam Racing once again experienced the moment everyone in racing dreams about.
The victory gave Nyquist a spot in Thoroughbred racing history for two reasons. First, he became just the second horse to capture the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and Kentucky Derby (Street Sense was the first in 2007). The other reason was the fact he joined one of the sport's legends, Seattle Slew, as an undefeated champion of the opening leg of the Triple Crown. What the fans saw Nyquist accomplish under the Twin Spires on May 7, 2016 was truly rare.
That proved to be the zenith of the colt's career. He raced three more times after that, taking third in the Preakness before finishing off the board in the Haskell Invitational and Pennsylvania Derby. Plans to run in the Breeders' Cup Classic were cancelled not long before the race due to an injury, and he was subsquently retired.
Although Nyquist only raced for over a year, he produced a successful career that saw him occupy some exclusive clubs in Thoroughbred racing. Overall, he won eight races and earned more than $5 million on the track. The brown colt, much like his sire, caught the attention of the racing world, and he accomplished a lot in a short period of time.
Following his retirement, Nyquist moved into a new role as a stallion, and his first crop is set to enter the races in 2020. It is too early to say, but perhaps he will enjoy success in his current occupation like he did at the races.
What is known about Nyquist is that he has ensured his place in Thoroughbred racing history.