Nyquist won the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby by 1 1/4 lengths on Saturday in front of the second-largest crowd at Churchill Downs in Louisville. The Uncle Mo 3-year-old colt captured his eighth consecutive win to remain perfect in his career with jockey Mario Gutierrez securing his second Derby triumph.
Firing out of the No. 13 post, Nyquist, named for NHL player Gustav Nyquist of the Detroit Red Wings, clocked an official time of 2:01.31 and was the longstanding 2-1 favorite in the weeks and days leading up to the Run for the Roses. Nyquist is the fourth consecutive favorite to win the race.
Exaggerator, a 5-1 favorite, would finish in second after an impressive late charge. Gun Runner, who entered at 10-1 odds, finished third, while Mohaymen finished in fourth. Exaggerator returned $5.40 and $4.20, while Gun Runner paid $6 to show.
Like his steed, Gutierrez also remains perfect with two wins in two Derby starts. But Gutierrez, a native of Veracruz, Mexico, had been mired in a slump. The jockey thanked his wife Rebecca, who is pregnant with their first child, for helping get through a rough patch in his career.
"I have to thank my wife," said Gutierrez. "I wasn’t doing that good, but she believed in me. She kept saying things were going to turn around."
Trainer Doug O'Neill, who referred to Nyquist as "a super horse," sewed up the second Derby victory of his career and first since he sent out I'll Have Another in 2012. Nyquist is the only thoroughbred to win the first eight starts of his career, and he's now earned more than $4.9 million in stakes races.
Owned by J. Paul Reddam of Reddam Racing, Nyquist managed to hold off Exaggerator, who entered the race as many experts' top pick, by saving a huge burst for the last quarter mile in front of a crowd of 167,227 spectators. The attendance record was set last year at 170,513 for American Pharoah's victory.
No. 20 Danzing Candy broke out after the first turn and set the pace with Nyquist right behind until No. 5 Gun Runner moved ahead to second down the backstretch.
Nyquist would hold in third at the second turn on a track that had been dampened by a brief downpour about 90 minutes before the race but still was rated fast, before moving backup behind Danzing Candy and opening up on the final turn for a huge rush towards the finish line.
Now talk will turn to whether Nyquist can head to the Preakness Stakes and claim the second jewel of the Triple Crown on Saturday, May 21. American Pharoah claimed the first Triple Crown winner since 1978.
Here are the complete race results, with video of the full race below.
1. Nyquist (2-1)
2. Exaggerator (5-1)
3. Gun Runner (10-1)
4. Mohaymen (12-1)
5. Suddenbreakingnews (24-1)
6. Destin (20-1)
7. Brody's Cause (24-1)
8. Mo Tom (24-1)
9. Lani (28-1)
10. Mor Spirit (12-1)
11. My Man Sam (19-1)
12. Tom's Ready (46-1)
13. Creator (16-1)
14. Outwork (26-1)
15. Dancing Candy (26-1)
16. Trojan Nation (39-1)
17. Oscar Nominated (39-1)
18. Majesto (56-1)
19. Whitmore (30-1)
20. Shagaf (55-1) - DNF
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) May 7, 2016