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Nyquist Steady Atop Latest Odds to Win 2016 Kentucky Derby

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Nyquist sits as the +300 betting favorite on the odds to win the Kentucky Derby at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com, but he faces growing competition from the field.

Nyquist, a three-year-old colt that remains undefeated through seven races, is scheduled to run his final breeze at Keeneland on Friday before moving to Louisville ahead of next Saturday’s running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.

The Doug O’Neill trainee last raced in the Florida Derby four weeks ago, dominating from gate to wire in an impressive win to move to the top of the odds and surpass early favorite Mohaymen, who finished fourth at Gulfstream and now sits third on the betting lines for the 2016 Kentucky Derby at +1000.

Nyquist’s perfect record includes a victory at the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, and he is looking to become the first to follow up that accomplishment with a Kentucky Derby win since 2007.

The Kiaran McLaughlin-trained Mohaymen had sported odds as short as +225 prior to his disappointing finish in the Florida Derby, and now also trails Exaggerator, who has rocketed to +800 since his spectacular run three weeks ago at the Santa Anita Derby.

RELATED: How to watch the Kentucky Derby

Undeterred by a sloppy track, Exaggerator powered to his fourth career win, crushing the race favorite Mor Spirit by 6.25 lengths, and sending his Kentucky Derby odds soaring from a previously distant +3500.

Mohaymen, meanwhile, is joined at +1000 by Gun Runner, who won going away at last month’s Louisiana Derby to claim his second straight victory. Gun Runner had previously been pegged at +2000, improved to +1400 following his most recent win, and has continued his steady climb up the odds throughout the month of April.

Brody’s Cause finally returned to form following a seventh-place finish in the Tampa Bay Derby, grinding out an important win in the Blue Grass Stakes to lift his odds to +950, but has since fallen back to +1200 at Kentucky Derby betting sites.

Destin, a Todd Pletcher-trained colt, took the win at Tampa Bay for his third career victory, and has been a steady presence on the Kentucky Derby odds at a respectable +1400.

Following a pair of wins, including a close victory at the Rebel Stakes, Cupid was pegged as the favorite in the Arkansas Derby, but finished a distant 10th. Cupid has since been scratched from the Kentucky Derby following throat surgery, opening the door for Mo Tom, who has held steady at +1600.

Mor Spirit sits next at +1800, followed by Suddenbreakingnews, Outwork, and Creator, who round out the odds leaders, each at +2000.

Baffert hoping Arrogate gives him third Dubai World Cup win

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Having taken over the mantle as the world’s best racehorse from California Chrome, Arrogate will attempt on Saturday to wear another crown that last fitted his illustrious American compatriot, the Dubai World Cup.

All eyes are on the 4-year-old Arrogate, who lost on debut 11 months ago but hasn’t lost since.

He’s won the Breeders’ Cup Classic and the inaugural $12 million Pegasus World Cup this year to stretch his unbeaten streak to six. In both races, Arrogate defeated Chrome, who won the Dubai World Cup last year at Meydan Racecourse by five lengths despite jockey Victor Espinoza hanging on to a loose saddle for most of it.

Under jockey Mike Smith, Arrogate has forged a winning combination in his last three Group 1 races: Travers Stakes, Breeders’ Cup Classic and Pegasus World Cup.

In Dubai, they have drawn stall nine among 14 contenders, a position which fails to douse the confidence of his trainer Bob Baffert.

“Nine is fine,” said Baffert, who also trained 2015 U.S. Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.

“He’s settled in pretty well. As long as he shows up, that’s the key. If he runs his race, we know what he can do.”

Smith was all praise for his mount, ranked the No. 1 racehorse in the world.

“I have been blessed with some really, really good horses, but I am not sure I have ever sit on one like this,” Smith said.

“Everything about him, his disposition, his mechanics, the way he gets over the ground … at times you feel as if you are running downhill instead of a level ground. What amazes me most is when the race is over, it looks as if he did not put much effort into it. His recovery time is so quick.”

Arrogate’s Breeders’ Cup Classic and Pegasus World Cup wins came over 2,000 meters on dirt, the same distance and conditions as the $10 million Dubai World Cup.

Baffert hopes Arrogate can give him a third Dubai World Cup victory after Silver Charm (1998) and Captain Steve (2001).

He suffered a heart attack during his last visit to Dubai in 2012, and watched the World Cup five nights later with stents in two of his blocked arteries. He also watched from even farther afield last year as his other horse, Hoppertunity, finished third behind Chrome and Mike de Kock’s Mubtaahij.

He’s giving Hoppertunity another chance.

“Both my horses are happy and healthy,” Baffert said. “He (Hoppertunity) should be collecting a check again. That is what he does, picks up the pieces in these big races. He reminds me of Pac-Man, he just keeps going. A Dubai World Cup 1-2, that would be something.”

Mubtaahij is also back, although he will start under Christophe Soumillon from the widest of stalls.

“Like everyone, we wanted low,” the Belgian jockey said. “I will have to … hope for some luck.”

The Dubai World Cup features a nine-race card offering $30 million across six Group 1 and three Group 2 races on turf and dirt.

Six three-year-olds nominated late to Triple Crown series

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Thunder Snow, winner of the UAE 2000 Guineas, is among six 3-year-olds made eligible to compete in the Triple Crown series during the late nomination period.

The late nominees, which required a payment of $6,000 each, raise the total nominations to 425 for the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes. The late nomination period closed Monday. The early nomination window closed in January and required a payment of $600.

Ireland-bred Thunder Snow, owned by Godolphin Racing, is set to run Saturday in the $2 million UAE Derby in Dubai. The colt has three wins in seven career starts for trainer Saeed bin Suroor.

The other late nominees are Hollywood Handsome, trained by Dallas Stewart; More Than Words, trained by Charlie LoPresti; Parlor, trained by Eddie Kenneally; Rapid Dial, trained by Ingrid Mason; and Stretch’s Stone, trained by Bruce Levine.

Thoroughbreds that weren’t nominated to the Triple Crown have one final chance by paying a supplemental fee. The fee for the Derby is $200,000; $150,000 for the Preakness; and $75,000 for the Belmont.