Nyquist draws No. 13 post as early 3-1 Kentucky Derby fav

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Nyquist has been made the early 3-1 favorite for the 142nd Kentucky Derby, with Exaggerator the second choice in the full field of 20 horses.

Trained by Doug O’Neill, Nyquist is undefeated in seven career races. The colt drew the No. 13 post on Wednesday. Four horses have won from there since 1900, most recently Smarty Jones in 2004. O’Neill, jockey Mario Gutierrez and owner Paul Reddam teamed to win the race in 2012 with I’ll Have Another.

Nyquist broke from the No. 13 post when he won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last year at Keeneland.

“The post draw didn’t matter to us a ton but we’re happy being more toward the outside for sure,” O’Neill said. “The whole team is pumped up. We’re just very optimistic for a big day.”

Exaggerator drew the No. 11 post and is 8-1 for the 1 1/4-mile race Saturday at Churchill Downs. He’s trained by Keith Desormeaux, whose Hall of Fame brother, Kent, will be aboard.

Creator, Gun Runner and Mohaymen are the co-third choices at 10-1. Creator will break from the No. 3 post with Gun Runner in the No. 5. Both are trained by Steve Asmussen. Mohaymen drew the No. 14 post.

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Mor Spirit, trained by four-time Derby winner Bob Baffert, will break from the No. 17 post. No horse has won from there in the race’s previous 141 editions. Mor Spirit is 12-1, the same odds as Brody’s Cause, who drew No. 19.

Last year, Baffert won with American Pharoah, who swept the Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes to win the sport’s first Triple Crown in 37 years.

“The last time I had the 17 post was Point Given with Gary Stevens (fifth in 2001), and here we are again,” Baffert said. “I wanted the 16. All the speed is on the outside, so there will probably be two different races going on.”

The dreaded No. 1 spot that pins a horse to the inside rail coming out of the gate went to Trojan Nation, who has yet to win a race. Along with Trojan Nation, the other horse listed at 50-1 is Oscar Nominated, whose owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey put up a supplemental fee of $200,000 to get him into the race.

That fee boosted the Derby purse to $2,391,600 if 20 horses start. The winner would receive $1,631,000.

Japan’s entry, Lani, is listed at 30-1. The horse is known to be unpredictable in starting gate, and he will break from the No. 8 post.

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.