Nyquist wins $2M Juvenile, stakes claim as early Kentucky Derby favorite

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LEXINGTON, Ky. — There’s an early favorite for next year’s Kentucky Derby and it’s Nyquist.

The 2-year-old colt based in Southern California won the $2 million Juvenile by a half-length at the Breeders’ Cup on Saturday.

He’s trained by Doug O’Neill, ridden by Mario Gutierrez and owned by J. Paul Reddam, the same trio behind I’ll Have Another. That colt won the 2012 Kentucky Derby and Preakness.

Nyquist threaded his way through traffic in the 14-horse field to run 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.79. He paid $11.40, $6.20 and $4 at 9-2 odds.

Nyquist improved to 5-0 in his young career, winning his third straight Grade 1 race. He’s a son of Uncle Mo, who also was undefeated in his 2-year-old season. Uncle Mo was the early favorite for the 2011 Kentucky Derby, but he was scratched the day below with a gastrointestinal infection. He was later diagnosed with a rare liver disease.

Swipe returned $25 and $13, while Brody’s Cause was another 2 1/4 lengths back in third and paid $5 to show.

Greenpointcrusader, the 7-2 favorite, finished seventh.