Champion 2YO and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Uncle Mo put the icing on the cake at the Breeders’ Cup meeting at Keeneland on Saturday when his unbeaten son Nyquist (2c Uncle Mo x Seeking Gabrielle, by Forestry) emulated his sire in winning the 2015 Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
The Doug O’Neill trained colt was bidding for his fifth straight win, but it wasn’t all as easy as hoped for with the youngster left to travel out wide after jumping from an outside gate.
Ridden by Mario Gutierrez, Nyquist had to work hard for his win, claiming the 1 and 1/16th mile contest by half a length.
“The race didn’t unfold like I expected,” O’Neill said.
“We thought, being on the outside there, with kind of a short run to the first turn, we’d be up on the lead, saving ground. I have to watch the replay, but from my recollection we were five or six wide. But [jockey] Mario [Gutierrez] did his Mario thing where he just never panicked.
“From day one, before this horse ever debuted, he had the mind and the stride of a two-turn horse. When he debuted, like, ‘wow.’ The other day, maybe he wasn’t that impressive, maybe because we came back quickly. He was pressured early, and I think with that race under his belt, he turned it around today.”
Now favourite to be Champion Two Year Old Colt, Nyquist has won five from five earning over $1.6 million in prizemoney.
Bought for $400,000 at the Fasig-Tipton March 2YO Sale earlier this year Nyquist was previously a $180,000 weanling and then a $230,000 yearling, so he has impressed at every turn in his life.
Raced by Reddam Racing, Nyquist is the first winner for well-bred Seeking Gabrielle, a half-sister by Forestry to Grade III winner Seeking the Sky, the dam of Grade I winner Sahara Sky.
Set to be crowned Champion US First Crop Sire of 2015, Uncle Mo added two more winners to his tally on Saturday with Conquest Babayaga (2f Uncle Mo x Undercover Justice, by Lawyer Ron) scoring on debut at Woodbine and Mokat (2f Uncle Mo x Flashy Frolic, by Premiership) saluting at Del Mar by more than five lengths at her second start.