Outstanding colt Nyquist (2c Uncle Mo x Seeking Gabrielle, by Forestry) kept his unbeaten record intact when claiming his second Grade I victory in the $300,750 Frontrunner Stakes at Santa Anita on Saturday.
A last start winner of the Group I Del Mar Futurity, the Doug O’Neill trained colt was a short priced favourite and despite being challenged strongly by runner-up Swipe, Nyquist had all the answers and forged clear to win the 1 and 1/16th mile contest by three parts of a length.
“He’s been on the lead in the past but he was tougher than I expected today,” said winning rider Mario Gutierrez.
“I was expecting him to be easier but he was tough, he was in the bridle. I adjusted though and it worked out in the end.”
Nyquist has now won four from four earning over $500,000 in prizemoney.
“We learned he can come back fairly quick, and there’s some big stuff next year that sometimes you’ve got to come back quick, so that’s exciting,” said Doug O’Neill, referring to the Triple Crown, which was won this year by American Pharoah, who won this race last year.
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.
Currently leading the US First Crop Sires List, Uncle Mo has gotten off to a flying start with his stud career as you would expect of a former Champion 2YO.
His first Australian two year-olds hit the tracks this spring with two year-old filly Conchita making an early impression for respected Newcastle trainer Paul Perry with an impressive trial win last week.
Uncle Mo is now back in Australia, standing at a fee of $16,500.