No kidding: Exaggerator beats Nyquist in Preakness
ABS-CBN Sports on May 22, 2016 11:36 AM
Exaggerator (5), with Kent Desormeaux aboard, moves past Nyquist (3), with Mario Gutierrez riding, during the 141st Preakness Stakes horse race at Pimlico Race Course, Saturday, May 21, 2016, in Baltimore. Exaggerator won the race. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)
RICHARD ROSENBLATT, AP Racing Writer
BALTIMORE (AP) — Exaggerator has finally beaten Nyquist, and it came in the Preakness on Saturday to end any chance of another Triple Crown.
Seizing the lead at the top of the straight, Exaggerator splashed past the tiring Kentucky Derby winner and went on for a 3 1/2-length victory over Cherry Wine on a rain-drenched Pimlico Race Course.
Exaggerator's elusive victory over his nemesis came after four tough losses, including a runner-up finish to Nyquist in the Derby. Nyquist finished third.
"I had a dream trip today," jockey Kent Desormeaux said after his third Preakness win. "It was an amazing race and Exaggerator is an amazing horse."
The day began on a somber note. Two horses died and a jockey was injured in the first four races, one of the horses bred and owned by the owners of the ill-fated Barbaro.
Sent off as the 3-5 favorite in the 11-horse field, Nyquist dueled with Uncle Lino for the lead through the first mile of the second leg of the Triple Crown.
And then it was all Exaggerator. The 3-year-old son of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin trailed by 13 lengths at one point but kept gaining ground along the rail. Desormeaux saw an opening around the final turn, angled outside and Exaggerator took over.
"To me it looked like Nyquist was trying to establish an outward position, maybe in the four path," Desormeaux said. "He was jockeying for position all the way down the back side. And Exaggerator just kind of slid up the fence to the far turn where I actually got to slow him down and say 'whenever I'm ready.' "
Exaggerator, the second favorite, returned $7.20, $3.20 and $2.40. Cherry Wine returned $9.80 and $4.20, and Nyquist paid $2.20 for third. Winning time for the race was 1:58.31.
"Hats off to Exaggerator and Team Desormeaux. What a great run," Nyquist's trainer Doug O'Neill said. "I didn't think we could get beat, to be honest with you."
Last year, American Pharoah became the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years, and there were many who thought Nyquist would make it two in a row and become the 13th horse to sweep the Derby, Preakness and Belmont.