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Early Derby Favorite Nyquist in Action

Last year’s champion juvenile Nyquist became the early betting favorite for the Kentucky Derby (G1) after his win last October in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and will be looking to regain that status on Monday when he is sent off as the 4-5 morning line favorite in the $200,000 San Vicente (G2).

The Doug O’Neill trainee is now the second choice in future Derby betting at BetOnline at +850.

Since Nyquist’s win in the Juvenile last fall the talented colt Mohaymen has become the betting favorite for the Kentucky Derby at BetOnline at odds of +350. The colt is undefeated in four starts, taking the Holy Bull (G2) in his most recent outing on January 30.

Next up for Mohaymen likely is the Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream Park on February 27.

For Nyquist, his three-year-old campaign starts Monday in the San Vicente. The colt draws the rail with Mario Gutierrez in the irons.

The colt faces six foes, his main rival Delta Jackpot (G3) winner Exaggerator, who is at  5-2 on the morning line. The colt won the Saratoga Special (G2) last year and was fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, beaten three lengths for the top spot.

He is trained by Keith Desormeaux, who will give his brother Kent a leg up breaking from the five post. The colt is currently listed at +2200 in future Kentucky Derby betting at BetOnline.

The third choice in the San Vicente is the Wesley Ward trained Sheikh of Sheikhs at 5-1. The colt won the Juvenile Dirt Sprint on the Breeders’ Cup undercard at Keeneland on October 31. He made his 2016 debut in the Hutcheson (G3) at six furlongs where he finished third. He has the look of a colt that may stay at shorter distances and is not a real Derby contender.

Completing the San Vicente field are recent maiden winner Electrifying (20-1), Mucho Macho Man Stakes runner up El Charro (8-1) and Denman’s Call (6-1), who broke his maiden in his debut.

Full Field in Southwest at Oaklawn Park

A full field of 14 will go to the gate on Monday in the $500,000 Southwest (G3) at Oaklawn Park, a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race.

The top four finishers earn 10-4-2-1 points toward entry into the Run for the Roses.

The morning line favorite is the Bob Baffert trained Collected at 5-2. The colt won the Sham Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita in his last start, which was his first on conventional dirt. 

The colt is listed at +3500 in Kentucky Derby futures betting at BetOnline. He faces the top four finishers of the Smarty Jones Stakes which was won by Discreetness, who is 6-1 on the morning line.

The colt has won four of his six career starts including a pair of stakes and is listed at BetOnline at odds of +5000 in early Derby wagering.

Check out Michael Dempsey of turfnsport.com who be providing full coverage of Derby preps and full card reports for Gulfstream Park daily and Aqueduct on Saturday.

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