Santa Anita Park trainers pick Nyquist to win Derby

Photo by Benoit

Photo by Benoit

Here is what Santa Anita Park trainers said when asked by the track about the 142nd Kentucky Derby. Most seemed to think undefeated Nyquist, trained by hometown boy Doug O’Neill will win the 142nd Run for the Roses:

Paul Aguirre: I’m a big Nyquist fan. I can’t go beyond him. I love that horse.
A.C. Avila: It’s wide open. It’s a jockeys’ race.
Alexis Barba: Nyquist, but if it rains I’d throw (Paddy) Gallagher’s horse (the maiden Trojan Nation) in there. A horse I trained, Make Music for Me, was a maiden at 30-1 when he ran fourth in the 2010 Derby over a sloppy track, beaten only five lengths (by Super Saver).
Ray Bell: You have to like Nyquist, with Exaggerator and Mor Spirit. Mo Tom has the right style at a price.
David Bernstein: I’m a Nyquist fan until they beat him. He’s got a good post.
Jim Cassidy: Nyquist, I guess.
Ben Cecil: (With a Cheshire cat smile adorning his face)–Do I have to say? Nyquist, and I genuinely like him, not just because I train for Paul Reddam (owner of the colt).
Vladimir Cerin: Nyquist.
Caesar Dominguez: Nyquist and Exaggerator, with Victor Espinoza (Whitmore) third.
Neil Drysdale: Nyquist, if all is well.
Michael Ewing: Nyquist is straightforward. If it’s an off track, Exaggerator can do it.
Jerry Fanning: Nyquist. The rest is wide open.
Victor Garcia: O’Neill.
Mark Glatt: Exaggerator. I liked the way he ran in the Santa Anita Derby and the pace probably sets up for him.
Jorge Gutierrez: Nyquist and Exaggerator.
Dan Hendricks: I’m leaning towards Creator.
Jerry Hollendorfer: Nyquist, and I hope he (O’Neill) wins the Oaks (with Land Over Sea, who finished second to unbeaten champion Songbird trained by Hollendorfer in five straight races).
David Hofmans: I’m pulling for Exaggerator. He’s trained by a small guy (nationally, Keith Desormeaux), but Nyquist is the real deal.
Steve Knapp: Nyquist. He’s done everything right.
Brian Koriner: I’m a hometown guy. I like Nyquist. Everyone says racing in California is no good, but come Derby time, it’s all right. (Southern California-based horses have won the Derby three of the last four years: I’ll Have Another, 2012; California Chrome, 2014; and Triple Crown winner American Pharoah last year).
Eric Kruljac: I’m rooting for all the California boys. I would love it if Cliff (Sise Jr., Danzing Candy) could win it. Talk about a comeback story.
Ian Kruljac: Nyquist.
Craig Lewis: Nyquist, but if Danzing Candy gets an uncontested lead, he can make it.
Mike Machowsky: Gun Runner. I was impressed with his win in the Louisiana Derby, and at least he’ll offer a little value. I like (Dale) Romans’ horse, too (Brody’s Cause).
Gary Mandella: Gun Runner.
Alfredo Marquez: Nyquist and Exaggerator.
Ron McAnally: I’ve got to go with The Genius (Bob Baffert and Mor Spirit). Either him or Asmussen (Creator).
Jeff Metz: Nyquist and Exaggerator.
Steve Miyadi: Sise (Danzing Candy) wire to wire.
Kristin Mulhall: Exaggerator.
Hector Palma: I have to like Nyquist. He never lost.
Dean Pederson: It’s hard to go against a horse like Nyquist that has a bunch of ones next to his name.
Mike Pender: Mo Tom. He was sawed off in his last three starts and had no chance. It’s time to show his colors.
Jorge Periban: Nyquist. He’s been running great.
Marcelo Polanco: Exaggerator. I like the way he won in the slop and he’s got a smart rider (three-time Derby winner Kent Desormeaux).
Mike Puype: The two California horses, Nyquist and Exaggerator.
John Sadler: I’ve got to pick Nyquist. I think he’s the best horse.
John Shirreffs: Nyquist. For a longshot, Suddenbreakingnews.
Gary Stute: Nyquist. He hasn’t done anything wrong yet.
Eddie Truman: Nyquist is not only my Kentucky Derby pick, he’s my Triple Crown pick. I’m going all in.
Tim Yakteen: Nyquist. I’m going with the favorite.
Howard Zucker: Nyquist.