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Exaggerator’s Preakness win spoils Nyquist’s Triple Crown bid – SportsUntapped.com
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Added May 23rd, 2016 by Ian

Exaggerator’s Preakness win spoils Nyquist’s Triple Crown bid
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There will be no Triple Crown winner this year as Exaggerator won the Preakness Stakes on May 22nd to spoil Nyquist’s hopes of making history. Nyquist won the Kentucky Derby a couple of weeks ago and went into the 141st running of the Preakness at the Pimlico racetrack as the 3-5 favourite with Exaggerator behind him at 5/2. However, the conditions were less than ideal as the track resembled quicksand and Nyquist finished third in the field of 11. Long shot Cherry Wine, who was 17-1 managed to place second. Exaggerator finished second at the Kentucky Derby, so perhaps his win didn’t surprise some racing fans.

Nyquist got out to a good start in the slop and rain, but then faded when he reached the final stretch. Kent Desormeaux, was the winning jockey and he said he wanted to stay as close to the rail as possible to shorten the distance for his horse. The jockey’s brother Keith Desormeaux, who is Exaggerator’s trainer, said he thought his brother was making a mistake by going to the rail, but he obviously knew what he was doing as all the other jockeys stayed wide. Exaggerator entered the race with an 0-4 record against Nyquist, but was able to handle the favourite his first loss in nine races.

Some handicappers believed that Nyquist could actually capture the Triple Crown this year with Exaggerator placing in second in all three of the races. It wasn’t to be though as Exaggerator won the race by three-and-a-half-lengths and took home $1,5 million. Nyquist’s trainer, Doug O’Neill, said he wasn’t sure if the muddy conditions on the track hindered his horse, but said it appears they sure didn’t help him though. He added that he thought Nyquist was unbeatable, but he’s still an amazing horse and he’s very proud of him.

O’Neill told the press after the race, “It’s a bummer, of course. Our horse, God, he’s such an amazing horse. I can’t wait to see him in a little bit, give him a big kiss and pat him on the head because he’s still a winner in our book. They’re not machines. Being eight for eight, we kept thinking that this horse is never going to lose. But they all lose at one time or another.”

With Exaggerator taking the Preakness it may mean there will be a bit less interest in the upcoming Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 11th since there won’t be a Triple Crown winner. Of course, there was huge interest in last year’s event at Belmont as American Pharoah won the race to become the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years. However, Keith Desormeaux said Exaggerator will be racing as its’ still one of the biggest events on the horseracing calendar at it would be great to win it.

There was a record crowd at Pimlico for the Preakness this year as over 135,000 spectators headed to the track. But by the time the race started, many of them had left to seek shelter from the wet weather. O’Neill said there’s nothing that can be done about the weather since that’s Mother Nature’s department, but Kent Desormeaux said he doesn’t think the outcome would have been any different if it was a nice sunny day.

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