Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Too Soon to Think about a Triple? Nyquist May Cure Pharoah Hangover

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Too Soon to Think about a Triple? Nyquist May Cure Pharoah Hangover

Article excerpt

It's too soon, isn't it?

We shouldn't be talking about this, right? Not yet.

Horse racing suffered through 37 long, hard, grueling, frustrating, puzzling, crazy years before the prayers for a new Triple Crown champion finally were answered, so it seems rather premature to think, well, that the feat could be repeated just a year later.

There was an American Pharoah hangover feel to Saturday's Kentucky Derby. It had to be a little like 1974 when Cannonade won the Derby. Secretariat had won the Derby the year before, and then he won the Preakness. And he crushed the Belmont to be the first horse in 25 years to win all three. A year later, everyone was still talking about Secretariat. Everyone still talks about Secretariat.

At this year's Derby, people were still talking about last year's Derby winner. And Preakness winner. And Belmont winner. People asked what American Pharoah was doing these days. They visited Ashford Stud to see him. His old trainer, Bob Baffert, went to see him. ("I think he recognized Jill," Baffert said of his wife.) NBC went to see him. I went to see him. American Pharoah had done what so many horses failed to do. He was special.

Now we have Nyquist. He's won all eight of his races, including the sport's biggest race. On Saturday he became just the second Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner -a feat he accomplished in October at Keeneland -to win the Kentucky Derby, following Street Sense in 2006. Nyquist wasn't bothered by Danzing Candy's sizzling early pace. He wasn't caught by Exaggerator's late run. He just kept on trucking.

"He amazes us every day," assistant trainer Jack Sisterson said Sunday morning while watching Nyquist graze and pose for pictures outside of Barn 41.

When a horse has won all eight of his races, it stands to reason you might think he could win two more beginning with Saturday's running of the 141st Preakness Stakes. The skeptics took their shots at Nyquist leading up the Derby, questioning his pedigree, his ability to get the mile-and-a-quarter distance, his path from California to Florida to Keeneland to Louisville to get to the wire first on Saturday. …

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