Preakness winner Exaggerator made it two straight wins over Kentucky Derby champ Nyquist. SSZ has the story from Monmouth Park at the 2016 Haskell Invitational
OCEANPORT – Exaggerator made it two straight wins over Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist after winning the 2016 Haskell in a time of 1:48.70 on the 1 ⅛ mile track. Nyquist led early in the race, but faded to 4th place behind American Freedom and New Jersey horse Sunny Ridge. Exaggerator paid $7.20 for the win on a $2 ticket and was the second favorite in the six horse field behind Nyquist.
Exaggerator spoiled Nyquist’s bid for a Triple Crown with a victory in the mud at the Preakness. The muddy track on the Jersey Shore was the most wonderful deja vu for jockey Kent Desormeaux who saw his horse gallop to a one and a half length victory. .
A casual race fan who placed a wager on Exaggerator might have been ready to rip up their ticket when the horse was 15 lengths behind Nyquist early in the race, but Desormeuax wasn’t worried one bit. “He didn’t start slow,” the winning jockey said. “He broke on the money. They were just sprinting away from the gate. It was one of those cliches, he didn’t come from behind, they went too fast.”
The quarter mile split was a blazing 22.78 seconds with Nyquist in the lead.
“When I saw 22 and change, I was thinking – dang we’ve got a shot,” Matt Bryan, Exaggerator’s co-owner said. “He’s just cruising, his head was settled and everything looked good. When he was moving up in the backstretch, I thought maybe he was moving a little too soon, but Kent said he had plenty of horse in him.”