Nyquist will return to galloping on Tuesday at Churchill Downs as the early favorite prepares along with 19 other expected horses for the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby.
Nyquist made his first impression on the track in Louisville, Ky., on Sunday as excitement builds for Saturday's race a year after American Pharoah went on to became thoroughbred racing's first Triple Crown winner in 37 years.
Trainer Doug O'Neill had Nyquist take his first footing with a light jog under the Twin Spires. The transition from Keeneland, where the colt posted his final workout Friday, to Louisville has been so far seamless, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.
"He seems very happy, and we're happy," O'Neill told the newspaper Sunday. "The intention is just, (Sunday and Monday), just have nice, easy -- let everything check him out -- more of a mental exercise."
Unbeaten in seven starts, Nyquist is the son of Uncle Mo and developed on the West Coast before shipping to Gulfstream Park for last month's Florida Derby. He won the $1 million race in Florida and earned another million for connections as a graduate of a 2-year-old sale at the track.
O'Neill, who trained I'll Have Another to a Kentucky Derby win in 2012, said he never thought about working Nyquist at Churchill before Saturday's race.
"I'm a big believer in that the track they run on is generally different than the track in the morning," O'Neill said. "It's more of just them getting settled into their surroundings and seeing everything one time or so.
"You realize how lucky you are and how privileged you are to have an athlete like him that's so mentally tough and so physically tough."
Most of the 3-year-olds in the field will be running 1 1/4 miles for the first time on Saturday.
Three trainers are expected to have two horses each in the race after Wednesday's draw.