Nyquist (3/1 favorite) took down the 142nd Kentucky Derby in a very fast 2:01.31, winning by 1 ¼ lengths over second-favorite Exaggerator (15/2), followed by Gun Runner (9/1) and Mohaymen (8/1).

Everything was coming up Nyquist on Saturday. The rain that was drenching the track at Churchill Downs started clearing up about 90 minutes before race time, giving way to sunny skies and reducing Exaggerator's would-be advantage in the slop. Once the Derby began, Danzing Candy (20/1) set a blistering early pace; Gun Runner briefly took the lead after six furlongs, but Nyquist left him behind coming out of the far turn, and Exaggerator's strong finish came a touch too late.

This commanding victory sets Nyquist up very nicely for a serious run at the Triple Crown. At press time, Nyquist is available at 5/7 on the futures market to win the 2016 Preakness Stakes, taking place Saturday, May 21 at Pimlico. The field has yet to take shape for the Preakness, but you can get an early bet in if you think Nyquist will win; this is a simple Yes/No prop, with No priced at 1/1.

It's become common to see the Kentucky Derby winner double down at the Preakness. Ten of the past 19 Derby champions have pulled it off, including three of the last four horses – starting with I'll Have Another in 2012. Nyquist will have the same team behind him this year: owner J. Paul Reddam, trainer Doug O'Neill and jockey Mario Gutierrez.

Skip Away

It's also common to see most of the horses who didn't win at Churchill Downs skip the Preakness. With only two weeks in between those races, and with Nyquist posting a 103 Beyer Speed Figure at the Derby, not too many trainers will want to push their horses that hard. Keith Desormeaux said he will bring Exaggerator to the Preakness, but no other Derby horses are considered probable to make the trip to Pimlico at press time.

Throw in the maximum field of 14 horses for the Preakness, and Nyquist definitely looks good to win for the ninth time in nine career races. But as always, the chances of the Derby champion taking the third leg of the Triple Crown are much less certain. Nyquist is available at 6/5 to win the 2016 Belmont Stakes on June 11, leaving him at 2/1 to follow in the hoofsteps of American Pharoah and complete the coveted Triple Crown.


*Odds as of May 10, 2016