Exaggerator upsets undefeated Nyquist in Preakness

Exaggerator upsets undefeated Nyquist in Preakness
Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist stands outside of a barn at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Friday, May 20, 2016. The Preakness Stakes horse race is scheduled to take place May 21. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist stands outside of a barn at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Friday, May 20, 2016. The Preakness Stakes horse race is scheduled to take place May 21. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

(RNN) - Nyquist is undefeated no more.

The Kentucky Derby winner was angling to set up a Triple Crown run in the June 11 Belmont Stakes, but Exaggerator put those hopes to bed with a strong pass on the home stretch.

Two Kentucky Derby rivals and eight other challengers were trying to spoil Nyquist's 8-0 record in Saturday's Preakness Stakes.

Exaggerator has been on the losing end of four of those wins, placing second twice. In each of those race, Exaggerator trimmed the margin. He finished 1 1/4 lengths behind Nyquist in the Kentucky Derby and went off as the second choice in both races. Nyquist was favored in both.

He began moving to the front on the backstretch after falling to eighth. Exaggerator had moved into third heading into the stretch and outpaced the field to the finish line.

Nyquist was racing in the mud for the first time Saturday and was in the lead for much of the race, including when the horses made the final turn, but Exaggerator quickly took the lead and was not seriously challenged.

Exaggerator's winning time was 1:58.31. Cherry Wine edged Nyquist at the finish line to take second place.

Stradivari finished fourth. Uncle Lino ran neck-and-neck with Nyquist to pace the field but faded down the stretch and finished seventh.

In the Kentucky Derby, Exaggerator closed the gap and was still gaining on Nyquist at the finish. A brief, heavy storm pelted the track prior to the Kentucky Derby, but was not enough to have a major effect on the race. However at the Preakness, rain soaked the track all day, turning it into a muddy mess.

Saturday's odds were volatile all day with Stradivari briefly eclipsing Nyquist as the betting favorite with 4-5 odds. Nyquist had been the 3-5 morning line favorite and Stradivari was the third choice at 8-1. Then later they were co-favorites with each listed at 8-5 with Exaggerator as the third choice at 5-2.

By race time, the odds were back to where they were on the morning line with Nyquist favored at 3-2, Exaggerator second at 5-2 and Stradivari the third choice at 8-1.

Stradivari did not run in the Kentucky Derby, but was the beneficiary of a huge bet that pushed the odds closer.

The race day got off to a somber start after the winning horse in the first race collapsed and died following the race. Homeboykris' trainer tweeted that he suffered an apparent heart attack while walking back to the barn. He later added that the horse's owner had bought him to ensure he had a good life when his racing career was over.

Pramedya, a filly, fractured a leg in the fourth race of the day and was euthanized. She had the same owners as Barbaro, who broke a leg 10 years ago in the Preakness Stakes and was later euthanized after a lengthy effort to save his life.

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