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Nyquist preparing for Preakness Stakes

Kentucky Derby winner aims to capture second leg of Triple Crown on Saturday

by Pat Pickens @Pat_Pickens / Staff Writer

With Nyquist's Kentucky Derby win in his rearview mirror, he has moved on to the second leg of the Triple Crown.

The horse named after Detroit Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist will try to remain undefeated and move within one win of the Triple Crown when he competes in the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on Saturday.

Nyquist made his first trip to the starting gate Monday. He has been working out since arriving to Baltimore ahead of the 14-horse field Friday. 

Watch: Derby winner Nyquist trots around Pimlico

 "He was great," Nyquist's trainer Doug O'Neill said on a video posted to his YouTube page Monday. "He was really just a true professional, and he walked through the paddock and acted like he'd been there before and he went to the gate. 

"We're just really happy; a really good morning."

Nyquist held off rival Exaggerator in Louisville by 1¼ lengths on May 7, improving to 8-0 in competitive racing. Owned by lifelong Red Wings fan and Windsor, Ontario native J. Paul Reddam, Nyquist is expected to be the favorite when the draw and betting lines are announced Wednesday.

O'Neill called Nyquist "by far the best horse we've ever had." He also trained a Reddam-owned horse, I'll Have Another, to wins at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness in 2012 before he was scratched from the Belmont Stakes because of injury.

Nyquist is aiming to become the third straight horse to win the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. American Pharoah was victorious last year en route to the Triple Crown. 

Post time for the Preakness is 6:45 p.m. ET on Saturday.

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