Encino goes wire-to-wire to win G3 Stonestreet Lexington Stakes

Promising Nyquist colt punches his ticket to the G1 Kentucky Derby

Encino took command right out of the starting gate and had plenty left in the tank to repel the late bid of The Wine Steward to capture the G3 Stonestreet Lexington Stakes at Keeneland by three-quarters of a length on Saturday, 13 April.

It was the second straight Stakes win for the three-year-old Nyquist colt, who captured the John Battaglia Memorial Stakes last time out. After finishing second in his career debut, the Godolphin homebred has now notched three straight victories.

Ridden for the first time by jockey Florent Geroux, Encino broke like a shot out of the starting gate and was hustled to the lead. Allowed to set a moderate pace, Encino led the field down the backstretch. He began to receive pressure from The Wine Steward entering the far turn, and by the time they entered the homestretch, the pair had separated themselves from the rest of the field.

Encino and The Wine Steward battled through the lane, with Encino finally shaking free nearing the wire to win by three-quarters of a length. The victory also earned Encino 20 points toward a possible start in the G1 Kentucky Derby. Altogether, the colt now has 40 points total, which ties him for the 20th and final spot in the Derby starting gate.

Encino was bred in Kentucky and is out of Glittering Jewel, a winning daughter of Bernardini. Glittering Jewel is a half-sister to Champion (and Darley sire), Street Sense, and to the Stakes winner Elusive Sparkle (by Elusive Quality).

In addition to Encino, Nyquist is also the sire of the undefeated three-year-old colt, Nysos, winner of both the G3 Robert B. Lewis and G3 Bob Hope Stakes this year, and Johannes, who returned from a layoff to win the G3 American Stakes at Santa Anita.

Nyquist is standing the 2024 breeding season at Jonabell Farm for $85,000, stands and nurses.