Never in doubt: Johannes returns an easy winner in G3 American Stakes

Four-year-old Nyquist colt returns from layoff to earn first Graded Stakes victory

Despite not having raced in 11 months, Johannes showed no signs of rust as he cruised to an impressive one-and-three-quarter length victory in the G3 American Stakes at Santa Anita on Thursday, 4 April.

Johannes, a four-year-old colt by Nyquist, was making his first start since last May, when he finished fifth in the G2 American Turf at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day. Prior to that race, the colt had captured both the Listed Pasadena Stakes and the Baffle Stakes, both run on the turf at Santa Anita.

With Umberto Rispoli once again in the irons, Johannes rated in third, well off a swift pace set by Air Force Red. Johannes steadily cut into the lead on the far turn before surging past Air Force Red near the eighth pole. He kicked clear in the stretch to score by one-and-three-quarter lengths over the rallying War At Sea.

Johannes covered the mile on turf in a sharp 1:32.08, which was more than two seconds faster than the time G3 Wilshire winner Nadette posted (1:34.16) two races earlier, and it was just a fraction off the course record of 1:31.69, set in 2016 by Vyjack in the G2 City of Hope Mile.

Bred in Kentucky by owner Cuyathy LLC, Johannes is out of the mare Cuyathy, a Stakes-placed daughter of Congrats. Cuyathy is a half-sister to multiple Graded Stakes-placed Join in the Dance, and the family also boasts of such standouts as Pennyhill Park (Champion Older Mare in Canada), Elm Drive (G2 Sorrento Stakes, G3 Monrovia) and Mother Of Dragons (California Governor’s Handicap).

In addition to Johannes, 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 Encino, who has won two of three starts, including most recently the Listed John Battaglia Memorial Stakes. Encino is targeting either the G1 Toyota Blue Grass or G3 Stonestreet Lexington Stakes – both at Keeneland – for his next start.

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