First time starter Witsel, by Nyquist, showed a reasonably good work tab but no one could have guessed he would run a hole in the wind in his first start on December 9th providing his Leading Freshman Sire with his 16th winner from his first crop.
Witzel broke smartly and was just behind the leader as the field reached the half mile mark. From that point, Witsel took a brief lead but was then passed by another as the field reached the final turn. Witsel quickly retook the lead and exploded in the stretch to draw off and win by thirteen and one-quarter widening lengths.
Bred in Kentucky by Elm Tree Farm (Jody and Michelle Huckaby), Witsel is out of the Stakes-placed mare Bailzee, a half-sister to G3-placed Knights Cross, and a half to the dams of Stakes winner Cakewalk, and the G2-placed trio of Fleetwood, Sway Away and Shaken.
Nyquist's 15 other winners include Vequist, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and probable two-year-old Champion filly, as well as Gretzky the Great, winner of the G1 Summer Stakes. He's also the sire of G1 placed Lady Lilly and Nasreddine. Nyquist is the first freshman sire since Danzig in 1984 to have two G1-winning juveniles before the end of September.
Nyquist will stand the 2021 breeding season at Jonabell Farm in Kentucky for $75,000, stands and nurses.