May 21, 2024

Nysos explosive in Robert B. Lewis

Nysos wins the Robert B. Lewis S. (G3) at Santa Anita Park (Photo by Benoit Photography)

Baoma Corp’s Nysos remained unbeaten with another scintillating display in Saturday’s $201,000 Robert B. Lewis (G3), motoring clear by 7 1/2 lengths at Santa Anita.

The Bob Baffert pupil was bet down to odds of 1-10, in light of his impressive victories in his first two starts around one turn. Although the Lewis marked his debut over a route of ground, the son of Nyquist and a Bernardini mare had every right to assert his class, and he did so in breathtaking fashion.

Jockey Flavien Prat, who steered Nysos to an 8 3/4-length demolition job in the Nov. 19 Bob Hope (G3) at Del Mar last out, once again rode him confidently from just off the pace. As the 13-1 Scatify sprinted to the lead through fractions of :22.81. :46.67, and 1:11.11, pressed by Baffert’s Wine Me Up, Nysos was drafting within striking range.

On the far turn, Nysos maneuvered like a Ferrari inside and then around rivals who were no more than temporary obstacles in his path. The $550,000 OBS April purchase had so much momentum swinging for home that he was already passing Scatify and Wine Me Up before he even straightened up.

The only question was how far the winning margin would be once Nysos leveled off in the stretch. Prat didn’t push him to run up the score; instead, he just coasted under a hand ride to finish the mile in 1:36.65.

Wine Me Up wore down Scatify by three-quarters of a length for runner-up honors, giving Baffert the exacta. Because Baffert is suspended by Churchill Downs Inc., neither Nysos nor Wine Me Up is eligible for Kentucky Derby (G1) points.

“He (Nysos) stumbled a bit leaving there, but he was in a good spot,” said Baffert, who was winning the Lewis for the sixth straight year and 12th time overall. “I knew it was going to be a hot pace. My other horse (Wine Me Up) really hung in there well.

“Prat rode him (Nysos) with a lot of confidence. He knows the horse well. I love the fact that he has speed and he proved he can do two turns. He has a great mind. He is a really good colt. You can just sit there and push the button at any time. It makes it so much easier for the riders, but I still get a little nervous.”

Scatify took home six points for his third-place effort. Mc Vay, who tracked the pace, retreated to fourth (four points), trailed by Moonlit Sonata (two points), Better Than Gold, and Ace of Clubs.

There were two notable scratches in Stronghold and Coach Prime, the respective second and third from the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2). Normally that would undercut a form assessment, but not in this case. Wine Me Up, the Los Alamitos Futurity fourth, offers a yardstick that only boosts Nysos, who beat him about twice as far. Los Al hero Wynstock did the form no favors either by flopping in Saturday’s Southwest (G3), albeit on a muddy surface at Oaklawn Park.

Now 3-for-3 by a combined margin of 26 3/4 lengths, Nysos has bankrolled $216,600. The bay flashed potential in his debut romp in a six-furlong maiden here Oct. 21, wiring the field by 10 1/2 lengths. He took the blinkers off for the seven-furlong Bob Hope, and showed his tactical versatility by overpowering his foes from a stalking position. The Lewis checked another box on the resume.

Bred by Susie Atkins in Kentucky, Nysos sold for $130,000 as a Keeneland November weanling, and $150,000 as a yearling at Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October, before bloodstock maven Donato Lanni sourced him at OBS.

Nysos is out of Zetta Z, who is also responsible for stakes-placed Attabe. She descends from Unbridled Elaine, the 2001 Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) heroine and dam of Group/graded winners Etched, Emotionless, and Out of Bounds. This is the further family of the mother-and-son Grade 1 tandem of Glitter Woman and Political Force.