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Horse racing-Exaggerator wins Preakness, Nyquist third

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Exaggerator Tops Nyquist, Wins Preakness


(Reuters) - Exaggerator took advantage of sloppy conditions and a "dream trip" to win the 141st running of the Preakness Stakes by 3-1/2 lengths in Baltimore on Saturday, ending Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist's bid for the Triple Crown.

Exaggerator hugged the rail for most of the 1-3/16 mile race before surging into the lead with an explosive burst down the stretch to win by 3-1/2 lengths and end a frustrating 0-4 record against Nyquist, who carried an 8-0 career mark into the race.

Race favorite Nyquist finished third, narrowly behind Cherry Wine, in the second leg of U.S. thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown series for 3-year-olds after a day of rain at Pimlico Race Course.

"I think Nyquist had company all around the course. They stayed really wide," said winning jockey Kent Desormeaux. "I had a dream trip today.

See more images from the race:

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Horse racing-Exaggerator wins Preakness, Nyquist third
May 21, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Kent Desormeaux aboard Exaggerator (5) celebrates after winning the 141st running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
May 21, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Uncle Lino (2) and Nyquist (3) race around turn four during the 141st running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
May 21, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Kent Desormeaux aboard Exaggerator (5) wins during the 141st running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
May 21, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Horses race during the 141st running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
May 21, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Kent Desormeaux aboard Exaggerator (5) wins the 141st running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports
May 21, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; American Freedom pulls ahead coming out of the fourth turn for the win during the 11th race during the 141st running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
May 21, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Mizz Money pulls away during the tenth race for the win during the 141st running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
May 21, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Angel Cruz aboard Cat Fifyfive (9) leads race three during the 141st running of the Preakness Stakes day at Pimlico Race Course. Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports
May 21, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Walter Enrique Llagas aboard All Alone (1) races during race three of the 141st running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports
May 21, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Race one winner Homeboykris (3) collapsed and died following the post race Winners Circle presentation while returning to the barn during the 141st running of the Preakness Stakes day at Pimlico Race Course. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
May 21, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Race one winner Homeboykris (3) collapsed and died following the post race Winners Circle presentation while returning to the barn during the 141st running of the Preakness Stakes day at Pimlico Race Course. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
May 19, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist during Thursday morning workouts prior to the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 16: The field makes a first past down the front strech during the 140th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 16, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 16: American Pharoah #1 ridden by Victor Espinoza leads Mr. Z #3 ridden by Corey S. Nakatani and the field into the first turn during the 140th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 16, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 16: American Pharoah #1 ridden by Victor Espinoza leads the field into the first turn during the 140th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 16, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 16: American Pharoah #1 ridden by Victor Espinoza leads the field into the first turn during the 140th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 16, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 16: American Pharoah #1 ridden by Victor Espinoza crosses the finish line to win the 140th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 16, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 16: American Pharoah #1 ridden by Victor Espinoza crosses the finish line to win the 140th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 16, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 16: American Pharoah #1 ridden by Victor Espinoza leads the field into the first turn during the 140th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 16, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 16: American Pharoah ridden by Victor Espinoza crosses the finish line to win the 140th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 16, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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"I was on the fence and they all stayed wide. These turns you want to paint the fence. We did and they didn't."

Exaggerator finished second 1-1/4 lengths behind Nyquist in the Derby at Churchill Downs but he turned the tables in the Preakness with Hall of Fame jockey Desormeaux using his Pimlico know-how to notch a third Preakness win.

Exaggerator had won twice before in the mud, including a rousing 6-1/2 lengths victory in the Santa Anita Stakes, while Nyquist had never raced on a sloppy track before and it showed in the stunning finish at Pimlico.

Nyquist, breaking from the third post position in the 11-horse field, beat the other speed horses out of the gate and ran from the lead for much of the race.

POWERFUL MOVE

But after Exaggerator made his powerful move, Nyquist could not respond.

Winning trainer Keith Desormeaux, brother of the jockey, said he was confident in his horse regardless of conditions.

"I hope it's not only because of the muddy track," the trainer said after his mount came back strong just two weeks after the Derby. "The horse has been training phenomenally.

"I did what I could to get him happy and fresh and strong and I've always said he's had a great ability to recover and he showed it today."

Nyquist trainer George O'Neill was gracious in defeat.

"Hats off to Exaggerator and Team Desormeaux. What a great run," said O'Neill. "I didn't think we could get beat, to be honest with you. Nyquist is such an amazing horse. He still ran a great race."

Exaggerator, the second choice among bettors, paid $7.20 $3.20 and $2.40 for a $2 bet.

Cherry Wine returned $9.80 $4.20, while Nyquist paid $2.20 for third place.

The third leg of the Triple Crown series will be in the Belmont Stakes in New York on June 11.

(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)

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