Back in 2012, California farrier James Jimenez shod the Kentucky Derby winner I'll Have Another. Later that year in a webinar, he discussed the need to establish goals as a shoer. Having reached his goal of shoeing a Kentucky Derby winner, he reasoned he'd need a new goal of shoeing another. On Saturday, Jimenez hit that goal again when Nyquist won the 2016 Kentucky Derby.
Jimenez says this is a rare horse in many respects, especially concerning its feet. Ever since he's worked with the horse, Jimenez notes that the feet have never been a problem. "This is just one of those horses where you stay out of his way," Jimenez says.
Jimenez will look at the horse's feet about every 25 days, and then based on the work and race schedule, shoe the horse in a 25-35 day schedule. For the Derby, Nyquist wore Kerckhaert Tradition XT plates on the fronts and Tradition Regular with toe clips on the hinds. He rarely changes the shoeing and notes just slight shaping needed for the shoes.
On Monday, Jimenez arrived at Pimlico to prepare for the May 21 Preakness. He examined Nyquist to see how the feet were holding up. He'll stay in Maryland and continue to work with Nyquist and seven other horses until the race.
Jimenez, who worked with Team O'Neill for I'll Have Another's Kentucky Derby win, credits the team approach for the success in shoeing horses. In addition to the training by Doug O'Neill and management by Dennis O'Neill, Jimenez says the groom is instrumental in alerting him to any concerns on Nyquist's feet.