BOZICH | What's it like to be the bodyguard for the Kentucky Derby winner?
What's it like serving as the bodyguard to Nyquist, the winner of Kentucky Derby 142? Ask Marvin Bostock and his seven friends.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have bodyguards. Johnny Manziel has bodyguards (or needs them). Kanye has them, too.
Nyquist has bodyguards.
He had them before he ran away from the fastest 3-year-olds in the land to win the Kentucky Derby Saturday at Churchill Downs.
There are fans willing to do nearly anything, even bare parts of their bodies, to snap a picture of Nyquist. The bodyguards have worked to keep weirdoes, suspicious characters and hyperventilating fans away from the valuable colt.
For the last five-plus weeks, that has been the responsibility of Marvin Bostock and seven of his friends. Bostock is a retired Clarksville (Ind.) police officer who has been friends with Doug O’Neill, the trainer of Nyquist, for more than a decade. O’Neill credited Bostock for his work in the post-Derby press conference.
On Sunday morning, Bostock parked at Barn 41, home to Nyquist until the colt ships to Baltimore Monday at 1p.m.
He wore a Carolina Panthers sweatshirt, a reasonable wardrobe selection considering one of his first assignments Sunday was driving Panthers’ coach Ron Rivera, another friend of O’Neill to the airport. (Full disclosure: It was one of Rivera’s personal sweatshirts with his name stitched in the back.)
Bostock posed for a picture with Nyquist. Was the colt feeling groovy? Nyquist had already emptied his feed tub and then decided this was a great opportunity to transform Bostock’s left forearm into dessert.
Another Derby souvenir,” said Bostock, who was given a rose from the winner’s blanket after the Derby.
People are already gaga about Nyquist, the same way they were crazy about American Pharoah last year, the same way they get gaga about any unbeaten horse they believe has a chance to win a Triple Crown. The safest bet for the next two weeks is it will get wackier around the Nyquist barn after the colt arrives in Baltimore for the Preakness at Pimlico Race Course May 21.
This story should explain. From the moment in late March when Nyquist was stabled at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington before the colt moved to Louisville for the Derby, Bostock and his friends served as the colt’s security detail.
Keep people who don’t belong out of the barn. Make certain that he is not bothered by loud noise or excess perfume. Remind people they cannot pet the horse like the family dog.
There was always this: Everybody wanted one picture with Nyquist.
Could you bring him out of the barn?
Sometimes that was not a problem. Nyquist grazed outside Barn 41 and posed for hundreds of pictures Sunday morning. Sometimes it was a problem. Horses need legitimate R&R. too. Sometimes somebody had to say, “No.”
Bostock and his security details understand how to say, “No,” and mean it.
They said, “No,” to one persistent female visitor at Keeneland.
The female really wanted that picture. She asked the security guard if she could have the picture if she lifted her shirt and flashed her chest. Before the guard could say, “No,” her shirt came up. All the way up.
“She didn’t get the picture,” Bostock said.
No, but Nyquist got his rest – and the roses. Bostock and his group drove the 90 or so minutes from Southern Indiana to Lexington every day that Nyquist was stabled at Keeneland and then continued their important week for the last week at Churchill Downs.
Will they travel to Pimlico for the Preakness on May 21 as the colt’s protection and unofficial good luck charms? You know how powerful the vibes of superstition are in horse racing. Bostock would like to make the trip. Bostock said that he will discuss the trip with O’Neill but that an assistant in the barn wants to keep the crew together.
“He’s the most incredible athlete I’ve ever been around,” Bostock said. “Just a total professional. He loves to train and he’s pure muscle. There’s nothing more beautiful than watching him in action.
”But he’s an elite athlete, too, and needs his rest.”
Nyquist looked the part of a winner Sunday morning. O’Neill was so comfortable with how the horse bounced back from the race that he moved up his departing flight from Cincinnati from 11 a.m. to 8 a.m.
The man trains more than 90 horses. During the weeks he’s been away from his barn at Santa Anita preparing for the Triple Crown, fresh talented runners have arrived from Europe. Every horse deserves love.
Jockey Mario Gutierrez, owner Paul Reddam and other members of Team Nyquist explained why the unbeaten colt has won all eight of his races, including the Derby by 1 ¼ length over Exaggerator and 18 other contenders. They said that he continued to look grand Sunday morning.
Anybody else have something to add?
“The horse looks great,” Bostock said.
And, yes, I made certain that I asked before I snapped their picture.
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