Detractors say that Nihilator hasn't raced on the small, half-mile tracks and that his owner is avoiding them. Nope, says Guida, the colt will be on the small ovals, too, as he makes perhaps eight more starts between now and December. No ducking anybody, anywhere. Others are waiting to see. Niatross won 37 of 39 career starts while Nihilator has won 20 of 21. Certainly Guida wants no more losses for Nihilator.
Guida has a mouth that roars and often irritates. "I don't want to be unkind, because I'm rather a gracious guy, but Colt Fortysix was a very ordinary horse," he says. He also says there is no doubt that Nihilator will eventually clock an incredible 1:48, maybe even 1:47, way better than even Niatross's world time-trial record of l:49[1/5]. Haughton is a bit more guarded, saying, "I think he can do that, but until they do it, you don't know for sure."
What was for sure Friday night was that Nihilator is a man among boys. He was passed for a few seconds in the final turn by Anxious Robby, but it was a counterfeit move and that colt finished seventh. Still, Nihilator's driver, Bill O'Donnell, confessed, "That did put a thrill in me."
But when O'Donnell popped his whip against the sulky at the top of the stretch, Nihilator abruptly moved to another level. Perhaps to another world. In a flash he had a four-length lead, then five, then six.... Legendary stuff. Dan Patch and Niatross would understand.