Photo of Nicanor galloping by Lydia Williams, TheShedrow.com
On the morning of the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), a race his brother didn’t get to try in 2006, Roy and Gretchen Jackson’s Nicanor recorded his first published work at Fair Hill Training Center.
Trainer Michael Matz sent the brother of late 2006 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Barbaro (Dynaformer-La Ville Rouge, by Carson City) through an easy three furlongs on the dirt track. Under assistant trainer Peter Brette, the 2-year-old colt clocked in :39 seconds flat, 16th best of 24 at the distance.
The best time for three furlongs that morning was :35.80, set by the unraced 2-year-old Desert Warrior filly Jerboa.
When posting a first official work, trainers seek a solid effort from their starter. A young horse will not be asked for too much run, but will be "set down" to the task by the rider and given the opportunity to display innate talent. An initial official work is generally shorter (less taxing) and slower (undemanding), but the trainer is still hoping for a time that will not prove embarrassing to the horse or his connections.
In other words, Nicanor did just fine!