Nicanor Breaks Maiden in Stunning Fashion

Trainer Michael Matz switched Nicanor to the turf for his fourth career start, and it clearly suited the colt well as he demolished a maiden special weight field by 15 1/4 lengths at Delaware Park May 13.

The 3-year-old Dynaformer colt took the lead early and never looked back. He is a full brother to 2006 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Barbaro, who also broke his maiden at Delaware on the turf.

Nicanor finished the 1 1/16-mile race in a moderate time of 1:46.31.

To watch the race click on: Watch the Replay.

To read a full recap click on: Read the Recap

Photos below are courtesy of Yetta Feltner. Enjoy!

Editor's note: I am traveling due to the Preakness. Comments will be updated, but there will not be a new blog post until next week. Thank you for your understanding.


Leave a Comment:

Bonnie (MA)


13 May 2009 3:40 PM


I knew it. I just knew he could do it.

Outstanding job Nicanor. Outstanding job Michael and team.

Outstanding job Rosie.

Jacksons enjoy this fantastic win.

13 May 2009 3:40 PM

Congrats Nicanor! You did it! Moving him to Turf was a great idea! :)

13 May 2009 3:41 PM

good job Nicanor, i knew it. we believe in you... good job Nic...

13 May 2009 3:42 PM


13 May 2009 3:42 PM

Atta Boy, Nicanor!!!!  Yahoooo!!!

13 May 2009 3:42 PM

GO NICANOR!!!!!! I KNEW YOU COULD DO IT!!! Seems like he may be a turf runner. Yeah!!!

13 May 2009 3:43 PM
carol b

Great job Nicanor.  You just made my day.

13 May 2009 3:44 PM

OMG - i'm so happy for Nicanor and all of Barbaro's connections.  I just knew he'd do it today - I work in NYC but kept watching the racing updates on line - so very excited for everyone - congratulations Nicky and MM.


13 May 2009 3:44 PM

Way to go Nicanor!  

13 May 2009 3:45 PM

Outtasite Nicky.  You done good kid.  Blinkers, female jockey and grass--guess MM will take a second look at what's what.

13 May 2009 3:45 PM

watched the live feed he looked amazing way to go nicanor!!!

13 May 2009 3:46 PM
Billy's Empire

Glad to see Nicanor get the first win under his belt. Now, lets see if he can keep up the good form and move into some of these late Summer turf races at Arlington Park , Belmont, and Saratoga.

13 May 2009 3:46 PM


13 May 2009 3:46 PM


13 May 2009 3:46 PM

Looks like he found his home on the turf!

13 May 2009 3:47 PM
Lou in TX


13 May 2009 3:47 PM
Karen in Texas

Nicanor looked like Barbaro in his early races! He really looked and behaved like "a race horse"! The fans who were able to attend must be ecstatic! Such good news!

13 May 2009 3:47 PM


13 May 2009 3:47 PM

Way to go Nicanor!! Can't wait to see your future victories. Congrats to the Jacksons and Michael Matz!

13 May 2009 3:48 PM
Clearwater Charlie

I was wrong, as I predicted Nic would win by 6 Lengths. He won by more then 10. He looked just like his big brother on Delaware's Turf course. Michael, keep him on the turf & you will have a Champion. Congrats to the connections.

13 May 2009 3:48 PM

Congratulations!!  Good looking race Nicky!

13 May 2009 3:48 PM
Majella from Ireland

I'm so, so happy!

13 May 2009 3:49 PM

I watched the race live on YouBet and was seriously impressed.  His body has matured remarkably over the past couple months.

They had to make several attempts to get him to stay in the winners circle long enough for photos.  He wanted to be out on the track where he could see other horses.

13 May 2009 3:49 PM

Congratulations Nicky!!! I knew you could do it. My heart is bursting with joy.

Congratulations to all his connections and especially to Michael Matz who never stopped believing in Nicanor.

And to all my fellow FOBs/FONs. Love conquers all doesn't it? :):):)

Amanda-Thank you for this blog and for giving us a wonderful place to share our love for Barbaro's brothers. You rock!

13 May 2009 3:49 PM

I caught the end of the race and he looked good on the grass.

Congrats to everyone!!

13 May 2009 3:50 PM

That race was spectacular! Nicky is a turf horse!! WOW! :D He looked just like Barbaro storming down the Delaware stretch wearing the #10 saddle cloth and Lael silks. Perfect job Nicky!!! We're so proud of you! What do the naysayers have to say now??

13 May 2009 3:50 PM

Belmont's next? maybe?

i'm happy for you Nicanor, we all knew you're gonna do it... it seems like nobody ran that race but you... lol

good job to team Nicanor, the Barbaro Family...

we love you Nic!

13 May 2009 3:53 PM

We are all so proud of you, Nicanor!  Congrats to you and to your new jockey!  Well done!

Can't wait to see this race on YouTube!  What a marvelous day for Nicanor fans!

13 May 2009 3:54 PM
Cathy B

Way to go Team Matz!! What an awesome performance by Nicanor.. BIG brother I am SURE is proud!!!

13 May 2009 3:55 PM

Way to go NIC! He finally "got it" and just crushed them all! Great job Rosie! Home safe and in the winner's circle! He was listening to her all the way.

13 May 2009 3:56 PM
New He Had It In Him

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF NICANOR'S FANS!!! You were patient, you had faith, and now you deserve some serious celebration!

At the MSNBC horse racing forum there is also a thread that was started and kept by a Nicanor fan. Today we celebrate there as well!

REJOICE!!! Nicanor Breaks Maiden By 10 Lengths!!!!!!!!! Barbaro, In Some Small Way, Lives Again Today!

13 May 2009 3:57 PM

Love you Nicanor.  We always knew you were a late bloomer but now that you have it figured out, you GET IT!!!!!!!  Your big brother started on the turf.  Congrats to you and I love you more every day.  Congrats to the Jackson's and MM and Rose.  

GOOD JOB Nicky Nocks.  :)

13 May 2009 3:57 PM
Jim Coarse

That's more like it - Ma Boy!


13 May 2009 4:00 PM

To all the Fans of Barbaro.  

We all love this horse and knew that sooner or later he was going to blow the horses off the track, just like his brother did.  Nicanor has his own time clock as does every other horse.  Thank You MM for being the best trainer because you care about them.  :)

13 May 2009 4:00 PM

Congrats all around!!  I am so happy for Nicanor!  YES!!!

13 May 2009 4:01 PM

Way to go Niki....I watched and knew you could to it!!!!!!!

13 May 2009 4:03 PM


13 May 2009 4:05 PM

Congrats to the Jacksons, Michael, Peter and Rosie.


Thanks for this blog and for all you do.

13 May 2009 4:06 PM

WHOO HOO - Nice Job Nic!

13 May 2009 4:06 PM

He looked amazing!!!! Now that i've seen the video he look wonderful!!! So happy for him!!! I meant to watch the race on tv but i missed because i was busy. Wow!!!!

13 May 2009 4:06 PM

Who would have thought that the 7th at Delware Park on a Wednesday would give me such pleasure?  Thanks Nicanor!  May you have many more victories!

13 May 2009 4:07 PM

Finally, we have seen the look of eagles!!!

Thanks for the update.

13 May 2009 4:08 PM

Hi all i had tears in my eyes he did what his brother told him to do barbaro ...lead him along i know u all saw that.What can u say we all have great babys ...nics time is here.

13 May 2009 4:10 PM
Va Horsewomen

OMG, if I can stop crying, Nic has found his calling and did it in super fashion, Did you notice he ran nearly the whole race with his ears up! He was having a good time, could have gone longer too. Thank you to M. Matz, wonderful job and adding the blinkers was a plus, no distractions today. Thank you Nic, Barbaro ran along side you today.

13 May 2009 4:11 PM

Way to go Nicanor.But as a former race car driver a little tip to you,if you want the crowd to really get into it you need to make the finish closer even though we know you can blow away the competition.Hope you get lots of peppermints.You are a winner!

13 May 2009 4:12 PM

Just saw the replay.  OMG it was so BEAUTIFUL.  15 lengths--Holy Wow and Double Wow.

13 May 2009 4:14 PM
Central Valley Dame

Wow, wow, wow!  He looked so HAPPY on the grass.  And at a mile and one sixteenth.  Wow!  Good Job to Nicanor, Anna, Michael, the Jackson's and the rest of the Matz training team.  Congrats to the Jackson's for their win by Cozy Lion at Belmont.  Two wins on turf within a few minutes of each other.  What a great day!

13 May 2009 4:16 PM
Barb C

What a wonderful way to break a maiden!  Way to go Nicanor, Rosie, MM, Jacksons, FOB and everyone else who waited patiently for his first win!!!  A little confidence goes a long way - and I think Rosie will be good for him!  Love the replay will probably watch it many more times - thank you Amanda!

13 May 2009 4:18 PM

Way to "pour it on," Nicanor! I am so happy for you. Excellent job by your jockey, too! I just knew that good-lookin' foal was a winner the very first time I saw a picture of you. I'm just so excited!  

13 May 2009 4:18 PM

WAY TO GO NICKY-KNOCKS!!!!!  You looked awesome!

13 May 2009 4:18 PM

Blinkers and on the grass, and this is wonderful news on a dreary Wednesday!!!!  

13 May 2009 4:19 PM
Clearwater Charlie

Nicanor won by 15 1/4 lengths. The video is right here on it on your favorites to watch over & over. While the time was 1:46 & change, He showed he could handle the turf course in championship fashion. GO NICKY GO

13 May 2009 4:20 PM
Windy City

I saw it live on was an outstanding performance! I'm sure you made your older brother proud :-) I hope I'll see you here, in "windy city" at Arlington this summer? :-) Congratulations!!!!

13 May 2009 4:20 PM

Congratulations to M Matz & the Jacksons for a HUGE win. We know this is just the beginning.

13 May 2009 4:21 PM

Great Job !!!! I knew grass would be to his liking being that Barbaro broke his maiden on turf.I think the blinkers on helped him concentrate more on the race. Love you Nicanor. Can't wait to see Lentenor's outing.

13 May 2009 4:21 PM
Sally F

STUNNING!!!  Nicanor, we love you- you are awesome - what a run!

Congratulations to all involved.  My heart is soaring.  Run with the wind and be safe!

13 May 2009 4:22 PM

yeah!! Alright!!

13 May 2009 4:22 PM

He looked good and he's healthy - God Bless.

Barbaro won a 1 1/16 on the turf in 1:40. Nicanor covered the same distance in 1:46. Is it true that one second equals 5 lengths? That doesn't sound quite right.

13 May 2009 4:23 PM
Bengal Bob

June 20

$500,000 Colonial Turf Cup (G3)

9.5f turf

DO IT Matz!

13 May 2009 4:25 PM

I had to do a double take watching him run home in the stretch, he looked so much like Barbaro, they were "one" as he crossed the finish line.

13 May 2009 4:25 PM
Kim R

WOO HOO!!!!!!!  Congrats to Nicanor & his connections on a bautiful race!  Can't wait to see more victories for him.

13 May 2009 4:25 PM

Awesome!   Where is Greg J and our report??  We knew he could do it.  Glad all are home safely!

Congratulations to the connections.  

13 May 2009 4:26 PM
Susan NOVA


One note... When Barbaro broke his Maiden at Delaware it was in the 7th Race, this was the 6th race, also when Barbaro broke his maiden, he came out of post 10... today, Nic came out of post 10... I got chills when I watched Barbaros maiden after watching this video today...

13 May 2009 4:28 PM
2 time valley player of the year

Congrats to Nic and the whole team, fans, he looked spectacular! I'll have crow for dinner!Now move onto better competition and stay on turf though he probably could run and win equally well on dirt, the blinkers and training paid off.Wasn't a star studded field in fact if any quail had flown over during the race those other horses would have stopped and pointed.

Good call Phantom enjoy your winnings but I still wouldn't bet any maiden.

13 May 2009 4:28 PM

Happy, happy day!  Big bouquets to all the connections, MIchael, Peter, Edoardo, Rosie, the Jacksons, et al.

Peppermints and KLPs to Nicanor, we adore you big guy.  Knew you could do it!  And do it, you did!  Impressively.  15 and 1/4 lengths!  WOW!

13 May 2009 4:30 PM
J in NY



I KNEW it was his time!  FIFTEEN+ lengths!  Keep Anna as his jockey!  ;-)  I can't wait for his next race!!!!!

GO NIC GO!!!!!  

13 May 2009 4:33 PM

Couldn't be happier for Mike Matz and the Jacksons who are extraordinary people who deserve the very best. The switch to the turf (Dynaformer pedigree) and the addition of blinkers made the difference.

13 May 2009 4:34 PM
Not bad, but...

He ran pretty slow. I wouldn't get too excited, yes he won by lots but he got away on a pretty slow pace. Have to see if he can hold off the others on much faster fractions. A win's a win I realize, but put it into perspective.

13 May 2009 4:41 PM
Stanley Marcinkowski, Plowville,Pa

Finally, Michael woke up and put him on GRASS. Won by 15, beat Pico Central's 1/2 bro.  Nicanor is 3rd sibling to win first time out on GRASS!!!!!Hopefully he will be kept on GRASS.         ps Tom F even though they are full brothers, Nicanor is not Barbaro-not exact genes

13 May 2009 4:44 PM
For Big Red

Wow! Congratulations to Michael Matz and the Jacksons. This is so exciting, and I'm just thrilled. We'll see him tried in turf stakes before long.

13 May 2009 4:44 PM
Mike Relva



13 May 2009 4:44 PM
Lady Ruffian

Absolutly thrilled!!!! Congrats Nicanor!! Keep this jockey on him for the next race, they seemed to mesh perfectly. He really looked amazing. Didn't Barbaro break from post 10 in his maiden victory??? :) Nicanor is a real racehorse now, this is just the start of great things!

13 May 2009 4:45 PM

Way to go Nicanor. Thats the way to show them how its done. Great job. Best of luck in your next races. From Alex of Winnipeg Manitoba Canada.

13 May 2009 4:46 PM
Ida Lee

OMG I'm so excited I feel like I gave birth to him. Way to go Beautiful Boy. OH OH here comes the waterworks ... I just love this family so much.

13 May 2009 4:46 PM
Lou in TX

I oh so envy Greg J for getting to watch this in person.  He better send us some great pics. Hope he has a safe trip home(5 hrs). Bet it will be a happy one tho.

Congratulations to MM and for having such patience with Nicanor. And to the Jackson's for believing in Nicanor and giving him time. Also to Amanda (Bloodhorse) for getting the result to us sooo quickly. And last but not least to Rosie. Thank you for keeping him safe and giving him good guidence to his 1st win. It was really special.

13 May 2009 4:48 PM

Hell Yeah!!!

All you needed was a little more ground and the feel of grass between your toes (so to speak).

La Ville Rouge, you can put another one in the win category.

13 May 2009 4:48 PM
Mattie W.

'Way to go, Nicky! You were sensational! May you and Team Nicanor be happy and safe always.  

13 May 2009 4:49 PM

Congratulations precious NICANOR, Michael, Roy & Gretchen; and THANK YOU ever-so-much, with big KUDOS to the WOMAN on his back, who guided NICANOR safely and gloriously to his first big win...ANNA!

13 May 2009 4:49 PM

chelz 13 asks, what do the naysayers have to say now?

Check the splits and final time, check the company (even bigger red flag), and you could probably guess what we would say.

But you have to be objective and knowledgeable to understand.

Nicanor has definitely found his niche, but it wont be what people around here think. Nothing wrong with that, as they say on Sienfeld, but it's not as big and grand and future champion as 15 lengths looks to the uneducated eye.

13 May 2009 4:52 PM

he finally "got it." I'm so proud of this gorgeous boy = )

13 May 2009 4:52 PM

Now lets go for the Belmont!!!!

13 May 2009 4:53 PM
ThatHorse Massage Guy


13 May 2009 4:56 PM

Did you see him just flicking his ears 1/2 way through the race? He did it easy and stayed game. Hope to see him in some big graded stakes races...Turf or Synthetic? We'll be watching. Congrats to the Jacksons and Mr. Matz!

13 May 2009 4:57 PM
Lady Ruffian

Does anyone have pictures from this race??

13 May 2009 5:03 PM

Tom F,

Yes, a second translates into roughly five lengths.

You can't compare races by times unless they are on the same day and the same surface.  I agree, the time was pretty slow, but the turf course might have been quite deep.

We have to assume that the rest of the field were in the right race, a MSW race and didn't belong in a $5000 maiden claiming.

It was a very visually impressive race.  He looked extremely happy on the turf.

13 May 2009 5:03 PM

Congrats to Nicanor, Michael Matz and all the connections.

13 May 2009 5:07 PM
s lee

Hooray!  See Nicanor?  THAT'S how to do it.

Yes the time is not a world beater, and yes, the competition was not the best, but he did it clean and easy and with ears flickering around.  You have to LEARN how to be a race horse!  As much fun as the end of the race to me was the beginning as he circled the field and took charge.

What fun!  Congratulations to M. Matz and to the Jacksons, and thank you again Amanda for the rapid updates.

13 May 2009 5:09 PM
The Phantom

A lock as I predicted and I just got home with my prize $$$$$$$$$$.This was a gift if ever there was one of a betting race and of course congratulation to the horse, trainer and owners and the whole family.

Valley- hardee har har  har  you missed a LOCK!See Marigold I wasn't joking I loaded up on him -did you and all the others cash in?I felt like a bandit when I picked up my money this was  legal stealing .Party time!!!

13 May 2009 5:10 PM

Way to go Nicanor! Congrats to the horse and his connections :D

13 May 2009 5:11 PM

Congratulations! That's wonderful, Nicanor!

13 May 2009 5:12 PM
The Phantom

He looked like he filled out a lot and in rare  form , Good job MM

13 May 2009 5:17 PM
hb compton

congratulations to m matz, nicanor,

and his groom. hope the connections

keep the Virginia derby (mid july)

in mind.

13 May 2009 5:17 PM

Ah,yes Today's Man was NICANOR!!

13 May 2009 5:27 PM

So happy for everyone involved !! We all knew he'd win eventually but what a way to do it ! Brought tears to my eyes !  Please, Please, Please bring him to Arlington Park!!!!!!!!!!

I never got to see Barbaro race but I live close enough to that track where nothing would keep me away !

13 May 2009 5:27 PM

For those who were there, can you tell us a little bit about it from what you saw.  How was he in post parade/paddock, were the Jacksons there? etc..  Thank you for all the great details we will all appreciate getting to read them :)

13 May 2009 5:28 PM


Yes, he was pretty happy to be alone up front.  Horses that get loose on the lead like that get very brave.  I would not expect him to be allowed to have it his own way again in his next start.

13 May 2009 5:31 PM

Yes, the splits aren't fabulous. But, three races later allowance horses, a mile on the turf, went :25, :49; 1:15, and 1:40.

13 May 2009 5:34 PM

Send that boy down to Colonial Downs!  The Colonial Turf Cup might be a bit too tough, but a nice allowance race should be in order!  A big win there and maybe a spot in the VA Derby?

13 May 2009 5:34 PM

I have to say that Two Time Valley Player had me laughing about the birds and the horses pointing.

To the naysayers: a while ago people said he wouldn't even make it to the track.  Let's give him his due.

I think he has his own running style running.  I am not about to compare him to Barbaro.  He is his own horse now.  Good for Nicanor.

13 May 2009 5:36 PM

In the 10th at Delaware, allowance horses running 1 1/16 on the turf went :26, :53, 1:20, 1:50, 1:58.

I don't know what that stroll was about, but apparently the turf at Delaware is playing slow.

13 May 2009 5:37 PM

Awesome, Awesome & Awesome.  He

looked so beautiful. Wonderful news!

13 May 2009 5:39 PM
mary glynn

wow looked good to me, i am no expert but  he looked like he was traveling easy. now they have to see if he comes out okay and give him another one to go at. wish i could see him in person. wonder if the jockey had to push him or did he just coast home. The new baby is  a beauty too wish the next one would be  a filly

13 May 2009 5:39 PM



I know all of the FOBS are so proud of you, and so happy for the Jackson's, MM and all.

This is your win -you did it,and the feeling is overwhelming for all of us who have been there from the beginning.

May God bless and keep you safe.

By the way there is a great video of the new foal with his beautiful Mama La Ville Rouge.

We believe in Miracles !

A grateful FOB !

RobinJude(15 minutes from Pimlico Racetrack)

13 May 2009 5:43 PM

Congrats to Nicanor and his connections! It was an exciting victory! It looks like Nicanor has found a home on the turf.

13 May 2009 5:44 PM

Saying Nay,

In your "educated eye" how much adjustment to the final time (and splits for that matter) would you allocate to the fact it was the turf opener @ DP, the temps were set at 25 feet, which would obviously creates confounds with the course integrity, and the horse was hand ridden to a 15 length margin.  This colt had very reasonable speed figures in Florida, without correctly responding to Lezcano in the lane twice.  While there did not appear to be potential Grade 1 company, 15 length margins are rare, period.  At some point, even the most skeptical, need to acknowledge that the horse is comimg into his own.  Curious to see how he does in a ALW non win of 2- hopefully on turf @ 8.5-9f.

13 May 2009 5:45 PM

And it was all Nicanor...!

I'm thinking he likes the turf! : )

Way to go, fella! I knew you could do it!

13 May 2009 5:46 PM

Rosie Napravnik appears to be the missing piece of the puzzle Team Nicanor has been searching for. I was impressed with the way she guided him--just sat chilly on him all the way, never touched the stick (didn't have to) and kept him from going too wide at the start, as he charged out from the gate.  I noticed him looking around a bit, but he knew what to do and where to go.  That hard pistoning action of his legs as he roared down the stretch looked so much like Barbaro! He was  definitely in charge.  This was a solid effort--a no-doubt-about-it race.  I wonder what's next.....

13 May 2009 5:47 PM
The Rock

I think they should allow this horse to go through his conditions. Clicking off 25 1/4's while being asked turning for home is not going to get it done in stakes races. This horse still has some developing to do to get to that level. Nonetheless, decent win.

13 May 2009 5:55 PM

NICANOR, finally my boy, you have found your place in life. Congratulations to you and your connections. What a stunning performance. Your bro Barbaro was looking over you today. Ten lenghts. I watched your race on HRTV and am still in awe by your performance. We all knew you had it and today is the beginning of the rest of your life Nicky. I never lost faith in you and I never will. Smashing Nicanor. Life can only hold the best got you. I was at the unveiling of you brothers statue at Churchill two weeks ago and when I saw the Jacson's at the podium talking about your great brother I could only think, these are the same people who own Nicanor and I know someday he will make them proud, and now today you have. Go NICANOR. God be with you.

13 May 2009 5:59 PM

Wonderful to see Nicanor get a win and at Delaware Park too wearing the number 10 just like his brother did.

13 May 2009 6:00 PM

Congrats to Nicanor and his connections.   Please race him more at Delaware Park so those of us from the area can see him.  

13 May 2009 6:01 PM

I watched Nicanor on HRTV and zoomed it and he was awesome thought the guy announcing stated he won by 20 but it was mighty close if he did not.....I knew he would win today and bet 50 on him at the gambling joint 20 miles away, have no idea what that is worth......

NICANOR was just awesome in his run.....

Thanks to The Phantom!!!!!!

13 May 2009 6:05 PM


I think I could just scream for joy!!!!!




13 May 2009 6:12 PM

Congratulations to Nicanor and his "family."

While impressive in this race, I would be in no hurry to place him too high in his next one.  Let him run and learn and work his way up.

Lmaris said:

"They had to make several attempts to get him to stay in the winners circle long enough for photos.  He wanted to be out on the track where he could see other horses."

Maybe his problem all along, wanting to just hang out with the others.  

Wondering something about strategy here- Rosie let him go to the front and maybe that kept his attention away from the other horses, with the help of the blinkers.  She didn't have to fight him and wonder if those who know more could see if he relaxed better.  Never saw her get after him or take hold of him to tell him to run.  I'm thinking he's still got to learn to rate when back in the pack.

Nevertheless, good effort and if Nicanor is going to have to run on the front end, I hope Matz does some long drills to build up stamina.

No, no Belmont.  The Belmont is on dirt and I think it would be best to keep Nicanor on the turf if he continues to like it.  Try dirt at some later date when he's really learned what racing is all about and is less distracted by other horses.

13 May 2009 6:23 PM

Awesome job Nic and Rosie.  Congrats to Matz and the Jacksons.  Knew he could do it- just a matter of time.

13 May 2009 6:24 PM

I have seen Rosie race at Laurel a few times and she is a very good jock.  Our boy looked great and made me excited when I found out he had won.  My day seemed to suck to no end and this put me in such a good mood that it's worth having another bad day tomorrow so that I can come home and watch the replay over again.  That's our boy and I think he is starting to catch on.

Bigger and better things in the future and hopefully will see him at Saratoga in August, can't wait.

13 May 2009 6:25 PM
Joy in Texas

Woohoo!!!  Way to go Nicanor!  Looks like the blinkers worked along w/the turf.  I watched it live w/my jaw on the ground.  MM kept saying he was going to be a good horse...  While Nicanor was galloping after he won, he had a look on his face like, "I told you so"

13 May 2009 6:38 PM


I'M SO PROUD of you Nicanor^_______________________^

At the end, I saw Barbaor crossing the finish line, I can't tell how I feel right now^___^

13 May 2009 6:38 PM

Can one of the FOBs put up a link for the Barbaro Fund?  I would like to make a donation in order of this special day.  Thanks in advance.

13 May 2009 6:41 PM


    Nick looked like a different horse out there! He just cruised around. Heres hoping that we have a new turf star, if so he's gonna kick some a//. Go nick, win your next too!

13 May 2009 6:50 PM

WOW.. nicanor has a brilliant future ahead, thats for sure!

13 May 2009 6:53 PM

Just saw the race on my DVR.  Nicky looks so relaxed on the grass.  I'm gonna echo the sentiments of dragonladysculptor.....bring Nicky to Arlington Park for the American Derby in July!!!!  Would love to see him in person!

13 May 2009 7:02 PM

Oh, you beautiful, beautiful boy!  What a joy to watch you run!  I can't see for the tears in my eyes; it's like we have a part of Barbaro back.

13 May 2009 7:09 PM


13 May 2009 7:13 PM

NICKY-KNOCKS, you did it, buddy! Good job!

Congrats to everyone involved--this boy had talent and they took their time to find it.  Going to love to see where this takes him from here--so exciting!

13 May 2009 7:18 PM

I wrote before that in Nicanor's last two starts, he was toying with the competition, and ran as fast as he needed to. Today, He ran like Mr. Fantasy, who won the Withers, and broke his maiden in similar fashion. The key difference was the addition of blinkers, which helped him to focus on the task at hand. He did that in spectacular fashion.

Those who keep worrying about speed may need to be reminded that Nicanor was not fully extended, and probably was conservatively ridden. As we heard, similar times were posted in other turf races. No one has said whether Nicanor was running at top speed. He was running as fast as needed for this race.

My guess is Nicanor will stay on the turf and move up in class. I still think he could have been a factor in the Withers, or The Swale, in which Custom For Carlos finished third. I remember a quote by Louis Feustel, Man O' War's trainer-no one knew how fast he could run-even on the tracks of tose days he could have turned a mile in 1:32 flat..So...Nicanor can probably adjust his speed to the level of competition. That means that what we saw today was conservative racing, barely trying.

Here's a prediction. Nicanor will run well against ANY competitor because he is a tremendous talent. Matz didn't waste his horse today and ran him with blinkers. He destroyed the field without trying.  Let's see what Nicanor can do in the Breeder' Cup.

13 May 2009 7:21 PM

"PERFECT" He cruised this track like he owned it~!!!

Perfectly run race~!!

13 May 2009 7:21 PM

Very imperssive maiden win. Nicanor looked very relaxed and comfortable on the turf. Looking forward to more winner's circle photos in the future.

13 May 2009 7:25 PM
Samantha P.

OMG SUPER AMAZING! I loved the announcers references to big bro. I think MM has figured Nic out.

13 May 2009 7:33 PM

Loverly, just loverly. Thanks Amanda and all at bloodhorse for getting the scoop to us asap. You guys did a great job.

Whoooohooo----love that boy! Great job Nicanor. You little devil, we knew you had it in you.

Please keep Rosie on Nicanor, she did an awesome job.

Congratulations to the Jacksons for Cozy Lions maiden win today at Belmont. Great day all around.

13 May 2009 7:42 PM
Concerned Fan

And .... we have a turf horse! Not only did he break his maiden, he did it in fine style! Nic looked great out there, like he was having fun! Looks like the blinkers might have helped. Rosie did an excellent job. How awesome for Matz and the Jacksons! Onward and upward, Nicanor! :)

13 May 2009 7:49 PM

Just got home from the race and all I can say is AWESOME.  I live 2 hrs away from Delaware Park and took the day off to make the journey.  It was worth the trip, to see Nicanor take command of the track and he seemed focused on winning.  He looked wonderful and seemed much more at ease.  Today was his day, and #10 was his and our lucky number.  Seeing him up close for the first time made my day.  He has a presence about him that words cannot express.  I'd like to think it's his big brother's spirit, guiding him and telling him "you did good kid".  Looking forward to his next race and I do hope he will race again at Delaware Park and maybe Monmouth Park later in the summer.  Congratulations to all the connections and of course, to Nicanor himself.

13 May 2009 7:52 PM

Canarse, great idea, I would like to see him run at Colonial Downs, I hope Michael Matz is thinking like you are!

My favorite moment in the race vid is the announcer saying 'Nicanor, looking like Barbaro in his maiden win at Delaware Park'.  He's not Barbaro, but he's turning into a nice horse all the same.  Really gave my heart a lift.    

13 May 2009 8:04 PM

Wow,Wow,Wow! - it's poetry in motion - go Nicanor and Congrats!

13 May 2009 8:05 PM

What did he beat? Slow time too.

13 May 2009 8:09 PM
Donna in PA

Way to go Sweet Boy!! You looked terrific!! You were born to run and what an incredible joy it was to watch you. We love you! May you stay safe as you continue to learn your craft. Congratulations to Michael Matz, the Jacksons and Rose and all those who are involved with Nicanor. May you all savor this day. Thanks as always to Amanda and Bloodhorse for this wonderful blog.

13 May 2009 8:09 PM
Barbara from Pa

Congratulations to Nicanor and connections. Yahoo!! I have an excitement headache. I have waited along time for this day. Really wanted to be there but was so scared somehow I would jinx him or he would get hurt.  Would love him no matter what, but it looks like he may have a shot at a nice turf career. Some other Dynaformer off spring have. This made my whole day and probably whole week.

13 May 2009 8:10 PM
Kathy from Toledo

God bless Micheal Matz for being patient with this beautiful boy! We knew he had it in him. We are so proud and happy for Nicanor! What a day of celebration........

13 May 2009 8:14 PM

While at work today, around post time, I said a prayer for success but even more for safety for Nic.  Congratulations to Nic, the Jacksons, Michael Matz, and Rosie.  Outstanding!

13 May 2009 8:21 PM

I just watch a future stake winning horse. Look out all you turf horses. A new star is on the track!!

13 May 2009 8:30 PM


I caught that too.  Yeah well my exata didn't hit but my win sure did. Kind of takes you down memory lane doesn't it. :)  I can just imagine the joy with Greg right now.  

Greg J.  Now a full report OK?  I saw a lot of it on my wagering site but I want to hear it from YOU.  :)

13 May 2009 8:40 PM
tea time

Yes, I agree, there is a beautiful turf course waiting for Nic at Colonial Downs. Congrats to all of his connections.

13 May 2009 8:53 PM

I don't get many opportunities to watch live racing because of where I live, but this week I am visiting my daughter and son-in-law in Maryland (we've got Preakness tickets!), and as they both had to work today, I borrowed their car and drove to Delaware.

It was worth every minute of the drive!  Nicanor looked good, and ran even better.  He was still a little rank as he came by the first time, but did finally settle when he got a clear lead.  I was a little worried about that lead until I saw the slow fractions, but Nicanor never faltered.

The Jacksons were there, and were very gracious to the fans who spoke to them.

Nicanor was reluctant to enter the winner's circle, but I think it had less to do with the other horses, and more to do with the fact that there were a lot of people in that small space, and that when he approached the first time, the fans started clapping for him, which spooked him a little.  On the second try, people held their applause until the photo had been taken and Nicanor was walking out and he did better, although he was still pretty wound up, and kicked out a couple of times.

I have some lilac bushes in my yard that I think of as my Barbaro bushes, as I planted them the day of his Preakness, after the race. The whole time I was working, I was praying hard for him.  When I left Colorado yesterday, they were about to bloom for the very first time (it takes lilacs a couple of years to establish themselves before they bloom), and I thought today that maybe that was a good sign!  Maybe it was.

13 May 2009 8:57 PM
Penny in Texas

Nicanor won!  Nicanor won!  Nicanor won!  Doing the happy dance!  Sorry got carried away.  Just made my day!!!!

13 May 2009 9:09 PM

I'm not worried about the time--he gained so much confidence in this race and looked REALLY GOOD.  He's filled out more and was really on his toes in the post parade.  I loved that once he made the front, his ears went up and he just looked like he was having a great time....when Rosie shook the reins at him, those ears went back and he knew it was time for business.  Very nice to see.  I am so happy for the connections--this had to be a wonderful day for them.  This one's for you big brother!

13 May 2009 9:21 PM

Congratulations Nicanor. . You looked wonderful.  I am so proud of you.

13 May 2009 9:25 PM


Did you catch how many times Nicanor changed leads?  He switched coming into the stretch, but I think Rosie had him on the right lead in the backstretch some too.  Hard to tell.

How do the jocks tell a horse to change leads?  Is it something they teach the horse like, hmmmm...about to turn left, take left lead....OK, the turns over, switch to right for a while?  What kind of cue do they use, if any?  I know various ways with a riding horse, depending on level of training, but where a jockey sits leaves little in the way of leg or seat bone/weight to use.


13 May 2009 9:25 PM

WOW!  One more time, thank you Amanda and Bloodhorse for providing this special section for following Barbaro's brothers.  What a wonderful win today for Nicanor!  I think he liked the turf as I had thought he might.  I'm so grateful that he has such wonderful connections who have been patient with him and allowed him to find his own stride and now he's got it figured out - how to go to the front and win.  Wonderful!  Thank you!

13 May 2009 9:35 PM

Congrats Nicanor! Hope to see you soon.

13 May 2009 9:44 PM


Our preciuos Nicanor did it what a good boy!!!  He raced just like his big brother did.  Excellent!!!  I wish I could give him some hugs and kisses, and of course, treats.

Congrats to Michael Matz, Peter, Rosie and the JACKSONS.  I am so very happy for all of you!!!!!!  I can hardly wait to see his next race.

Thanks so much for letting us know so quickly.  This is just wonderful!!!!

God Bless

13 May 2009 9:47 PM

I come by this blog almost every day to see what's going on but it's been a while since I blogged myself.  I just want to say congratulations to Nicanor for the win, Rosie for keeping Nicky straight and true and most of all Micheal for patiently bringing Nic along.  Also I want to congratulate everyone on this blog who stood by Nicanor through thick and thin.  You are the TRUE horse racing fan.  And to Barbaro, we miss you and thanks for the memories, we know you are happy and proud........

13 May 2009 9:47 PM

Way to go Nicanor!!!! You just didn't win you set a mark!!!! Go get them boy!!!!Love ya!!!! Stay healthy!

13 May 2009 9:57 PM

When will you have more pictures up? I can't wait to see them!

13 May 2009 10:07 PM

Nice win today.The fractions were slow and he sort of lost focus on the turn but the jock started to ride him and he responded like he should. He finished the way you like to see them finish, well done.

13 May 2009 10:10 PM
Maria K.

Wow!!! Good job Nicanor.  

13 May 2009 10:16 PM

Yo Tiznowbaby,

The 10th Race at Del Park was slow because it was an Arabian Race, and it was on the dirt! For those of you who don't know this already,... T'breds don't race that slow on a fast dirt track! Just wanted to clarify.

13 May 2009 10:16 PM
OldFashioned Runner

I knew he would do it. He looks just like Barbaro. That champion looking eye is in him! He will be great! Good job Nicanor!

13 May 2009 10:19 PM
Lise from Maine

Bonjour Nicanor!

Great job, Nicanor!

Maybe you can race in the Belmont since you have proven yourself.

Lots of love, Nicanor.

13 May 2009 10:24 PM

Way to go, Nic! Brought a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye.  Here's hoping you have many more safe and successful runs.  Your big brother is proud of you!

13 May 2009 10:38 PM
Susan NOVA

You know... Delaware Park does boast a Barbaro Stakes (G3), but it is run on Dirt, and in July... hmmmmm...

13 May 2009 10:43 PM

WOW!!  Look at his ears!  They are pricked the whole time. Beautiful ride by jockey.  What a classy, gorgeous boy.  Out for a romp the whole way!

13 May 2009 10:49 PM
christy tate

nice job everybody. maybe nicanor has found his place. if it were me, i'd stick with the grass.

13 May 2009 10:51 PM
Virgil Fox

Very nice indeed.

Appreciate the video.

Bigger and better things ahead.

13 May 2009 11:13 PM

I just had a question.  Hope anybody can answer this.  Did the jockey ever use the whip on Nicanor throughout the whole race because to me it seemed like she never used it.  Again if anyone could answer this.

13 May 2009 11:47 PM

Cleone....what a nice sentiment about the lilac bushes...I can relate!

Congrats Nik, MM, and all involved.  Glad I was able to see the video here at The Blood Horse.  It's onward and upward from here!  We all knew it was just a matter of time!!!

13 May 2009 11:57 PM

2 Time Valley;


Mike Relva;

Hi! How are your horses doing?

14 May 2009 12:18 AM


Thank You!:)

14 May 2009 12:23 AM

Congratulations to the Jackson & MM! Way to go, Nic!

14 May 2009 12:25 AM

Wow. Just watched the replay on youtube, had to work today. I laughed til I cried watching him fly. He's blooming late, but boy what a joy to watch. Heres hoping he just gets better & better. He seemed to just love it out there!!

Just a pure joy to see!!

Come on North to Monmouth or Philly!!

14 May 2009 12:28 AM

way to go Nicanor I hope I get to see you race someday just stay safe I knew you could do it  Love Darlene in Ohio.

14 May 2009 12:35 AM
jackie(fan of nicanor


14 May 2009 12:55 AM


You are right Barbaro won in 1:40, by 7 lengths but he had competition on the final turn Nicanor did not. Rosie was just aboard for the ride she worked the reins a little to keep Nicanor on task. Nicanor basically CRUSHED the field on his own. IMO He could have run a mile and a quarter easy. IMO Nicanor wasn't to happy with the blinkers so he ran his butt off just so someone would take them off. (guess they did there job. lol). Now MM needs to train him for the winners circle as Nicanor wasn't feeling that whole experience. Crowded winners circle people cheering for him he almost kicked someone before he got his picture taken it was kind of funny :). But it could have been a bad thing if he had hit that brick wall. All told it was a great day for the Jackson's and MM a time of 1:46.1 and a 15 1/4 length victory. Nicanor probably could have run faster but he  never felt the wipe, there was no need to.

14 May 2009 1:55 AM


The Jackson's were there along with MM. From what I could tell Nicanor was very well behaved in the Paddock. As he was being led onto the track he had his head down for a short time. It looked to me like he was trying to adjust to the blinkers. Once the Post Parade started he freaked out a little when the out rider took hold of him but he settled right down. I was very impressed at how mature and confident Nicanor looked. Great looking muscle tone. When the race started he went to his right a little bit then tried to look around to see what exactly was going on (blinkers) Rosie quickly settled him down and right to the lead they went. As the replay shows Rosie sat cold on him until the last turn then she worked the reigns a bit never hit him at all Nic just cruised home. It was amazing. He galloped out to about half way on the turn. He got back to the winners circle and people were clapping and cheering for him. The Jackson's and MM were in the photo. Nicanor barely broke a sweat, he looked pretty happy once the blinkers came off and a little surprised by all the clapping and cheering. It took a couple of tries to get him into the winners circle for his picture but it was a nice moment for the Jackson's and MM. Once they took his saddle off they hosed him down, which he really seemed to like and then led him back to his stall. I have a couple of good pictures of Nic if you want to ask Amanda for my E-mail address I'd gladly send them to you.

14 May 2009 2:41 AM

Here is a link to some pictures I took of Nicanor at Delaware Park.

I hope you enjoy them.

14 May 2009 2:51 AM

Nicanor, you've made my day. That was such exciting news! I knew you had what it takes to be a winner, but even I never imagined you'd win by that much. I've so rarely seen horses win by such a large margin. Keep it up and maybe we'll see you in those stakes races before too long. :) Congratulations!!

14 May 2009 2:59 AM

He was enjoying it! I've never seen him so happy in a race.  So

very happy for all his people.I have watched Rosie

for years,then a bad fall.  She was gone a while when

she broke her back in a bad

fall.  She is magic on a good

horse.  All those people at

Gulfstream and in Delaware

always made Nicanor the  

big favorite everytime he has raced.  I'm so happy I

keep bursting into happy

tears.  We have the right

team,the Jacksons,Mr.Matz

and Anna Rose !  Happy,happy!!

14 May 2009 3:01 AM

Wow!!! All the posts that have been generated is simply amazing. It makes me so happy to see how many people love this horse.

As for Nicanor, what a win! I am curious to see if Michael keeps him on the turf permanently or opts to race him on both surfaces. Either way, I honestly feel as though he is going to turn out to be quite a race horse. Barbaro must be proud!

14 May 2009 3:25 AM


14 May 2009 6:27 AM
Blue Blue Sea


14 May 2009 6:46 AM
Stanley Marcinkowski, Plowville,Pa

COME ON PEOPLE< compare Nicanor's maiden race with 9th race which was allowance nonwinners of 2 other than------he was in impressive time-faster than allowance race!

14 May 2009 7:00 AM
Stanley Marcinkowski, Plowville,Pa

mile time for Nicanor   1:39 4/5 mile time for allowance 1:40 3/5

14 May 2009 7:04 AM

WOW!!! I'm sure glad I took off work early to see that awsome race. The croud was going crazy as he was comming down to the finish.

Now it's time for R.A. to put a hurt-en on the boys in the Preakness.

14 May 2009 7:06 AM

horsefan4ever, that comment just screams with excitement! nicky, we are so proud of you, i wish i could give you a real horsey hug! love to you, darling!

14 May 2009 7:10 AM
Bob D.

163 comments and it's only a little after 7 am.....Cool!

First off - Greg, Karen & Berner; great meeting up with you guys! See you at Nic's next start? Couldn't have been a better day - Nicanor wins & all horses/riders ended the day safe & sound.

Think I can speak for all of us when I say wish all of you that couldn't be there in person were.  I've watched the replay about a dozen times now (keeps getting better), but it doesn't compare to have actually been there!

Greg - how was the ride home?  Did the high last the whole trip?

Gotta go - need to watch the replay again......

14 May 2009 7:14 AM

Spectacular!!!  He is his father's son.

14 May 2009 8:11 AM
Don from Delaware

Hi Gang,  yes I was at DP, actually standing right next to Mr. Matz and

Jackson's as they watched the race in was beautiful to experience, also watched him come to track and get saddled in paddock, Nicanor, that is! The Barbaro sib was

"Tongue Tied" and he looked me in the eyes too...After the race I (shaked) hand with MM and commented "Pefect ride, Perfect rider, Perfect day! When I got home I realized that I should have brought me BARBARO book to be signed, but actually happy I didn't

act selfish to these wonderful people and such a special day...look forward and stare eastward....Don (Domo)

14 May 2009 8:18 AM
Rhonda S

Has anyone heard what Roy and Gretchen Jackson are saying after the win.  I cannot imagnie how wonderful this must feel for them.

14 May 2009 8:25 AM
mary glynn

so has anyone heard if he came out alright. don't know if this is the correct place to post this question but did any of yall look at curlin's little brother? the mare in the video looks like a paint rough stock mare. did  the deputy sherriff mare die?  he is also a good looking fella. the new LVR and dynaformer colt is a hunk just so pretty and strong looking.congradulations to all the connections and way to go Nicky you rock.

14 May 2009 8:36 AM

YES YES YES!!!  I don't think it was the turf that did it, I think it was the blinkers!  He was able to focus for the first time and not be distracted by the scenery, the crowd and just focus on what he was there to do!!  I am so proud of him!!!  

14 May 2009 9:20 AM


Do you wager from home?  It is a lot easier and for me it is better cause I do it while I am working.  Wasn't that a Barbaro finish to the tee?  I so admire MM.  The Olympics.  Yeah.  He was holding the US flag in the closing cerimonies.  How many people do THAT!  He is a wonderful caring man and puts the horse first.  I believe that is why he was very careful at first and ran him shorter furlongs.  Looks like distance and turf is Nicanor's thing.  Well duh. Look at the pedigree.  

WHERE is Greg?  :)

14 May 2009 9:23 AM

Great! What a perfect ride. Going to the front, blinkers, no others horses to distract up there. He really enjoyed himself on the grass! What a beautiful stride and he seems to have filled out quite a bit also.

Love you Nicanor!

Congratulations to all of your connections....

14 May 2009 9:29 AM

Woo hoo! Way to go Nic!

14 May 2009 9:44 AM

Going out on a limb here and predicting that Nic's next race will be on June 17 at Delaware Park, 8th race.  Saw a MM comment that his next race "may be an allowance".  The 8th on 6/17 is Turf Allowance at a mile and an eighth for 3-yr olds and up who have not won a race other than a maiden.

I missed seeing this race in person yesterday, but I'll be there on 6/17 if it's to be!!

14 May 2009 9:48 AM


I would think that race horses since they are not neck reign trained, that the jock uses the bat to tap the horse on the shoulder to help them change leads.  Some horses just need a little pressure from the opposite knee to get it.  There are a lot of ways.  When you have a really well trained show horse, they go by vocals,reigns and the riders legs.  :)

14 May 2009 9:49 AM

"OMG I'm so excited I feel like I gave birth to him. Way to go Beautiful Boy. OH OH here comes the waterworks"

You MUST get a grip. Do you remember that scene from Airplane where the passengers wait in line for their turn to calm the hysterical woman?

"In the 10th at Delaware, allowance horses running 1 1/16 on the turf went :26, :53, 1:20, 1:50, 1:58.  I don't know what that stroll was about, but apparently the turf at Delaware is playing slow."

Uh, that was an Arabian race. Ay-yi-yi.

"Now lets go for the Belmont!!!!"

Nah, the Belmont is small potatoes... let's send him to Europe for the King George or Arc. The sky is the limit. After he wins the Breeders Cup Turf and Dubai World Cup, he'll be remembered as the greatest of all time. In fact, let's see if we can run him in both the Breeders Cup Turf AND Classic, 40 minutes apart. That's never been done before, but Nic can do it!

14 May 2009 9:54 AM

GregJ, Delaware Bob and his wife, Karen and myself were the lucky ones that go to see this race yesterday! What a wonderful day for so many people. Greg said he would post pictures as soon as he could, so look for them sometime today. I am going to Fair Hill this weekend to get some pictures of Lentanor, if I can! He arrived there, two weeks ago! I will keep you all posted.

14 May 2009 10:01 AM

just fantastic, its so excitin=] i love nicanor knew he was good and would mature when hes ready. kudos to michael and perter for doing a terrific job! loveu nicanor keep up the good work!

14 May 2009 10:03 AM

YIPPEE!!!!!  Congrats to all connections, including his groom.  Nicanor loved fabulous on grass.  His pricked ears on the backside made me realx a little.  I will have to review the race to look for lead changes.  I think Rosie did a great job.  Could the Arlington Million be in his future?  Maybe next year?

14 May 2009 10:04 AM

My congratulations to Nicanor for a job extremely well done.  In defense of Arabians, since I breed them, they are the foundation of almost all breeds.  Thoroughbreds are descended from them and they are not known for their speed but for their intelligence, loyalty, ability to carry weight over a great distance and beauty.  Anyway, keep up the good work Nicanor and be safe.  

14 May 2009 10:11 AM
2 time valley player of the year

Ace, yea he beat a bunch of stiffs[they were running for their Alpo] but he did win Impressively and  did show vast improvement wasn't really pushed[so the time means nothing] had plenty left now lets see what happens when he moves up in class.If he sticks at Delaware or any secondary track he should prevail.Like to see them run him against better competition[Saratoga or Belmont] as I'm sure everyone would.If he keeps improving off this race he will run in stakes competition in the future and should be a winner.Hard to be compared to a superstar brother  we got so spoiled by Barbaro's greatness.

14 May 2009 10:23 AM
2 time valley player of the year

Surfaces, the way he ran yesterday I don't believe it would have made any difference whether it was turf or dirt they weren't going to catch him.He did run well on his previous 2 outs on dirt and the blinkers helped a great deal in his win so i'm sure they will be permanent which is very smart.

14 May 2009 10:28 AM

Thanks lj; it was listed as turf, and if they listed arabs, that part I did not catch. I wondered why it appeared to be a jogging contest. ;)

Still the fractions for the one-mile allowance on grass were slower than Nic's, so I find that encouraging.

14 May 2009 10:42 AM

Well done, Nicanor! Congratulations to his connections. He looked like he won going very easy and appeared to be enjoying his romp on the grass. Best of luck in his next race.

14 May 2009 10:44 AM

I knew he had talent,  he sure put it together. I don't know who else was in that race but he did look impresive

14 May 2009 10:53 AM
Greg J.


      Nicanor was stunning yesterday!  It is amazing how much his body has developed since his second race at gulfstream(Just two months).  What can I say, It was just an incredible victory, flawless, effortless.  After he dusted the field, coming to the WINNER'S CIRCLE, he wasn't even breathing hard!  Rosie is a perfect fit for him, Keep her on him FOREVER.  Michael Matz made all the right decisions for him yesterday, First time on turf, First time with blinkers, First time taking two turns, New awesome jockey!  What can I say?, It was so worth the 5 hour drive from Connecticut(10 Hours round trip!), A little tired today, but I could care less.  He hated getting the blinkers put on prior to the race, but once they were on, He looked comfortable with them.  He certainly was Focused the whole race.  It is amazing how close it is to Barbaro's Maiden Win 3 1/2 years ago, Remember, This is the first Win for the Barbaro Blood since the 2006 Kentucky Derby, The Jacksons and Michael deserve it!  The Jacksons looked so Happy and relieved, as did Mr. Matz.  Rose was incredible, words can't describe it.  Nicanor by 15 lengths!!!, In my wildest dreams, I could not have written a better script!!!

     FYI, About the Turf, This was the first race on Turf this year at Delaware Park.  I talked to a Gentleman that works on the track before I left last night in the casino, He said, It was a little slow, which is always the case inhe first few races, He said it was long and deep, it starts to get faster as the turf races progress.  So, Not that it matters, But, that has everything to do with the times being a little slow.  I have included a link to Barbaro's Maiden win here on the turf(The Stretch run of Barbaro and Nicanor's Wins are exactly the same(Both rom gate 10, Spooky). Take a look...

    Here are my picures I took(Sorry, Some are blurry), They are public domain, Enjoy(There is also a video of the replay on  big screen, Sorry a little shaky, was juiced up on coffee)

     It was great to meet everyone yesterday at Delaware Park, It is awesome to put a face with a name, Thank You, It was an incredible experience everyone...

    Also, When Nicanor was in the Winner's Circle, MAN, He was fired up!, Your guess is as good as mine as far as what is next for Nicanor, But, One thing is for sure, HE LOVES THE TURF!!!!....

Barbaro's Maiden Victory:

Nicanor's Maiden Victory:


(((HINT: click on link above, then click on SLIDESHOW, Better full screen)))

Enjoy Everyone...

14 May 2009 11:06 AM
Greg J.


    I forgot link to pictures(I think?), Could you slip the link into my previous comment, Thank You, You are the Best(Forgot to write that!)....


14 May 2009 11:07 AM

As i said in my previous message he needs a good gate rider Rosie did great.This horse will improve greatly .Blinkers (cheaters) worked great.. ON TO STAKES COMPANY

14 May 2009 11:14 AM

Nicanor's earnings: 37,500.00  thats just great Nicky....

14 May 2009 11:26 AM

finally nicanor wins a race! i was impressed by his first win on turf but i couldnt help but wonder if they would hav done that in the first place where he would be right now 3 different jockeys and he finally breaks through but the only hope for him now it to make the breaders cup i have notices in his ladt 4 starts 3 of them he didnt finidh out og the top 2 postions that is good but its not good enough at this point to make noice on the triple crown trail waht a shame to see that much talent be waisted because 2 people wanted to go down memory lane in the first race he ever ran as nicanor was running doen the track i couldnt help but think about barbaro just for a split second and what a coincedence he breaks through onthe same track his brother did i look forward to this summer to see what nicanor can possibly do but its sad i didnt get to see him at the track i love which is churchill

14 May 2009 11:26 AM
Rachel of AZ

YAYYY!! I KNEW U'D DO IT NICANOR!! I think everyone had flashbacks of Barbaro yesterday. Nicanor you are amazing, everything Matz tried this time showed! Im so excited!!

14 May 2009 11:47 AM

Wonderful job, Nicanor. You really love the turf.

14 May 2009 11:57 AM

"Dynaformers are slow to mature, but they are worth the wait."  Truer words were never spoken!

14 May 2009 12:01 PM

Please race on the turf in Virginia so I can see you run!

14 May 2009 12:03 PM

You Did it Buddy..  Whoohoo!!!  Congrats to Michael, Roy & Gretchen!!!

Yeah Baby!!!!!

14 May 2009 12:20 PM

WOW!  Maybe all it took was Anna in the saddle.  This race is the first of many wins.

14 May 2009 12:20 PM

Those ears were pricked up much of the race until he started his drive home! He was out there for a leisurely gallop! Wow! Wow! WOW!

14 May 2009 12:48 PM

I cannot help but think it is fitting that the same week poor Barbaro broke down, his little brother, three years later, wins his first race on the same track of Barabaro's first race and blew the field away!! It just seems fitting... way to go Nicanor!!

14 May 2009 1:02 PM

Way to go Nic! Big Brother Barbaro would be proud! Keep up the good work.

14 May 2009 1:10 PM

Beautiful win. Left me shaking from excitment. Now on to some allowance company and see if he can beat some better horses.

Can we expect any photos of the race sometime soon?

14 May 2009 1:16 PM

Oh yes, a joyful day for Nicanor.  I saw that beautiful colt up close and have photos, too. MM and Jacksons do us all proud. Thank you all very much. I felt Barbaro's spirit there watching his baby brother. Rosie is great. It's 5 miles to Del Park from my home.  They are doing a great job, as usual.

14 May 2009 1:18 PM
Lou in TX

Karen,Penny in TX....we have another Texan on our blogg. Welcome Joy. What area are you from? Karen and I are in the Dallas/FT. Worth area and Penny from East Tx.

Isn't this great about NIcanor. I hope Greg J has lots of pictures for us, along with the others there from this blogg. Where are you? Haven't seen an entry yet. Don't you let us down!!! Have a great day everybody.

14 May 2009 1:21 PM
Lisa in N.O.

I watched the race live on TV and started crying when Nicki was at the top of the stretch because I just felt that Barbaro must've been helping little brother either by nickering in his ear or flying like Pegasus beside him.  Why else would Nicki's ears be up...he was listening or something unknown to us, had his attention. Whatever it was, it was magical!  

14 May 2009 1:24 PM
Karen, PA

It was like a rock concert for 2 minutes !  

Nicanor looked phenomenal, the Jacksons were fantastic, and Michael Matz was so gracious and genuine. And ALL there seemed to be fans for Nicanor and his connections.  Such a roar of applause for a maiden win !!!  I think everyone wants to see good things happen.

I was lucky enough to spend this special time with some of the long-time bloggers: GregJ, Delaware Bob and his lovely wife, and the fantastic BerNer -- you just couldn't meet nicer, kinder and fun people. They are wonderful; you've be fortunate to meet them!

We were there at DelPark for Nicanor's win -- trouncing the field in right fashion!  He barely sweat; it really seemed easy for him. He wasn't completely extended, he just kept gaining and gaining and gaining in lengths -- and it seemed like he didn't want to stop.

I did notice a more business-like and intense manner in Nicanor.  In the saddling area, he back kicked the wood wall behind him, and had that "let's go" agitation. And when he was in the winners circle, he back-kicked again.  

We were about 2 - 5 feet away from him as he was beig led out to the track from the saddling area and in the winners circle. And GregJ had it right -- he said lets just go right to the winners circle because that's where he'll be at the end of the race. And that's where we watched Nic's trip.

Nicanor is GORGEOUS in person.  He has real attitude in his gait.  A BEAUTIFUL boy.  And he seriously acted like he was in charge -- no playing.

Look for pictures from GregJ soon as he promised to get his photos up.  I took a few and will upload those as well.

Nicanor has REAL talent -- this is just the beginning. I think, as many of you do, that blinders was key, and I think Rosie showed as she moved him early toward the rail and then just took off that she knew what she wanted from him.  She was terrific. And there's no doubt about the turf -- Nicanor loved the lawn!  I'll bet he will eventually run on both surfaces, but he'll do great on grass for a while to build his rep and his mind up.

Gretchen Jackson seemed elated in her controlled manner as she said to us, "Wasn't that great?" as she left the winner's circle. It sure was great, for many many reasons.

I think there is as much affection and appreciation for them, and Michael Matz as there is for the boys.  It is truly a family of horses, connections and fans.

It was a wonderful feeling being able to first-time meet people with a common feeling and purpose, with diverse backgrounds . . . and yet it seems like you've known them for a long time.

Also "Grandma" was there - she got the star for Barbaro.  I love that she noted the location in the Herculean constellation. Very nice. Right where that boy's star belongs!

A perfect day!

14 May 2009 1:48 PM
Barb C


Thanks for the pictures, they're wonderful.

I was reading Amanda's report and she was quoting MM - he mentioned he wasn't sure what it was,the blinkers, the turf etc. but that Nicanor ran great.  I believe with all my heart it was Rosie - I've said it for a long time Nicanor needed a female jockey - they just handle him differently from the guys and I think Rosie made him feel comfortable and at ease!   Way to go!

14 May 2009 2:37 PM

Thanks Greg F. for the great pictures of Nicanor at Delaware Park yesterday. It is so hard to catch the Nicanor moment on internet video.

14 May 2009 2:59 PM
Lou in TX

Greg J

Thanks for the wonderful pictures. They never showed him in the winners circle and that was great.

I have saved your pics to my Favorites so I can show them to Claire. Thnak you, Thank you!!!!

14 May 2009 2:59 PM

Thank you to BriGuy and Greg J for the pics and your description of the day.  Everyone is so lucky who were able to go (I live in Oklahoma, so I must experience most of this by reading your comments and going to youtube).  Go Nicanor!!

14 May 2009 3:04 PM


I hope some exercise rider can give you a better answer than I can.

The starting gate in Nicanor's race looked as if it was on a turn, and I think that made things a little more muddled for Nicanor.

He should be trained to break on his right lead out of the gate.  I'm not sure he did, or if he switched to his left lead right after the break.  He should be on his right lead on the straights and his left lead on the turns.  As the horse approaches the turn he switches, often automatically, and as he leaves the turn he switches again, hopefully automatically on his own.

I don't know how horses learn to switch.  I think my own trainer lets them learn on their own.  I don't know the cue to switch a racehorse, but I think it is just a turn of the head.  If the horse doesn't comply, the jockey can get a bit more insistent by throwing his weight around and knocking the horse slightly off balance and using his stick on the side that you want him to get off of.  Insisting a horse switch who doesn't want to switch can cause all kinds of trouble down the road.

Most horses will quickly learn to naturally change leads at the correct time galloping around the track.

There are some pretty famous horses who wouldn't switch in the stretch.  It has often be questioned if Affirmed would have won the Triple Crown if Alydar had ever once switched down the stretch.

14 May 2009 3:07 PM
Karen in Texas

Lou in TX---I noticed Joy on the blog as well. Texas is a big place; I bet we have a huge Barbaro fan base! Everyone is appreciated!

Karen,PA---Thank you for the first hand account of your race experience in Delaware! It must truly have been a rock concert! Being close to Nicanor and the Jacksons must have seemed like a dream come true!

14 May 2009 3:14 PM
Barb C


Thanks Greg J. for the video links and the picture - they were great!

Thank you Amanda for all the time and effort you put into this blog -not to mention all the fans and bloggers.  I love this site!

14 May 2009 3:18 PM

Did anyone catch what Rosie N. said about Nic, if she did say anything? It'd be interesting to hear what she thought of him.  He sure seemed to like her!  They make a good team and it would make sense to keep them together, depending on her availability.  I would think she'd like to be on his back again.  What a great day for a young, promising rider who has already been through a lot--riding for Lael Stables for the first time on a brother of Barbaro!

14 May 2009 3:22 PM
Karen in Texas

Greg J. and BriGuy---Thank you for the wonderful pictures!

14 May 2009 3:24 PM

Greg J.

Thanks for the vids and pics.  WOW #10!!!  Same track!!! UN-REAL!!! This is really a trip.  Nicanor has finally bloomed and boy does he look good.  :)  Glad you had fun.  I was thinking of  you last night and remember talking to you about flying there and you probably did fly back LOL!  

Nicanor 4 starts 1-2-2  Right ON.  Maybe we have a Breeders Cup Classic aye?  That would rock.  :)

14 May 2009 3:36 PM

Oops  Karen  Thanks for your postings.  Really is nice to hear things from you.  :)

14 May 2009 3:37 PM
Penny in Texas

Welcome aboard Joy, from one Texan to another.

I watched the video og Nicanor's win over and over.  Nicanor, you little dickens, it is very evident you do like the ladies. Fantastic race!

Thank you Greg J and BRIGUY for the great pictures.  Does anyone know if there is a video of him in the winners circle?

14 May 2009 3:47 PM
Greg J.

Karen, Pa,

     Great Summary of the day, Spot On(I was exhausted this morning!, I couldn't think clearly, Damn Traffic in N.Y.!, Left at 8 p.m., got home at 2:30!, at work at 8:00, Whew, this has to be the longest day!).

    Michael Matz said he wasn't sure if it was the Turf or the Blinkers or the fact that he is starting to "get it", as far as winning.  He said his next few races will probably be on turf, an allowance race will be next.  


      Great Pictures, I should have been on top of the winner's circle too, Better angle, Nice...


    100 percent agree with you, I don't think the surface was the biggest deal for Nicanor, More so, I think, were the use of blinkers.  He needed to get focused, He ran great on dirt, now turf, so that leaves new jockey and Blinkers as biggest difference...

    And to people that keep mentioning his splits and times.  That is completely irrelevant, He was never pushed, and it was the first race this year on Turf at Delaware, it was a slow and deep track, Times were no factor, You are telling me, If he had happened to be pushed, Do you really think his times would have been the same?, Doubt it....

    Way to Go Nicanor, That was a perfect win for him, in every aspect...Congrats to ALL of his wonderfull conections....

     Also, When people say he beat a weak field?, When you win a race for the first time, It is ALWAYS against a field of horses that have never won a race, Do me a favor, Do your homework before you make such a comment, The Pedigree's in yesterday's field were very solid, Also, Whistlejacket is going to be a solid horse, just the distance and deep track were too much for him yesterday, he was right there until he faded...

     Can't wait to drive down for next race at delaware, let's say, in about 3 weeks....

14 May 2009 4:30 PM

I will be there for his next race for sure. Great company to watch a great horse!! Thanks for all the pictures and video links. Sorry it took so long to get home but you wouldn't have missed it even if you had known, would you Greg?? See you at the next race, all of you!!

14 May 2009 4:49 PM
Greg J.


      Have fun at the Preakness!, Should be the year's most exciting race, Go Fire, Also, Nice article on Nicanor's Race yesterday, Enjoy the Preakness...

      Look at the third picture down, Nicanor "Flying"....Great picture, Still think he looks like "Batman" with the Black Blinkers, lol...

14 May 2009 4:54 PM

Great pictures GregJ. and Karen PA must have been wonderful to be there, Oklahoma is a long way!!! thanks all.  I treasure all comments and pictures of Nicanor and you guys.....

14 May 2009 4:57 PM
Karen, PA

GregJ yelled "Way to go, Rosie" to Rosie, and she smiled, but no comments.  

She can be seen talking with Michale Matz, who was BEAMING !!!  And she talked with Gretchen and Roy Jackson.  But from our vantage point, I don't think any of us heard comments from Rosie. She was very low key and professional.  She's got to know that eyes are on her now, and that she was part of something special.

Am I wrong? -- in every pic or video angle, Rosie never even moved her whip; it seemed to stay in her hand and down the whole time.  Says a lot about Nicanor's awareness of his job, and his strength -- and ease -- of performance.

Something cool that I did't mention before was that before the race Michael Matz was gracious enough to put up with my queries about Lentenor.  Without saying specifically what I asked, he DID say with a big smile that Lentenor is coming along and is a nice horse.  When I said I was CERTAIN that Nicanor was going to win today, he just said "Well, I hope so!" with that big beaming smile of his.

When Nicanor DID win, as I said GregJ had us placed at the winner's circle.  When Michael Matz came down to enter the circle, he was kind enough to extend his hand to me and I shook it hand with the force of a high 5.  He was laughing!!! And I just said WOOO HOOO ... CONGRATULATIONS ... I TOLD YOU, I TOLD YOU"  He was just so nice.

Like I said, could it have been better?????  I think not !

I read on USA that Gretchen Jackson said that that this race was reminiscent of Barbaro's debut in Delaware. Though they were very professional and composed, it must have been very moving for them.

In Alex Brown's The Rail, he talks about CBS News covering the race -- we saw them and USA Today there.  Look in Friday's USA Today paper for coverage and pictures.  They talked to Delaware Bob and his wife, GregJ (btw, GregJ's March 15th b'day is the same as Nicanor's !!) and other fans and friends of Barbaro...and Nicanor.

GregJ, good pictures !!

Great day, guys !

14 May 2009 5:08 PM
Greg J.


   I am curious of what your thoughts are on how Nicanor's build looks, Take a look at my pictures and Briguy(I think his are better from his angle).  I would like to hear your opinion, IMO, I think he has developed alot in the two months since his second race, Thanks...(And, yes, you are right the gate is at an angle, The program said the distance was around 1 mile and a 1/16)...

14 May 2009 5:16 PM
Karen, PA

Found a GREAT article on Rosie Napravnik.  

GregJ did some preliminary research on her for us (previous "Nicanor Entered" blog). But this story makes me realize we had a real up and comer on top of Nicanor!  And she's a young thing!  How fantastic.

14 May 2009 5:22 PM
Karen, PA

Another more recent story on Rosie Napravnik:

14 May 2009 5:27 PM


Thanks for your response.  I can see an exercise rider having more influence in teaching to change leads, as they ride with longer stirrups in general.  Not changing on a turn could be kind of awkward for all but a very athletic horse, although race track turns are not too tight.


In the interest of education on this board, I'm quoting you here:

"I would think that race horses since they are not neck reign trained, that the jock uses the bat to tap the horse on the shoulder to help them change leads.  Some horses just need a little pressure from the opposite knee to get it.  There are a lot of ways.  When you have a really well trained show horse, they go by vocals,reigns and the riders legs.  :)


First of all, since I have ridden both western and english, neck reining has nothing to do with a proper change of leads.  Sure, the horse might do it on its own, but lead changes are cued from the legs and maybe weight changes in western.

A jockey does not sit in the proper position to cue with their knees, even if you really used knees to do it.  Lead change cues are given behind the girth with the lower leg on the bottom part of the horses barrel.  

I have never ridden a horse that would swap leads by being tapped on the shoulder with a whip and I've been honored to ride a couple well trained horses.  The most you'd get out of that might be a switch up front, which would lead to cross-leading and a loss of speed.  The lead change has to begin with the back legs.

Since I rode english too and there is no neck reining there (for the most part) the cue can come from a slight change in head position cued from the rein, and pressure from the leg, again, on the lower barrel of the horse.  In dressage, a very, very good horse will change with a change in weight on the rider's seat bone.

Maybe a horse will change on verbal cue but I've never heard of one.  I did take lessons once on a very, very well trained jumper and I could not (sadly at that point in time, should not have been on that horse in the first place) sit still enough.  We did flying changes all over the place.  Instructor should never have put me on him so soon, it was some of my first english lessons.

An ordinary level trained horse will change from some rein WITH leg cues.  A well trained horse can go with weight cues, although you seldom see it.  Take a look a dressage videos sometime at the Grand Prix level and you will see horses doing one-tempis, changing lead each stride.  Horse looks like they are skipping.  You will also see the riders using a lot of leg, unfortunately.

14 May 2009 5:51 PM

Greg J.

Yeah THE Rose  :)  Made all the difference aye?  I think that it was just his time and his day to show all these naysayers that he indeed is a fast and good horse.  15 1/2 lengths. Just like big brother.  MM is great in every way.  I so admire him.

Nicanor always HAD it, he just couldn't figure out that he did.  Maybe he was waiting for big brother to be put to rest before he showed his real talent.  As I said, same track, same number.  I do believe that there is something about that.  Did Barbaro ever lose a race after that maiden?  NO.  Will Nicanor?  I don't think so. :)

14 May 2009 6:22 PM
Kath from SC

Way to go Nic!!! Our boy did it. He is just stunning (IMO). I bet it was fun to be there to watch him and cheer him on.I just love Nic. Barbaro was definitely watching over him and very proud of little bro!!

14 May 2009 6:50 PM

I am totally blown away....I was excited that he won.  But when I saw he won by 15!  Holy crap!  I was so impressed.  If your going to win big....that's the way to do it.  May good things come to this guy.  May not be what people think they should be but God has a plan.

Congrats Nicanor!  

14 May 2009 7:34 PM

Way to go Nicanor!  Bobby is running thru the Heavens right along side you. Congratulations to all involved with Nicky's win.  It was awesome!!!

Just keep those wins coming big boy!

We all know you can do it! Be safe!!

14 May 2009 7:40 PM
Greg J.


     Your Welcome!, Hope your Granddaughter enjoys them....


      Wasn't the two video's of Nicanor and Barbaro maiden wins incredible, I cannot get over how alike they were, and both wearing #10!!!  Nicanor has barely tapped into his potential, I honestly believe there is no stopping him, and I hope as he progresses with each victory, it will bring Rosie Napravnik into the spotlight along with him, She deserves alot of credit, taking nothing away from Edgar and Jose at all, I just think for her being only 21, The exposure for her will be great and could, Hopefully, open alot of doors for her...

14 May 2009 7:45 PM

It was amazing! He can sprint very well and keep that speed so he may possibly have good endurance. This shows that he has a lot of potentional. I think they should keep his blinkers on, he seems to well with them on. Can't wait to see him race more and see his career throughout its ups and downs (if any!)

14 May 2009 8:28 PM

Greg J.:

Thanks for bringing up the condition of the turf (and reminding everyone it was the first turf race at Delaware).  I was thinking the same thing as the race was run!  Also, right after watching his race, I got on YouTube to watch Barbaro's maiden win--you are so right -- it is spooky the similarity--if I was more computer savvy, I'd love to find a way to watch them at the same time!  AND, for those that are talking about how much faster Barbaro's was--if you watch it and you watch Nicanor's, you will see the difference in the surface--fast and a little dusty for Barbaro, slower and really thick and beautiful for Nicanor.  This was a FANTASTIC race--he was finally able to put it all together and "get it"--think he'll do great on any surface.  Just great news all around--and now they can show it on Preakness day and give everyone in the world a boost on a day that will always bring up painful memories!

14 May 2009 9:11 PM

hey GregJ, in three weeks would be BELMONT STAKE. how about put our Nicanor in Belmont Stake or the Woodford Reserve Stake Turf? both stake races is in June 6... i guess that win is a start of his career... Go Nicanor!!! we've been waiting for this days. you made us all happy. thanks again to all Nicanor connections, great job all.

14 May 2009 9:40 PM

Fantastic!!!  I think we have a turf champ on our hands.  He still looked a bit green to me at the beginning, but than appeared to settle down galloping easily.  Nice to see Rosie on a great horse-her time has come too!  Congrats to all the connections.  I know that big brother was watching him fly.  Soar with the eagles Nicanor.

14 May 2009 9:53 PM

I remember Peter Brette said Nicanor learned about changing leads at Stephens Thoroughbreds before he came to Fair Hill.

Thank you to everyone who posted pictures.

14 May 2009 10:03 PM

After Nicanor's 2nd race, I said that perhaps blinkers would help him.  A couple of people on this board disagreed with me.  JAJ I think you thought this was a bad idea, but I don't remember why.  Can you refresh my memory?  

Nicanor is a beautiful horse.

Greg J I'm going with Friesan Fire in the Preakness.    

14 May 2009 10:28 PM

Greg J, Karen PA, Briguy - thanks so much for the pics/video/comments.  Nicanor looks great!  I hope I can see him someday soon!

14 May 2009 10:42 PM

And Amanda - thanks so much for this blog - nice place to go at the end of a long day!

14 May 2009 10:43 PM
Don in Massachusetts

Congratulations to Nicanor, to Michael Matz, and to the Jacksons!!!

You made us proud on your first and fantastic win!!!

Good Luck in the future!

14 May 2009 11:24 PM

The blinders and turf course really helped! I knew he`d be winning sometime!

15 May 2009 12:28 AM
Lou in TX

BriGuy....Thanks sooo much for the wonderful pictures of our boy Nicanor. I have a question...did Mrs Jackson give Nicanor a pat or a neck rub? She always did to Barbaro. Just wondered how she reacted towards him. She loved Barbaro sooo much. I know he was watching and rooting him on. Again thanks for the photos. Look forward to pictures of Lentenor. Check and see if they are stablemates. Wouldn't that be great?  YEA YEA YEA NICANOR!!! I just get crazy thinking about him.

15 May 2009 1:15 AM
Clearwater Charlie

For those few who were concerned about the time of the race, don't worry. It's means very little as Nic's race was the first on that Turf course in many months.

The split's were 24:34-49:00-1:14:35-1:39:86 for the Mile. Compare that to the 9th Race, (Turf), for Allowance Fillies, 25:68-49:96-1:15:26 & 1:40:64 for the mile. Nic just ran at his own pace, Rosie never ask him to run. He will go on to be a Champion, Turf Thoroughbred. GO NICANOR GO.

15 May 2009 8:03 AM

2TVPlayer, Welcome to the FONs! Are you the new believer that you appear to be?  

Phantom, I BELIEVE you! Congrats on your winnings!

To those of you remaining who still want to diss Nic, knock yourselves out!  It won't change the truth, the future, nor our feelings for him. He's EVERYTHING we thought he'd be and MORE!  He's definitely worth the wait...

Amanda, thank you, the pictures are beautiful, and have a good trip!

15 May 2009 9:08 AM
Greg J.


   GREAT Article in today's(Friday's Edition), Myself and Karen, PA., Were actually interviewed in it, Nice that we were included, How cool is that, Anyways, Great Article, Video, And Picture.....Insight also from Rosie....


15 May 2009 9:13 AM

FYI - A while back someone asked about the HBO Barbaro documentary - well guess what!  It's being re-run again on HBO On Demand until June 8.  Since this is not available for purchase from HBO this is a good opportunity to tape it!  Was so happy to see it back on the HBO schedule.  

15 May 2009 9:24 AM
Greg J.


     Check out the article in USA Today, Look at the video, I believe you might know someone in video(lol)....

15 May 2009 9:50 AM

The more I watch this race the more amused I am watching Nicanor's ears.  Yes, for the most part they are up, but watch him swivel them around like radar.  Either Rosie was talking to him or, since he couldn't see the rest of the field, he was scoping out where all the other horses went.

Watching Rosie get after him a little in the stretch, (But no whip) even when he had the field put away, I think she may have been doing two things: keeping him from "taking a break" as he seems to have done in the past and trying to teach him that he best be hot footin' it to the wire and, she wasn't going to let him wait for the "party" to catch up.

He's improving but I think he's a social kind of guy and wants to hang out with the other horses, once he realizes he's left them behind.  I think Nicanor's first reaction out of the gate is, "got to go fast, go fast, go fast, don't leave me behind"- OK but if you can't rate him, a problem.

I am happy he won but cautiously optimistic that this colt still has a lot to learn.  I do like the fact that he seemed to have more endurance this time.

As for not liking the blinkers being put on, if they are relatively new to him, he will object.  Most horses don't like anything covering their heads and it takes a while to get used to things like that.  Horses are also flight animals and blinkers take away their vision to the back- why their eyes are placed the way they are.  

15 May 2009 9:59 AM

Congrats to all, the turf is where he wants to be!

I love watching his ears flicking back and forth, just having fun out there.

From one Rosie to another, great job girlfriend!

Best of luck in the future.

15 May 2009 9:59 AM


Re BLinkers,

I said I didn't think blinkers were the right thing to put on a horse that was as rank as Nicanor was.  The jury is still out on whether or not blinkers helped or not according to MM.

He might not have won if someone had gone with him in the early part of the race.  Did you notice how rank he seemed at the very beginning of the race before he got away from the field and settled?  Blinkers might make that worse if he has to go head to head with another horse early in a race.  Who knows?  Time will tell.  No, make that time might tell.  Nicanor is definitely a work in progress.

Someone asked what I thought about how he looks.  I have to say, he looks like he is just blossoming.  From the pictures, he seems as if he has put on weight.  He looks a lot more mature.  From the side (don't know about head on), I like the way he moves much better than Barbaro moved.  He looked great in that race!

15 May 2009 10:03 AM
Greg J.


     Read the Article up above, They asked Mr. Matz about Nicanor being in the Belmont, First they asked Gretchen, Then Michael:

    Jackson says it's "completely" up to Matz whether to enter Nicanor in the third leg of the Triple, Crown, the Belmont Stakes on June 6. So might Matz look to the Belmont?

    "I would say 99.9 (%) that he's not going to run in the Belmont," he says

    Remember, We can't get ahead of ourselves, Baby Steps, First a Maiden Win, Then a Allowance Win(Hopefully), Then probably a Grade Three Stakes Win(Hopefully), Then the sky's the limit, They need to enter him in races where it will bolster his confidence with each race, A Horse's Mental State is very important, CONFIDENCE, Is what Nicanor needs right now, So one win at a time, No rush....

15 May 2009 10:20 AM


Re Lead changes

My own trainer rode dressage in the Olympics before she was a racehorse trainer.  She lets the babies figure it out on their own in the beginning.  They naturally change for the turns, come out of the turns tired on the left lead and naturally switch to the right lead down the straight to give that left leading leg a rest.  Then, when they come to the turn, they naturally switch on their own.  My trainer does not want to force a horse to switch by throwing them off balance because then they become afraid that they will be knocked a bit off balance and will hesitate.

A horse can't keep going on the same lead because that side gets too tired, although there are a lot of horses that don't switch when they should, especially down the stretch.  Alydar was a famous example.  Usually, once they switch off the (tired) lead, they get a burst of energy.

Some horses won't switch because they are hurt.  If they are tired, they will switch leads, too, so you might see a horse come off the turn switch to the right lead down the stretch and then switch back to the left again.  Sometimes, they will switch many, many times down the stretch.  That shows either a tired horse or a horse that might be hurting a bit.

Hope that helps.

15 May 2009 10:26 AM

Greg J.  and Karen.

You guys are so cool.  Love the article and love that you guys were both in it.  It is so true that these horses are so famous and always will be loved by so many.  

I still can't get over how much Nicanor has GROWN in two months.  


I always used my legs and the reins to change the leads on my horses when they were in shows, jumping and all of that stuff.  We had one really well trained Arabian and he went by vocals, legs and the reigns by the neck.  We didn't even need a bridle on him.  He was very very well trained.  I also have a really good friend that raises Arabian's and all of his horses are so well trained.  I noticed that a lot of his horses as well did not need a bridle.  I was on one of his horses one day and I just barely squeezed him with my right leg and he turned left and started to trot. LOL.  He was too well trained for me.  :)

15 May 2009 10:28 AM

Greg J.  What were your wagers on Wednesday?  I know that in order to cash in a win, it would have had to be a pretty hefty chunck of money.  :)  I did your exacta LOL and of course did not hit.  The win was what I did hit and that is all I did was your exacta and a win on Nicky Nocks.  :)  Even 100 dollars wouldn't really bring back that much on Nicanor for the win that day.  I wish I would have put more on him.  I had a gutt feeling that he was going to win.  I saw the paddock and all of that on my wagering site.  The post parade and da da da da.  He did look pretty good.  :)

15 May 2009 10:33 AM

Thanks Greg J and Karen PA for the great pictures. The article in USA today was really good I thought. I am so excited about the new baby that will be here next year, we have a lot of years to look forward to with this bunch of wonderful horses, Barbaro would be so proud of his family.

15 May 2009 10:35 AM

Read the USA Today article.Congrats on getting some print.

I have to agree to disagree with you about the time of the race. The course was listed as "firm" on Eqibase. I've watched all his starts and the thing I've noticed is that when you take a hold of him he fights the rider. She never touched his head till the turn and even then just took a slight hold. He may turn out to be one of those that you can't take much of a hold of in that he won't relax. The blinkers certainly helped him focus.

15 May 2009 10:50 AM
Lou in TX

Hey Greg and Karen are celebraties now. That was a terrific article thanks for the web site. The pictures of Nicanor are wonderful. Thanks again.

15 May 2009 11:00 AM
Bob D.

Hey Greg J,

If Nicanor ends up in the June 17th (another Wednesday) turf race at Del Park looks like another road trip - I'm looking into buying some stock in Maxwell House. We should try and get a bigger group together this time - meeeting & hanging out with you guys added much to the day.  

15 May 2009 11:02 AM
Bob D.

Hey Greg,

Remind me to get your autograph next time now that you're a celebrity!!

15 May 2009 11:05 AM

Opps sorry I was replying to Greg J.

15 May 2009 11:09 AM

Greg. J. Kathy, Berner05, Horsenut, Ragsy... and the rest that love LVR and the family.  

Isn't it amazing that a horse that NEVER sired has so much fame in his bloodline?  Going on 5 kids now and nothing has changed from 01/29/07.  It is just getting stronger and stronger.  The love for Barbaro has not died one bit and it never ever will.  This is quite the story.  It will go down in the history books as being one of the best. :)

Barbaro is truely a legend and a very very beautiful one at that. He has done what NO horse has done.  He has showed people that "yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift, make it count".  It is amazing how many lives have changed over ONE horse by the name of Barbaro.  :)  

15 May 2009 11:12 AM
Greg J.


   Here is a link to more Articles on Nicanor(I hope all of his national exposure doesn't go to his head, lol):

15 May 2009 11:17 AM

He looked SO GOOD!  Remembering that Barbaro also broken his maiden on the turf makes me think Nicanor has a bright future.

15 May 2009 11:22 AM

Thanks JAJ,

Sounds like they let the horses figure out the best thing to do regarding leads.

Horses are "handed" in that they can be right or left handed just like people and will tend to prefer a certain lead.  However, you are right in that a horse that has a problem might avoid a certain lead because they are hurting.

Thanks also for your observation that Nicanor was still running a little rank and that who knows if another horse had run with him what might have happened.  

I am on Nicanor's side but I don't see a horse yet that has the right tool box for a different kind of race.  When I said previously I was cautiously optimistic, that's why.  

Rosie may not have fought him and succeeded this time but ultimately, he's going to have to have a lot of speed, endurance, and other gears to keep running the way he does, or he's going to have to learn to settle and rate.  I still see a tense horse running in the first part of the race.  Look how inverted he is against the bridle.  When he does settle, then he starts looking around for the "party."

I wish all good things for Nicanor but one win at this point may only mean Nicanor had an advantageous trip for him.  Yeah, next time the other jocks may not let him loose on the front again, think Kent Desormeaux.....

15 May 2009 11:23 AM
Greg J.


    I believe Equibase was wrong on Turf being Firm, Like I said, Before I left, I was talking to an employee at Delaware Park and He said since it was the first Turf race of the year, It was a slow track, deep and long, Also, Look at Barbaro's Maiden Win on the Turf, Then look at Nicanor's, It is quite obvious then difference in the turf, In Barbaro's Race, It is Dry and Short(Look at the Dust being kicked up), Then Nicanor's race, It is Lush Green, Longer, and no Dust at all...

    I do agree that he does fight Rosie, but, in time he should learn to be more relaxed, and yes, The Blinkers made him get focused on the task at hand...

15 May 2009 12:00 PM
Greg J.


    Here is a longer video of Nicanor's Race(Almost 4 Minutes!), Shows his Gallop after he crossed the finish line((I am still kicking myself in the you know what for not getting a video of him in the Winner's Circle!)...

15 May 2009 12:06 PM
Greg J.


    Barbaro's Maiden win was a Mile, While Nicanor's was a 1 1/16(About) Miles, The Times were as Follows:

Barbaro:23.3, 47.3, 1:12.1, 1:35.4

Nicanor:24.1, 49.0, 1:14.1, 1:39.4

    So, IMO, The times were pretty good for a deep track, and considering all the first's Nicanor was dealing with(Jockey, Two turns, Blinkers, Turf).

15 May 2009 1:51 PM

Greg J. Blinkers are one of many tools a trainer uses to help a horse focus on the task at hand as you well know. He did finish very well which is something you always like to see. I hope he can mature mentally and learn to relax because they never run to their ability when they don't take a hold and run with their head up. At the very least it taught him to win and may make him more aggressive next out.  

15 May 2009 3:19 PM

CONGRATS !!!! Nicanor,Mr.&Mrs. Jackson,& Michael Matz He is A Beautiful Boy & I know He Will Continue To Make You Proud

15 May 2009 3:59 PM

What a horse!!

15 May 2009 4:16 PM

Lou in TX

"did Mrs. Jackson give Nicanor a pat or a neck rub?"

I honestly couldn't tell you if she did or didn't pat his neck. The winners circle at DP is pretty small and Nicanor was acting up a bit. They had to led him in a couple of times at two different places. The people in the circle weren't moving around a lot when Nic was in there for fear of being kicked.

15 May 2009 5:31 PM

Amanda, thank you for the pics.  He has really matured; the difference is night-and-day.  Congrats Mary on your wisdom since I recall you were the first on here touting blinkers for our boy.  He has his game-face on now (lol).  Nicanor, you brought a lot of happiness to a lot of people Wednesday, and you looked joyful rompin and stompin.  We have a beautiful lawn just waiting for you at Santa Anita in the Breeders Cup.

15 May 2009 5:59 PM
Greg J.

Another Article on Nicanor on MSNBC.COM:

     A few quotes from Gretchen Jackson,

   "One of my thoughts was, he better do it this time,'' Jackson said Thursday. "He'd been so close. The result was very pleasing. It looks like we might have a horse that might have some talent.''

    Gretchen Jackson said Nicanor had been a "dawdler"...

    TOO FUNNY!, Definition of Dawdler=linger: take one's time, proceed slowly, the deliberate act of delaying and playing instead of working

    I don't think he is "Dawdler" anymore, He is finally growing up...

15 May 2009 6:23 PM

Mrs. Jackson in another interview called Nicanor a dwadler in his other races.  I think that does explain him well.

15 May 2009 9:17 PM

GregJ thanks for the info.

if he stays in DP, how about the John W. Rooney race (mile and 1/8 turf)on june 13. it doesn't say its a graded stake but sounds like it's better competition. i saw this under Delaware Stakes calendar.

Go Nicanor!!! it doesnt matter what race you'll run, we're all here to support you...

be safe out there.

16 May 2009 2:31 AM

***********Musings, don't be mean******

My amateur thoughts on Nicanor and his blinkers are that he was hightailing it down the stretch so the race would be over with so he could have the blinkers removed.

I've said all along Nicanor enjoys the track for the sheer energy and enjoyment of it.

Nicanor does not look like your average racehorse going down the track, i.e., he is definitely not all business, even on Wednesday. He is much better though.

If Nicanor continues to where blinkers, he will win races, but not for the reasons that the blinkers were designed for.

16 May 2009 12:05 PM

kalesa: With respect I imagine MM will be looking for a Non/2Life for Nicanor. That is the usual progression for a horse who just broke his maiden.

16 May 2009 12:24 PM


I never mentioned his Maiden race - I was referring to his second race-see

What I said was that Barbaro ran a mile 1/16, same as the race Nicanor won, in a faster time. By the way, you should have promoted the Dynaformer/LaVille Rouge wedding when you were interviewed! An opportunity missed!

16 May 2009 3:04 PM

OMG, Nicanor has finally passed his bar mitzvah!!!! Oh, and in such glory....look at that pic of him just REACHING to tear up that ground!!

Congratulations to the people i would love to meet most in my life..

SPC Cassandra Cabanag..Ramadi, Iraq

16 May 2009 7:38 PM

and yes, those two people I want to meet most in my life are: Roy and Gretchen Jackson. Such big hearts you have....

Best wishes to Nicanor, MM and the Jackson's.

spc cassandra cabanag (IRAQ) (for cassandra by her mother)

16 May 2009 7:43 PM

One of the most important portions of that great USAToday article is the quote from an equine geneticist who states that siblings of great racehorses like Barbaro actually have a greater than usual chance of becoming superior racehorses, just because their full brother achieved greatness (it's in the genes!).  That article is outstanding, by the way.  Worth a trip to the newsstand. The Friday edition is the weekend edition, if I remember correctly, so it should still be available.  Beautiful pic of Nic leading the charge. Pic of Lentenor gettinb a bath by Edoardo, and a pic of Babynor. Also, they say, there's a video of both brothers at FHTC on the website.  (I can't find it.)

17 May 2009 11:59 AM
Chris K

Great job Nicky!!  We all knew you could do it.  Kudos to Mr. and Mrs. Jackson, M. Matz and to Rosie the jockey.  Congratulations to all of Nicky's connections.

17 May 2009 4:32 PM
jon from maryland

There were several horses in the Preakness that clearly did not belong, including that had never won a stakes race. Not surprisingly, they didn't factor. I think that one would love to think Nicanor could run in the Belmont, but, he has never won a stakes race. I think he's similar to Mr. Fantasy, who won his maiden races, and then stepped up in class. Nicanor is fast, and his apeed figures show he could run in stakes races, but he needs experience, not a marathon with Rachel Alexandra and Mine that Bird. That would ruin him.

That said, I do think that later this year, we'll see Nicanor in the Breeder's Cup. I saw a comment about what would happen if Nicanor hooked up with a rabbit, and if I recall, he finished second twice running that way, on the lead, with pressure from another horse. Nicanor can do much better, and could get speed figures with 115-120+, considering his competition's gallop is his walk. In other words, I think he can beat the best out there.

The comment that Rachel Alexandra is the best 3 year old seems premature. Nicanor would probably have demolished the Preakness field yesterday, and maybe that's the reason Matz is 99.9% sure Nicanor won't run in The Belmont. He knows Nicanor is as good as the others...but not quite ready.

17 May 2009 10:30 PM

I've been watching him for a while and wondering, why did they not start him on the turf like they did Barbaro? It's about time! I knew he'd live up to his brother on the turf! Great Job Nicanor!!!!

18 May 2009 6:41 AM
Susan NOVA

One more thing... Delware Park has a brag about Nic on their site too..

18 May 2009 3:03 PM

There is still so much room for improvement with Nicanor! He is still slow to figure out racing, but when he finally does he will be unbeatable. Also I read where siblings to champions have a much higher probability of success because they have superior genes & proven breeding. Nicanor will only improve and the sky is the limit, say the breeders cup.

18 May 2009 3:58 PM
Greg J.


   Here is the Video of Nicanor and Lentenor(From the USA Today Article), This one is better Quality, Enjoy:

18 May 2009 5:18 PM
Greg J.


     Sorry about That,  And , NO, I believe The Wedding should stay exactly where it is, lol ....

18 May 2009 5:38 PM
Elaine D in PA

Hopefully I've figured this out. I've posted my photos of Nicanor's win. Hope that you like them! It was a fun day and a great race.

Let me know if this doesn't work (I'm new at this). Thanks.

18 May 2009 8:36 PM
Greg J.

Elaine D in PA,

    Hello there!, Pictures worked, AWESOME, I need to take lessons from you....

19 May 2009 8:56 AM
Concerned Fan

Elaine D, you rock! I loved you in the USA Today video - you have a sensible approach to Nicanor's career and potential.

19 May 2009 10:37 AM

Elaine D: good job and thank you for the photos, i love it...

stay healthy and safe Nicanor.

19 May 2009 12:01 PM

If I believed in such things, I'd guess that Nicanor was channeling Barbaro last Wednesday.  The two could not have looked more alike nor performed more alike.

The new Bloodhorse magazine has the loveliest centerfold of Babynor and Mama, La Ville Rouge.  HE is the sweetest , strongest looking baby.

19 May 2009 1:25 PM

Fantastic photos Elaine. Thank you for sharing.

19 May 2009 1:30 PM
Greg J.

Elaine D,

    Any Pictures of Lentenor?, I don't remember who said that they were going to Fair Hill and try to get some Pictures of Lentenor?, If not you then Sorry....

19 May 2009 2:35 PM
Lou in TX

Elaine D.

Thanks for the photos, they are terrific! Wonderful shots of him running. So glad you got those. Keep up the good work.

20 May 2009 1:01 AM

Elaine D in PA

Great pictures. Thank you

20 May 2009 3:15 AM
Karen, PA

Though I love "Barbaro's Band of Brothers," I'm not sure what the problem is being referred to as "Barbaro's Brother."  It is most certainly a reference that carries pride, history and a reference of lineage that the equine world deems critical, with every thoroughbred carrying the sire's reference and "out of" reference to the dam.

Lineage is a thing of pride, and we cannot escape the fact that Nicanor and Lentenor and the siblings to follow will all bear the story that moved us so much with them every time they make a move.  It is a sort of "dynasty" for our age.

So frankly, though we all know Nicanor, Lentenor and the rest are of themselves, and we know that they will enact their own story, it is of great pride that they carry the descriptive "Barbaro's . . ." and I can't believe this group would take issue with it.

Pride.  What better reference than Barbaro.  

20 May 2009 12:42 PM
Greg J.


   Just to let everyone know, "Nicanor" earned a Speed rating of 100 for his Huge Maiden Victory, The fastest Rating of any horse for the week at Delaware Park, Including ALL types, Dirt, Turf, Sprints (1st Race-42, 2nd Race-92, Third Race-92)...

Nice Going...

20 May 2009 1:16 PM
Elaine D in PA

Greg J - If I can get into Fair Hill, believe me, I'll make sure to get as many photos as possible. Still waiting to hear from the person who made the contact.

20 May 2009 1:45 PM

I went to flickr looking for Elaine's pics, haven't found them yet, but did find GregJ's.  I hope you don't mind I downloaded a couple.   Fantastic shots of him.  And the sum of all the pics really tells the full story of what a fabulous day it must have been.  You got so close to him.  And he looks so much better than he even did before.  Seeing all the pictures made me tear up.  Thank you so much.

20 May 2009 1:48 PM

Hip hip hooray for Nicanor & Michael Matz!

20 May 2009 2:38 PM

Looked like a playday!  What a horse!

20 May 2009 3:26 PM

Elaine D-

Wonderful pictures!  Much thanks!

20 May 2009 7:13 PM

Way to go, Nick!  Congratulations to the whole Nicanor team.  I loved Barbaro so much, and enjoy following his brothers greatly.  Here's to La Villa Rouge having a full sister to Barbaro next year!  

20 May 2009 11:16 PM
Turf Runner

That was pretty slow time....was he running up the side of a mountain? He'll be hard pressed to beat allowance horses.

21 May 2009 1:17 PM
Vol De Nuit

Way to go Nicanor! You look so much like your brother!! Congratulations to Micheal Matz and the Jacksons.

22 May 2009 8:49 AM

Have heard from a couple of sources that word at FHTC is "Lentenor is Barbaro" and it is "very moving."  There is no explanation.  Maybe they are talking about how he looks, period.  Maybe they mean something more.  Anyone else heard about this?  Amanda?

22 May 2009 12:05 PM
jon in cockeysville

I wonder if anyone had heard that Nicanor had Einstein as a workout partner? I recall that Nicanor beat him, and if that's true, then Nicanor will likely be in the Fall Classics, given that Einstein is a handicap horse. I still believe that Nicanor has barely tapped his top speed, and the poor horse who is in a race when he uses it will be left in the dust. I think Nicanor will leave the three year old division in tatters, but then we've known that for awhile...Matz is conservative and Nicanor should continue to move up until we see his name on the front cover of The Daily Racing Form.

23 May 2009 12:25 AM

The one time I don't go to Delaware park....Nicely done..

24 May 2009 2:32 PM

helsbelles, thank you for remembering what I said after Nicanor's 2nd race; that blinkers would perhaps help him to focus.  I thoroughly enjoyed watching him break his maiden by over 15 lengths with the blinkers on.  Nicanor is such a lovely horse.  I have learned so much from all of you on this blog.

28 May 2009 11:18 AM

I think that Nicanor has a mind of his own; therefore for him to rate is going to be a problem.  Great horses like Secretariat had the same problem. The blinkers help.  

28 May 2009 11:49 PM

Karen PA:

Agree with you 100%, GREAT PRIDE in hearing that this horse is Barbaro's Brother....and what a feel good.. feeling one gets....

wondering... if perhaps its a race issue against the Brother.....

02 Jun 2009 11:48 AM

nicanor worked 3f at fair hill today

37b on a fast track rank 2/9

03 Jun 2009 12:32 PM

They couldn't catch him! Way to go Nicanor! I knew you could do it!

11 Jun 2009 9:34 PM

Way to go, Nicanor!!! I can't wait to see you in the Kentucky Derby! I really hope you will put an happy ending to Barbaro's story.

27 Jun 2009 12:11 AM

I think that nicanor, is a wonderful great horse, and i am going to research him!!! trying to get all the facts, i love horses, i really wanna meet nicanor, that would be so so so cool!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHH!!!!! NICANOR UR GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

25 Dec 2009 11:00 AM

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