Nicky Wins Again; Stakes Company Next?

Watch the video; scroll down to Delaware Park 8th race

Sent off as the 2-5 favorite, Nicanor ran off with the field Wednesday to post his second consecutive win and remain undefeated on grass with an impressive victory at Delaware Park. The full brother to Barbaro, ridden by Anna Rose “Rosie” Napravnik, went straight to the lead and was out in front by three lengths entering the first turn, getting the quarter mile in :24.

With a win in $39,000 allowance company after breaking his maiden by more than 15 lengths in his turf debut, Nicanor should continue to move up the class ladder and will likely now go for stakes competition.

"We are not exactly sure where we may run him next," said trainer Michael Matz.  "We want to take our time and see how he comes out of this race.  But we were very pleased with his race today.  But at this point, there is a possibility his next start might be in the Virginia Derby (Colonial Downs, July 18)."

Nicky continued to lead Stevil down the backstretch, posting fractions of :48 2/5 and 1:13 2/5 for six furlongs. Stopping the timer in 1:39 2/5 for a mile, the son of Dynaformer trained by Matz for Roy and Gretchen Jackson went on to win the turf race, in final time of 1:52 4/5 for the distance of “about” 1 1/8 miles.

Longshot White Holiday closed to be second, followed by Stevil.


Leave a Comment:


Great win Nicanor...Good luck on bigger and better wins!!

17 Jun 2009 4:55 PM

When will the video be up?  Will it be here?

17 Jun 2009 4:55 PM

I knew he would love the grass.I want to be at Colonial Downs when he races there. Good going Nicky

17 Jun 2009 4:57 PM

Great job Nicanor.  He is coming into his own now and turning out to be a very nice colt.  I will be in Saratoga on August 1-2...and it would be great to see Nicanor and Lentenor racing that weekend.

17 Jun 2009 4:58 PM

You go Nicanor!!  

17 Jun 2009 4:59 PM

where's the video??

17 Jun 2009 4:59 PM
J in NY

GO NICKY GO!!!!!!!  

I'm SO PROUD OF YOU!!!!!  Wish I could have been there!!!!!


17 Jun 2009 4:59 PM

So proud of Nicanor!

Congrats to all who have devoted their time, effort and love to Nicanor.  This is their victory too

17 Jun 2009 5:01 PM
Dan Omaha

Great job!  He seems to be doing great on the turf or is the blinkers?  His beyer matches up to some of the top horses this year on grass, I would love to see a Breeders Cup win in his future and just maybe Lentanor in the Juvenile as well

17 Jun 2009 5:04 PM

Can't wait to see if Nicky-Knocks will be in the Virgina Derby on 7/18 will be waiting with abated breath.  Now all I need is the video of his race so I can see our boy's race. Knew you could do it and hope to see pics of the ones that went to see him run. He is starting to oome into his own now, knew he would sooner or later.  Way to go Nick.

17 Jun 2009 5:04 PM

Here is the link to the page with the video; go down to Delaware Park 8th race.

17 Jun 2009 5:05 PM


Look forward to seeing you in Virginia next month-:)

17 Jun 2009 5:08 PM

Great Job Nicky!

I'm so excited!!

17 Jun 2009 5:09 PM

The next logical spot for him could be the Virginia Derby. Might be a tough spot for him if Jefferson Cup winner Florentino, Woodlawn winner Affimatif, Crown Royal winner Orthodox and the winner of this weekend's Colonial Turf Cup choose the same route. I worry about the final times of his races in Delaware. Is that a deep, slow course or is he just beating weak company? Regardless of where he ends up, I'm looking forward to watching him make the jump into stakes company. Hope to see him and the others at Colonial July 18

17 Jun 2009 5:10 PM

Way to go NICANOR ! ! !  Thats what we all knew you were capable of. You showed the field your posterior today, again. Awesome performace, I cant wait to see you on the turf at Santa Anita on Breeders Cup weekend. I have faith that you will be there.

17 Jun 2009 5:11 PM
Ted from LA

I have to say I don't like this "Nicky" stuff.  It's a good thing we didn't have the internet when Secretariat was racing.  "You go Secretary."  It's just not right.  Word.

17 Jun 2009 5:11 PM

Ted from LA:  They used to call Secretariat "Sexy".  They never dared say that during a race.  We all know his name is Nicanor and mostly we refer to him as Nic.  Sometimes, in a burst of love, we call him Nicky.  But what does it harm?

Yawn, wht do you have to say now???

17 Jun 2009 5:23 PM

Just wanted to say thanks to Mr. Matz and everyone for all the patience and hard work you all put into getting the New "BIG HORSE" there.  I train too and it is a great thing to read and see all the highlights of this special colt.  the VERY BEST to all of you!!

17 Jun 2009 5:23 PM
J in NY

The Virgina Derby is a GII 10f race.  I don't know if Mr. Matz will be racing him in that kind of company that fast.  He may go for a more modest Stakes race before sending him to the wolves.  Granted, we all want to see Nicky get out there, but take it one race at a time!  :-)  

GREAT job for Rosie as well!!!!!  You can tell she really loves to ride Nicky!  

17 Jun 2009 5:24 PM
The Rock

Breeders Cup? lol. Easy there. Let's not get in over our heads just yet. Maybe a listed stake within his own age group or a Nx2 against older horses. Here's an idea. The turf series at Del Mar. Start off with the Oceanside, to the La Jolla then Del Mar Derby. Good spacing in between. That's a logical progression.

17 Jun 2009 5:25 PM
Lady Ruffian

Yeah Nicanor! Good for him, he looked great today. Seems like Nicanor & Rosie click well. Congrats to his whole team

Can't wait to cash my ticket after work.

Did anyone go to the race? Pictures?

17 Jun 2009 5:28 PM

Way to go Nic and kudos to all of the connections.  Just love how Rosie interacts with him-no whip necessary!

17 Jun 2009 5:30 PM

I was wondering if he is just going to be considered a "turf" horse only since he now has two wins on turf or will they try him again on "dirt"? I know Barbaro started out on turf and then went to dirt. Don't "turf" horses do well on dirt surfaces too?(I'm thinking Einstein)

17 Jun 2009 5:32 PM
The Rock

Thanks Rmitchell for the video. I'm now convinced that if they put Nicanor in a graded stake next time out, he'll definitley be a play against at short odds as would be expected. I was more impressed with White Holiday and all the ground he made up when he looked hopelessly beaten with 5/16th's to go.

17 Jun 2009 5:32 PM

Congrats Nicanor!!

17 Jun 2009 5:34 PM

Nicky-Knocks? Sounds like a mocking name for a gay Irishman. :-/

I want to see if he'll prove himself for himself, and not his brother.

17 Jun 2009 5:35 PM

Way to go, Nicky Knocks. I missed the race but am thrilled to know he won it. Is it on to stakes competition next?

17 Jun 2009 5:37 PM

I agree with Ted. Nicanor, its his name

17 Jun 2009 5:39 PM

I agree with Ted about the "Nicky" stuff.  Nic is fine, but he deserves his name from us.  Stale nicknames are for those that are in the stable with the horses.  Not real sure about the time, Greg J will fill us in.  I saw that there was a temporary rail at 15 feet out, not really sure how much extra they actually ran. The grass still looked a little high too.  Also, with all of the rain, I am sure that the turf was deep and tiring.

17 Jun 2009 5:41 PM
Stanley Marcinkowski

Hopefully this is the race he 'bounced'. He will have to run better next time.  {remember, Jimmy Carter and Billy Carter were full brothers}

17 Jun 2009 5:42 PM
For Big Red

So happy to see Nicanor step up in class and win again. He might turn out to be a very nice stakes winner on grass. Way too soon to be thinking this way, but it's hard not to ponder that Barbaro didn't get a chance at stud. Maybe Nicanor's final race record will give him a big chance at stud. In the meantime, I hope he keeps stepping up and beating classy horses.

17 Jun 2009 5:42 PM

Way to go Nicanor. . I heard the commentators say they thought Nicky was going to be a wonderful turn horse. Whoohoo. . so proud of you

17 Jun 2009 5:45 PM

Look again at how slow it was. I'm not sure at his talent level yet. Hopefully he gets faster!

17 Jun 2009 5:47 PM

Congrats Nicky, Michael, Peter, Rosie, and Mr. and Mrs. Jackson. It is so awesome to see Nicky coming into his own. He loves the grass and I can't wait to watch his future unfold. Run fast, and stay healthy!!!!

17 Jun 2009 5:51 PM

No Ted, not the 2nd of August but on either the 6th, 7th or 8th will suit me just fine as the Whitney is that weekend and hopefully he will be in one of those races.  Sorry but I am selfish..

17 Jun 2009 5:55 PM
Knew He Could Do It

I am so glad that he is living up to his genetic possibilities!  The Jacksons get the gift that will keep them breeding more family Barbaro! (Are we not all lucky the quest for a filly kept them at it until Nicanor could assure them that magic would strike twice?)  I am tickled pink for all Nicanor fans.  Ted, the "Nicky" lovers are just showing more of their love for this horse by personalizing him even more than he already is.  Nicanor IS a chick's horse!  I prefer Nicanor too, but I understand Nicky and respect it.  Where is Greg?  At the track no doubt!  With friends, that's how a good racehorse can bring people together!  

17 Jun 2009 5:57 PM

Ted (or is it Edward?)

Your point is well taken about Nicanor's nicname. You probably weren't a big fan of FuPeg for the Derby winner either.

17 Jun 2009 5:58 PM
Kath from SC

Way to go Nic--WAHOOOO

Glad you are safe.

17 Jun 2009 6:01 PM

Good Job Nicanor.  I doubt if Michael Matz will rush Nicanor.  The opening splits were not that fast for him to slow down like he did:  mile in 1:39, finish in 1:52.4.  I hope they take it nice and slow with him, keep his confidence up and place him where he can do his best.  A good trainer places his horses well and I know Mike is a good trainer.  Real proud of Nicanor.

17 Jun 2009 6:07 PM

Cheers to Nicanor and Anna Rose!  

We're so proud of you, Nicanor!

Just viewed the YouTube race; easy win for our fella.

17 Jun 2009 6:10 PM


17 Jun 2009 6:11 PM

Way to go, Nic!

17 Jun 2009 6:14 PM
Mary W., Honolulu, HI

Just watched the video...Nicanor wasted no time in going to the front...what a nice stride he has....and the young lady used nary a whip...and his ears flicking back and forth....the turf "seems" to fit him just fine...only time and Mr. Matz will'ta try all before deciding which is better for him...Mr. Matz is sooooo good a trainer.  Mr. & Mrs. Jackson should be both proud and fortunate to have him training all of their horses...Kudos to everyone....looking forward to seeing more....

17 Jun 2009 6:15 PM

Yes, his name is Nicanor, not Nicky Nocks (stupid) or Nicky.  Let's show him some respect.  He has come into his own.  The video of the race was choppy, at best, but it still did the job.  

I wonder what Lentenor's nickname is going to be?  Len?  Lenty?  Lenny?  Geez, Louise.  I'll be calling him by his given name.  

17 Jun 2009 6:17 PM
For Big Red

Really nice win. The rails were out 15 feet and this is noted in the DRF official chart of the race. Nicanor led every step of the way. No other horse got closer to him than 1 1/2 lengths, and he won by 1 3/4 lengths. He seemed to tire just a bit in mid stretch, but it was raining and the turf might have been tiring. However, the DRF chart lists the track condition as firm.

After the race, Michael Matz was quoted as saying, "We are not exactly sure where we may run him next. We want to take our time and see how he comes out of this race.  But we were very pleased with his race today.  But at this point, there is a possibility his next start might be in the Virginia Derby." (VD to be run July 18.)

Going from a non-winners 1x to stakes company will be a big step up in class, but Nicanor deserves his chance at stakes.

BTW, I agree with those who dislike the juvenile nicknames for this horse. "Nicky-knocks" is especially awful, and I wish people would accord this horse the dignity he deserves. JMO

17 Jun 2009 6:18 PM

I have really had it with all the negative people on here complaining about this, that and the other thing.  

He won.

17 Jun 2009 6:18 PM

Nicanor is a great and innovative name and I will continue to use it. Nic or Nick if you will is a great macho nickname if you are into nicknames. Sorry Ron, Nicky is a name you use when you have a personal visit with Nicanor and are offering him a peppermint. Hey Nicky, good boy, I have a peppermint for you.

And what do you have when you mix grass and water? Why you have what is know as wetlands. I occasionally fly into my hometown in the spring and there are all of these little temporary lakes in cornfields by the airport. And the locals don't call it flooding, they call it too much rain over the weekend.

I can't imagine that galloping through long turf that has recently been rained on, easy.

White Holiday was the only horse that was holding back until the end. All the others had or were starting to lose steam towards the end. And still Nicanor did not look too burned out in the end running in his first allowance.

All in all, I believe Nicanor will do just fine in his career. Good Luck and stay safe Nicanor.

17 Jun 2009 6:21 PM
Karen in Texas

Great to see him win again! Hopefully, he'll continue to go forward.

17 Jun 2009 6:23 PM

He's turning out to be a good racehorse. Great job Nicanor! =)

17 Jun 2009 6:25 PM

Winning on the lead in a GradeII? I don't think so.

17 Jun 2009 6:27 PM
Curlin Rulez

I watched the race on HPITV in Toronto and he won the race easily by 2 lengths all the way around. Was never in doubt.

17 Jun 2009 6:27 PM
jon from maryland

Interesting that Nicanor beat Stevil, who was 5th in last year's Preakness. Again, Nicanor didn't break any records, or run too fast, and Matz may step him up to a stakes, though from this level to a minor stakes would be nice.

I think, though, Nicanor is running as he needs to, and is clearly not extended. That may mean that he could beat stakes runners by ratcheting up his speed. I did hear that Einstein was his workout partner and that Nicanor beat him, so I am wondering what the holdup is.

I'd love to see Nicanor go up against Mine That Bird at Mountaineer in the West Virginia Derby. I think that Nicanor could run against any horse at this point, adjust his speed, and win. The class of the horse wouldn't matter. I think Nicanor should be entered in a sprint just to sharpen his speed as well, and see what he has, because no one seems to know how fast he can run.

17 Jun 2009 6:28 PM

Great win buddy! I am sure that your big brother is mighty proud. Gate to wire baby!!! Way to go!!

17 Jun 2009 6:31 PM

Thanks, Bloodhorse, for keeping us up to date on Nicanor's racing!  Being able to see the video is awesome and I think it is wonderful that you are providing this outlet for the fans of Barbaro's brothers.  I'm not a racing expert so I wouldn't even begin to try to suggest where Nicanor should run next, but I'm so excited he seems to have found himself a winner with the switch to the turf and maybe the blinkers.  Whatever it is, I'll take it!  Yay!!

17 Jun 2009 6:36 PM

Way to go, Nicanor! Another nice win!

17 Jun 2009 6:45 PM

Way to go Nicanor!  You and Rosie make a GREAT team!  I hope you stay together.

17 Jun 2009 6:45 PM

hi all our boy is going to do fine by the end of the year everyone will know!!!!!!!!

17 Jun 2009 6:45 PM

I was there today to see Nicanor win and it was awesome.  Out front all the way.  Had tears of joy just watching him no matter what name folks call him by.  Thanks to all who care so lovingly for him and thank God for keeping him safe.

17 Jun 2009 6:54 PM

Nicanor is a beautiful, dignified, classy horse and his name, Nicanor, suits him.  Lentenor, likewise.  Nicky Knocks was the nickname Peter Brette (Michael's assistant trainer) gave Nic.  Not our doing!

17 Jun 2009 6:59 PM

Congratulations Nicanor, you are amazing. Stay healthy and happy and thats all I care about. :)

17 Jun 2009 7:02 PM
Grey K

Nicanor run against MTB??  You trolls have a fabulous sense of humor, I will allow you that much.  Nice to see another win and I hope to see him in the Virginia Derby if all goes well.  

17 Jun 2009 7:02 PM

Rosie seems all business when riding Nicanor. I watched the race at an OTB outlet up the road here in New York State. They showed 2 different camera angle replays and in the overhead angle coming mid-way through the final turn Rosie reached back and gave Nicanor 1 good solid hit with the whip. I think this caused Nicanor's acceleration out of the turn and his strong run to the finish.

17 Jun 2009 7:04 PM
Penny in TX

So proud of you Nicanor, great job! Thanks Ron for the video and the update about the win.

17 Jun 2009 7:05 PM
Mike Relva


I totally agree with you. Many on here are crybabies! They can't exist unless they have something to complain about.

17 Jun 2009 7:07 PM
Ted from LA

I stand corrected.  I think N ran a great race today and hope to see him in the Breeders' Cup Turf.

17 Jun 2009 7:11 PM

Do NOT run him in the Virginia Derby. He will be way overmatched at this point in his career. Try a little tougher race, but let's not get carried away.

17 Jun 2009 7:14 PM
Barb C

Ron, thank you for the link to the video - it's really great to be able to watch it and see just how Nicanor ran.  We (I) really appreciate you keeping the blog going.

Kathy, thank you for your comments.  They also are appreciated.  

We just need to let Nicanor ease into just who he's going to be.  M. Matz is allowing him to do that, we need to do the same.  All of us love him to death and only want to see him do well - the main thing is that he stays healthy and safe.  I love Rosie riding him I think she handles him so well and hope that Nicanor's connections (all of them) will keep Rosie on him for the future. They make a great team!  Now we wait and see where Nicanor goes next.  Wherever, we are all with him.  Way to go big guy!

17 Jun 2009 7:33 PM

I was at Delaware Park today for the race.  Seeing Nicanor in the winner's circle made my day - well, actually, it made my year!  

17 Jun 2009 7:34 PM

Way to GO, our Beloved NICANOR !!!

Bet your Mum La Ville Rouge' proud & WHAT a great Father's Day present for Dad, Dynaformer!!!


17 Jun 2009 7:45 PM
CA Fan

Great Job Nic!  Another strong race.  Looking forward to the next!  Hope you come out of this just fine so we can soon see you in a graded stakes.

17 Jun 2009 8:01 PM
Brian A.

Awesome!  This breeding is dynamite!!!

17 Jun 2009 8:05 PM

Go Nicky!

I hope he does come to Colonial Downs, I`m already saving my money just in case!

17 Jun 2009 8:16 PM


you sure looked purdy!!!

oh,if,if,ands and butts were candy and nuts... Nicky... would have won by 100 lenghts.....I for one am happy with what Nicky has accomplished....great job MMatz and MR.& MRS.Jackson......

17 Jun 2009 8:17 PM
Lise from Maine

Bonjour Nicanor!

I knew you could do it again, Nicanor. Wow! Great win!

You are superb just like your brother, Barbaro!

I am wondering if Mr. Matz made a mistake with you by not racing you on turb to begin with just as he did with Barbaro.

Lots of love and kisses.

17 Jun 2009 8:22 PM
Mattie W.

Good job, Nicky! I sure hope that my family and myself get to actually see you sometime when we are in your area, whether you're racing or between races. Congrats, too, to all the great folks involved in Team Nicanor. To all: keep up the good work and stay happy, healthy, and safe. 'God bless!

17 Jun 2009 8:31 PM

Way to go Nicanor!!! I knew you would make it after all its in the blood.  I love you and Lentenor ( new colt too) so much because of your brother, Barbaro because of Barbaro I am in to racing which even though I loved horses all my life never really cared about racing until Barbaro like so many others.  We are proud of you and wish you and your brothers both the best and hoping for a sister. Love to all the Barbaro Family always and be safe.

17 Jun 2009 8:38 PM

I love the way he kicks out at the top of the stretch... reminiscent of Curlin or Barbaro. Nice, muscular move... keep it up, and stay safe Nicky!

17 Jun 2009 8:44 PM

Great race Nicanor! thank you for bringing him home safe, Rosie! Congrats to all of Nicanor's connections!

17 Jun 2009 8:44 PM

I love the way he kicked out at the top of the stretch... reminded me of Curlin or Barbaro. Nice, muscular move... way to go, Nicky... be safe!

17 Jun 2009 8:47 PM
Maria K.

Good job Nicanor!!! But you need to work hard to prepare for the next race the Virginia Derby.  Let us hope for the best.

17 Jun 2009 8:55 PM

Nicanor ran a good race today, so glad to see him coming into himself.

Can we please keep this blog to horse respect and not play the pretend stuff? Alex brown racing has a thread for the "let's pretend to be nicanor and pals" thread.   I just want to come to one place and not see the goofy stuff posted.  His Dam and Sire don't even know who he is anymore, so why were they be "proud" of him.

Thank you!!

17 Jun 2009 8:57 PM
Ida Lee

It was great seeing Nicanor race today. What a beautiful boy he is! And now I must say how upsetting it was to hear of Sailor's Cap sudden death. Such a beautiful young boy. Even though he beat my love Kip Deville, he looked great on Sunday. That's he gone a few day's later is a nightmare. Dear Lord, if anything like this was to happen to Nicanor or Lentenor, I don't know how I could take it. Let's all pray for the health and safety of our beautiful athletes.

17 Jun 2009 8:59 PM

I think that Michael Matz is a genius.  It is obvious that he is fascinated by this horse and the reason I say this is because after Nicanor won his maiden, Matz said he didn't know if he won because he was on the turf or whether the blinkers did the trick.  

17 Jun 2009 9:07 PM
Debbie In Texas

What a great race - we sure love you Nicanor!  Your connections must be so happy & proud of you!  Can't wait to see you again soon!

17 Jun 2009 9:15 PM

Woohoo Nicanor...look at you go!  So happy for you and all the connections.  Thank you Bloodhorse for sharing this loved family w/ us.  

I am so happy I have tears in my eyes.

If anyone was lucky enough to go can they share their experience and thoughts...I really enjoy reading how the experience was for them.  

17 Jun 2009 9:24 PM


If Peter calls him that, it is enough for me.  Nicky Knocks is one heck of a late bloomer and it appears that he has made an ass out of the naysayers aye?  Us FOB's always knew that he had what it took.  It is Matz that was patient with him and rightly so.  Good trainers make for quality horses.  MM is the best.  Doesn't push the horses, just lets them make the call.  

Congrats to the Jacksons, Rosie, MM, Peter and all of the connections.  Looks like big brother has some siblings that are really gonna make the spotlight.  Barbaro would have it no other way.  :)

17 Jun 2009 9:32 PM
Linda S

I am sooo excited.  Congrats to our guy, Nicanor. above all... Stay safe.  I don't know much about racing, but I do appreciate reading everyone's comments to know what is going on from, I guess, a technical point.  Thank you. Love you, Nicanor.

17 Jun 2009 9:40 PM

YAY! Go Nicky!

17 Jun 2009 9:57 PM
Karen, PA

I was at the race, yes with great friends -- adding more and more with every race experience.

Nicanor performed solidly, and it was a terrific time with positive, supportive, excited spirit.  The Matz and Jackson families were there in force -- that was very exciting to see.

I think the general agreement was that there were things that challenged Nicanor in this race, things that he has to deal with a make decisions about, and these things added to what he needs to learn.  In the winner's circle, he was still full of juice, and  looked great, barely sweating (moist from the light rain).

Note that "Nicky Knocks" is the name Peter Brette's SON called Nicanor, as his son called Barbaro "Bobby."

He is most certainly "Nicanor," but all these wonderful nicknames seem only to be used with affection.  I hear his barn name is Nic or Nicanor, and Lentenor's is Lententor, or sometimes they even transgress and call him Lenny.  

I think the support and affection is the most important thing, though.  

17 Jun 2009 10:09 PM


The whole Barbaro family is proud of Nicky.  That also means Dynamo and LVR.  I don't know about you but most of us on these blogs are very very bonded to the house that Barbaro built.  :)

Greg J.. 2/5 geeeeeeesh had to put a lot on that one.  LOL

Mike Relva.  Kids and jealousy is what is going on when you see the negative.  Come on guys and gals, life it too short for that.  

Barbaro = 111111-1

Nicanor = 02211

Lentenor = TC?

Baybynor = TC?

One of them is going to hit the Crown I strongly believe.  :)

17 Jun 2009 10:11 PM

I agree that "Nicky Knocks" is pretty dang silly.  This is, after all, a racing website/publication with a somewhat professional angle - let's leave all of the "My Little Pony" romanticizing stuff on ABR.

17 Jun 2009 10:32 PM

Greg J, where are you?  I really am looking for your take on the race.  It looked pretty good to me and, figuring that they actually ran about a mile and 5/32 then the time was actually not bad.  Moving the rail out 15 feet would have added enough distance to make a big difference, more than enough to take care of 4 seconds.

As far as names, I have no problem with Peter calling him Nicky Knocks, just like a parent has a special nick name for their child.  However, I think that it is Peter's special name for him, not ours.  There are plenty of nick names that we can use, Nic probably being the best.  My own horse was Beast to his very close friends; I would have been very offended if strangers had used his special name.

17 Jun 2009 10:35 PM


I am so happy for the entire Team.

17 Jun 2009 10:38 PM
The Phantom

Another lock, easy money again. I hope he sticks around Delaware against the local talent, that's money in the bank.Needs to keep distance around a mile also think he can perform equally well on dirt. He loves the lead, plenty of races around a mile or less .He's really filling out and the potential is unlimited.Thanks nick and connections you have made me plenty of dough.

17 Jun 2009 10:40 PM

Great Win Nicanor!  I'm so proud of you!!!


17 Jun 2009 10:41 PM

Congrads to Nicanor on his second win, I hope Nicanor and Rosie stay together. Rosie's uncle loves that team......looking to Colonial as the next stop, want to be there....

17 Jun 2009 11:06 PM

Got to watch the race on HRTV today. What a different horse he is on the turf. Im sure they are kicking themselves for not trying turf earlier. If he does try the Virginia Derby hopefully he can rate enough to get the 1 1/4. Looked like he was getting a little weary at the end of the race. I know Saratoga some stake races on turf that are 1 1/8 or less for 3 year olds. Lets not forget about the Jamaica Cap at Belmont in October.

17 Jun 2009 11:08 PM
Linda - Maryland

Spectacular!! Yes, he does run like Barbaro on the turf. He is also filling out. He looks very good.

"Most of all Stay Safe"

17 Jun 2009 11:24 PM


17 Jun 2009 11:35 PM

Way to go Nicky!!! You rule!!! Send him into the stakes competition he'll win either way!!! Good luck Nicky and I hope you come out of this race ok!!!

17 Jun 2009 11:38 PM

Congrats to Nicanor, Matz, the Jackson's and Rosie.

Thank you Blood Horse for this site and letting folks follow the "family."

If you haven't seen this, here's a piece on Rosie- Nicanor is in there near the end in his first win:

17 Jun 2009 11:42 PM
Ted from LA

I'm fairly new to this blog world, but I have a few observations.  #1, Jason and Steve are dedicated to censoring 93% of my posts.  #2, people have apparently read so much about this horse that they view him as family, not just a race horse.  #3, just because he is Barbaro's brother, many think it is a great accomplishment each time he races and doesn't break a leg.  My conclusion is that #1, Jason and Steve don't want competition in the humor department.  #2, our sport needs more publicity, but not to the point that the average fan starts viewing each star horse as a family member or pet.  I really do think the more fans know, the better for the sport.  #3, "Nicky" is no more likely to break a leg than any other race horse on any given day.  In conclusion, I will not make any Sara Jessica Parker comments in order to be sure this post sees the light of day.

17 Jun 2009 11:47 PM

Way to go Nicanor Barbaro is so proud of you I hope to see you run someday Hopefully the west Va derby in Aug. I will be there Love Darlene.

18 Jun 2009 12:31 AM

I always thought he would be better on grass. I hope they keep him on it.

18 Jun 2009 12:34 AM
ace hare

This race was less than impressive, his weary legs in the stretch and sloooow final time against weak competition show it... This just seems like a lot to get worked up over: An average turf horse who's genetics define him more than his performances... Wake up, people, this horse is just not that good, and most likely never will be... But, hey, whatever, you keep betting him down to even money and I will reap the rewards in his next few starts

18 Jun 2009 12:43 AM

Congratulations, Nicanor! I think you will be a monster on the turf too and can't wait until you are at the stage to work up to stakes races.

I like the chemistry it appears he and Rosie Napravnik have together. I think she really brings out the best in him, and I liked to see how comfortable he seemed today, running easily within himself and really seeming to know what it's all about now.

While we may or may not think "Nicky Knocks" is silly, thanks to the person who pointed out that it was Peter Brette's nickname for him if they missed the beginning of this blog. Silly to latch onto that rather than his win. Here's to many more wins and no mishaps! Go Nicanor!

18 Jun 2009 1:03 AM


    The rail was set 15 feet from the true inside rail in this race. Which is probably about seven and a half lengths off. So Nicanor lost a total of 15 lengths, or seven and a half around each turn. I've heard every path out you are on a turn puts you 1 length back. Most on hear know also that five length equal 1 second. So if you divide 15 by 5, you get 3. Now take 3 seconds of on Nicanors final time and you get somewhere aroun 1.49 for a mile and an eighth, which is actualy not that bad of a time.

18 Jun 2009 5:35 AM

Madison, you must be new to this blog. You missed the blog host asking for Haiku's at Valentine's Day, etc. No fair picking on the adoring posters here, this is how and why this blog got started...for lovers of Barbaro and his brothers. ;-)

18 Jun 2009 6:15 AM

There's a great video here on Bloodhorse about Rosie...

18 Jun 2009 6:57 AM
Barb T

Watching Nicanor has really been a thrill for me, being an FOB and a lover of horses. Thank you Ron and Bloodhorse for bringing all of this to us. We really appreciate your coverage. I am proud of Nicanor no matter what he does, just want him to be happy and safe, which he will be with such wonderful connections. I am so happy to see the smiles on the Jackson family faces in the winners ring. Thank you.

18 Jun 2009 7:32 AM

He looks MAGNIFICENT!  Ran a beautiful race - keep on the upward trend, Nicanor baby!

18 Jun 2009 8:21 AM
Lenny Fan

Let's start thinking of nicknames for Lentenor, cuz pretty soon, he's gonna be punishing fools!!!

How's about Lenny-Bam Slam Jam??

18 Jun 2009 9:14 AM
Don from Delaware

The weather wasn't ideal, but the kid brother of Barbaro was super and deserved the overwhelming betting action he received...I watched the race right next the Matz/Jackson;s family and all appeared to very very happy and celebrating/big party. I ask the Jackson's to sign my "Barbaro" book along with MM who had signed it the other week....Mrs. Jackson is so sweet, I aplogized for asking and she smiled and said 'No

it is an honor to be trouble at all, a true pleasure"

Let us hope all will remain in great health and performances....Don

18 Jun 2009 9:17 AM

Nicanor can probably get 1 1/4. His fractions early for a turf race weren't blazing early, but were solid. Just letting everyone know if you do the math he ran closer to a distance of 1 3/16, probably a little less than that, so his time is actually pretty good.

18 Jun 2009 9:46 AM

"Yawn, wht do you have to say now???"

Marigold 17 Jun 2009 5:23 PM



I feel he ran fairly well, but appeared to be tiring at the end.  He won, two in a row.

That said, he didn't run against a very tough field.  The average race to win ratio of his opponents was over 9 to 1.  Look it up in the Past Performances. It's a fact proven by the PPs that he was running against a field of far lesser horses.  I'll reserve judgment until he runs against some decent competition, not a crop of what will probably become $4000 claimers.

I feel he has a better movement across the ground than Barbaro did, less of a pounding gait, which may increase his longevity, but he has yet to prove that he is of stakes caliber.  Perhaps he'll prove me wrong in the VA Derby and I'll admit it if he does.


Ted in LA, you are a good poster on this blog, a common sense poster.  This is a sport, not a pretty pet collection. It is primarily a BUSINESS, otherwise BloodHorse wouldn't be supporting this blog.

18 Jun 2009 9:47 AM
Barbara W

Way to go, Nicanor! Wish I could have been there.

Keeping up on the blogs is my way of escaping our already dreadful Texas heat.

Looking forward to his next outing.

18 Jun 2009 9:50 AM

The turf is apparently the surface to run Nicanor on. I am so glad to see how well he is doing! His owners, the Jacksons, and trainer Michael Matz are class acts and it is good to see them have another good horse like this.

18 Jun 2009 9:58 AM

I'm a big fan of Barbaro and his brothers. Nicanor ran a good race, but against a less than good field. Some never ran on the turf and the 2nd place horse, White Holiday was coming off, over a 6 month lay off.

White Holiday closed 5 lenghts on Nicanor in the stretch and would have won going another 1/8 mile

Nicanor is NOT a Breeders Cup horse this year. Maybe next year. He has alot of growing to do.

Best of luck to him the rest of the year.

18 Jun 2009 10:21 AM
Kathy M

Way to go Nicanor!

Big brother has to be proud of you!

18 Jun 2009 10:22 AM

Nice win Rosie and Nicanor!  What a great group that surrounds this horse and his siblings.  Class all the way around, no doubt about it. I have had many OTTB's and sure think Nicanor would make a nice dressage horse.  :>)

18 Jun 2009 10:46 AM

nicky good race .. needs to run in ny.. media hype..then needs to win a graded stake. stud fee will be $100,000.more than big brown,better breeding...

18 Jun 2009 10:48 AM

Can anyone enlighten as to how long the race really was if the inner rail was set out?

It was a great win for Nicanor but I hope that they step him up very gradually.  I am wondering if he can get 1-1/4 mile (Running in the style he does) and if the inner rail being set out came close to that, maybe he can.  White Holiday looked like he would have passed him had the race been much longer. I counted at least four whacks Rosie gave him, either to keep him going or to keep him paying attention. That is NOT being negative about Nicanor.  It's possible that Nicanor is a 1-1/8 horse, at least at this time.  A front running horse is susceptible to a fast running late closer. If that's going to be Nicanor's style of running it will take a very smart jockey to make that work time and again.  So far, Rosie is getting the job done.  She doesn't fight him. Looked to me that in the gate, Nicanor was being a bit fractious.  

Now, those are MY opinions of what I saw and it's not being negative when someone tries to analyze the race and try to figure things out regarding the horse. If he's still a puzzle to Matz it's more of a puzzle where to race him next.  

What I noticed most in this race was that Nicanor seems to have filled out more- and (Pie-in-the-sky-warning) I still want to see this horse put over jumps some day!

18 Jun 2009 10:52 AM

Can someone explain something to me. I keep reading statements like "Nicanor lost his first 3 races, but has won his two latest". How is finishing 2 solid close seconds in the money considered to be "losing"??

18 Jun 2009 10:54 AM

I new you could do it Nicanor!! Cant wait to see you in  stakes classics.

18 Jun 2009 10:58 AM

Here's a link to the video.

18 Jun 2009 11:17 AM

The Virginia Derby is a Gr. II stakes for 3yr at 1-1/4 mile with something like a $750,000 purse. At this time, IMHO, I don't like the distance for him or the company he's likely to be running against in that one.  Now that's my OPINION and opinions can be wrong.

Nicanor just ran in an Allow-opt.claim for $39,000 purse at 1-1/8 mi.

(How does the Allow-Opt. claim work- just indicate a particular  horse can be claimed or is more involved to keep a horse from being claimed?)

This won't be popular but I'd aim him for the Kitten's Joy Stakes at Colonial(But, sounds like a fillies race but not indicated as such on Colonial Downs site???), 3+yo at 1-1/16 mi., $50,000 purse.  Nicanor did beat older horses in his last race.  This is not a graded stakes but seems a more logical next step- if he's eligible.  Still sounds like fillies race....????  Colonial Downs does say "fillies" on other races so is this open to any 3 yr. old +?

18 Jun 2009 11:18 AM
s lee

Nice job - won by daylight over what might be called "drying turf".  Yes, the time could have been better (1:39 for the mile?), but, hey, Nicanor did the job he was sent out to do.

I wonder how tiring the surface was since there seemed to be some late lead changes in the stretch.  Nicanor responded well to urging and held his own.

I must say, though, that White Holiday looked like he had more left at the end.  Maybe Nicanor wouldn't have let him by, but maybe he couldn't have stopped him.  I hope they both go up to stakes company and let's see them go at each other again!

Isn't this fun?

18 Jun 2009 11:41 AM


Boy do I agree with you there.  Probably just one of the trolls that changed their name.  It is because of Barbaro that this blog is even here. I don't see a following Curin's brothers blog anywhere or following Hard Spuns blogs anywhere do you?  :)

18 Jun 2009 11:54 AM

Ted from LA - If Jason is censoring your comments, I would look at your comments and NOT question Jason.  I have met him, and am confident that he will do what IS best for this blog.

Ace Hare - I would like to remind you that Nicanor's record for only 5 races is TWO Wins and TWO Places. That is NOT too shabby.  Nicanor is turning out to be a great horse, and I believe will be a Stakes Winner soon.

18 Jun 2009 12:07 PM

This is a little off the subject of our Barbaro boys but still it has a lot to do with Barbaro's memory.  As you know Ernie Pappagallo goes to court on 6/22 and if you could either fax or e-mail in a polite way to make sure that the horses are being represented and that he does not get off with a plea bargain.  Please send to Honorable Terry J Wilheim

Greene County District Attorny Office

411 Main St.

Catskill, NY 12414


or fax to 518-719-3792

Thanks for your help.

18 Jun 2009 12:16 PM

Ted form LA - I feel your pain. Yesterday I wrote that "Nicky" looked tired and there is no chance that he will win against stakes competition, and guess what? Of course my post never showed up....Thanks the Editors :-)I think BH staff doesn't like true as well as different opinions...

18 Jun 2009 1:31 PM

In the midst of all the My Pretty Pony hysterics here, has anyone bothered to note he WALKED around this course? He got away with insanely slow fractions at each marker, and the place horse was flying from 8th place, making up a LOT of ground, and wasn't exactly a favored horse, either.

That's the issue with slow front-runners on the grass; the closers don't have pace to run at when there is NO pace.

Kept in his own little corner of the world up there, he may continue to do decently. Out with the big boys, he'll be a member of the also-ran herd, because he'll get swallowed up down the stretch.

But when assessing the long-term, and looking ahead to future races, you really need to analyze everything about what you're seeing, not just that Nicanor won. Had anyone pressed him and he'd been forced to run REAL racehorse fractions, he'd have been caught. Period. Since you won't believe that right now, wait until it happens, and then see if it's accurate.

18 Jun 2009 1:44 PM
Elaine D

I've posted my photos from yesterday at this

I'll try to get more on later. I've got 130 of just Nicanor (205 for the whole day!). Too bad it wasn't a sunny day!

It was a great race and all who were there had a great time watching Nicanor run. Enjoy the photos!

18 Jun 2009 1:52 PM

I viewed the race and Nicanor looked a bit like Rachel Alexandra in the Preakness. She made the lead, stayed there, despite pressure from Big Drama, then opened up by 4 lengths, rather conserve her stamina. She barely lasted.  Nicanor got the lead and tired a bit after opening up by 3 in the stretch. The good news is that he beat older horses, including Stevil, who is a stakes veteran. Nicanor has won twice, and I worried that the level of competition was higher in this race than the last one where he won by 15. No onbe has yet to point out that the horses that Nicanor has placed to have done well in stakes, including Custom for Carlos, who was 3rd in the Swale. Stevil was also consistent last year against stakes company.

Nicanor probably does need to rate a bit as he stretches out, and maybe a jump to a stakes from 39,000 allowance is a bit much. Maybe Nicanor should run for a 65,000 purse at Belmont, and then a grade 3 race. The horse is good, but needs to be more than a front runner to win, unless he can slow the pace down.

All in all, he's certainly doing better than The green Monkey ever did. I think yesterday's race was actually tougher than the last race and had more veterans to pressure Nicanor. That made the difference between an easy win vs. a horse who was tiring.

18 Jun 2009 2:11 PM

Ace, you are outnumbered.  Give it up.

There are so many more of us on this blog who think Nicanor is wonderful than there are of you who don't.  Some of those of you who didn't think he was so great have become converts.  It's time to give it up and get on the bandwagon or go away.

If you think he's so bad, why are you here?? Just stirring up trouble?? Explain, please. It's getting VERY old.

18 Jun 2009 2:15 PM

Go nicky! Congrats!

18 Jun 2009 2:29 PM

Gate to Wire.  Way to go Nicky.  :)  I wonder where all the naysayers are now?  I noticed some of them have shut up and others have dissapeared.  Well maybe a different name.  :)

18 Jun 2009 2:32 PM
Karen B

I was so excited to see that Nicanor won his race yesterday.

Great job!  The video was awesome.

Congratulations to the Jacksons, Michael Matz and Rosie!  

18 Jun 2009 3:09 PM

Matz has described Nicanor as a friendly, curious horse.  To me that is a healthy sign that he is well rounded and not just a running machine.  Thus, the blinkers helped when racing, he's not so prone to spend time gawking.  He can do that at the barn, socializing with his brother Lentenor!  Bless all the beautiful horses and creatures of this world, we would be all the poorer without them.

18 Jun 2009 3:13 PM

Way to go baby brother! I've always had confidence in you. You have really made by day. Love, Love!

18 Jun 2009 3:24 PM

There is a nice photo of Nicanor and Anna Rose winning at Delaware Park on Wednesday.  Go to

18 Jun 2009 3:56 PM
Greg J.


    That's basically says it all about my  experience yesterday!  I want to start off by saying it was great meeting up with everyone once again!(Bob & Elaine, Karen and Your Mom, Nancy, Len and Donna), You guys made an already Great Day that much Better!, Thanks!

     What can you say about Nicanor!  He is truly becoming a consummate professional.  The way he has progressed is beyond my wildest expectations!  He was all business from the moment he walked into the Paddock.  He still didn't like getting his Blinkers put on, But, Not as bad as his last race.  He looked GREAT, He is just getting more chiseled each time I see him!  While in the gate, he was very calm, patient, Just waiting to do his task at hand, Win.  While the other Horses loaded, He was as calm as could be.  He had a clean, fast break, and pretty much, The rest is History!  That is two straight races he has had the lead from every turn, He just loves to be in the front.  He didn't seem to be rank at all, He seemed calmer from the onset.  Rosie was awesome, She just let Nicanor do everything.  She did seem to urge Nicanor a little before the Stretch.  His Stride is effortless and LONG. This was alot better field, EVERY horse he beat has had a taste of the winner's circle before, So, They also knew what their job was, and they just couldn't get it done against Nicanor, Plain and Simple, He was the Better Athlete on this Day, Far and Away...

    As far as the Conditions, When I got up at 4 a.m., I looked at the Radar in Wilmington, and Thought to myself that there was no way this race was going to happen, So, I honestly contemplated not going, But, I decided maybe, if anything, The race would be switched to the Main Track.  The rain didn't start falling until around 3:00, Slow at first, then a little heavier, At post time, it was steady, but not a downpour.  There is no way the Track was a fast track!, It has rained for almost the past two weeks plus the rain during the day.  The Turf looked long and Wet, Plus, as "LDP" pointed out, The rail was set out at around fifteen feet, Which one would have to subtract three to four seconds off the final time.  So, Taking the Rail, The long wet turf, and the fact he was never pushed to go faster, Nicanor's time was great!  One also has to remember, He did get a 104 Beyer Speed Rating in his Maiden Victory on May 13th.

    It was Great seeing Mr. Matz and The Jacksons in the Winner's Circle once again, They so deserve the Happiness Nicanor is bringing them right now,  I can't think of anyone who deserves it more then these Classy, Respected People.  Mr.Matz also deserves praise for how he has handled Nicanor from day one, IMO, When Nicanor was going through his immaturity and growth stage, He basically shut him down and waited, Not too many trainer's would have done the same, So Thank You Mr.Matz...

    Here is my link to my pictures(Yes, They are terrible!, I have to admit, I suck at taking pictures, I would like to blame my camera, but it is me, lol), Also, The Videos I think are better, I took a video of Nicanor before the race getting his blinkers on, one of the race replay on the big screen, a short clip in the winner's circle, and him getting cooled down after the winner's circle...

(There are two videos on the bottom of first page, plus six other pages of Pictures, Including his Maiden Victory, Lentenor, And some other of my Favorites of Barbaro and Nicanor), Enjoy:


My "Youtube" Page:


   It is quite funny that your Negative comments have dwindled down to making fun of what Fans call "Nicanor" and that his times are slow!  It makes me laugh!, Are you that Shallow and that Starved for Attention?, Is that the Best you can come up with?, lol...

    It is nice to see the people that used to doubt Nicanor in the past realize that he is one hell of a Horse with unlimited potential and "THEY" are man enough to admit it, Now, I respect them, and I hope they know who they are, To the others that just write a comment with zero knowledge about what they are talking about, Just to incite a reaction for their sad ego, Well, I feel sorry and embarrassed  for you...

    Now, Mark My Words, We will all see Nicanor in the Virginia Derby on July 18 at Colonial Downs!, Let's hope he has a safe race and shows the Racing World what he is capable of doing...

18 Jun 2009 5:04 PM

While it will be exciting to see this colt in the Va. Derby, one has to be concerned with his ability to stretch out further.  While the top side of his pedigree screams stamina, the bottom side favors sprinting.  He looked sluggish in the final 1/16, but then again, he was really under a minor urge at best; nothing like with Lezcano at GP.  If you're handicapping, I wouldn't throw much weight into the final times at Delaware on the turf since they have been slow all meet, and speed figure models have been seemingly adjusted accordingly.  However, with several horse who were on the Derby trail (Affirmatif, Take the Points, Giant Oak) taking a turf campaign, it will be interesting to see how Nicanor performs.  Hopefully he will reel in some solid works on the turf in the next couple of weeks, beecause he needs to improve.

18 Jun 2009 5:05 PM
Mother Goose Stakes

It is funny how a lot of fans here were pushing Nicanor to the Triple Crown earlier this year, now it is the Breeders' Turf.  The great thing about Eight Belles fans, the horse that actually made the most change to horse racing in history, thus far, is that the fans don't run around trying to fill a voided destiny of their own with Eight Belles' sire and dam.

Nicanor is a decent horse on turf, but let's also not lose focus on what Rachel Alexandra is doing to horse racing this year, a year after the Eight Belles shortcoming and blow to horse racing (let's be honest like what happened to horse racing right after Barbaro).  Rachel boosted tv ratings and track handle by double digits at Pimlico (no where close to the percents by the Kentucky Derby or Belmont Stakes).  How many Barbaro fans packed their bags, jumped off their computers, and went to Delaware Park each time?  20? 50? When Monmouth was trying to get Mine That Bird and Rachel Alexandra to race together in the Monmouth Stakes, a crowd of over 52,500 was expected, a track record.  I wonder how many horse racing fans will goto Belmont on June 27th for Rachel's reappearance in the Mother Goose?

I think a good dose of reality is needed here and there, at this blog, I like coming to this blog, I like Nicanor, but I don't like reading through the bloggers who have tunnel vision and insult (maybe some are so giddy they don't know they are doing it) a wider eye horse base.

Let's try to correctly critique not only Nicanor but all horses brought into the mix here, it will help everyone that wants to be a part of horse racing in one way or another no matter who they are a fan of.

I eagerly await Nicanor in a stakes, hopefully in Virginia Derby, but I am concerned with the aftermath if he is blown by Grade I winners.  In all honesty I have been at a race where my favorite, and the obvious fan favorite, didn't show up and it didn't feel good.

Good Luck Nicanor, I hope you are really ready to go from a Delaware Maiden and 30k Allowance, to Colonial Downs in a race that seems like a huge jump in class but almost expected here by your fans (greatness).  :(

18 Jun 2009 5:34 PM

It would be nice if Jason and Steve censored 94% of Ted from LA's posts.

Any horse people can get excited about, or identify with is a good thing.

18 Jun 2009 5:46 PM

To Barbaro Fan--

If I wanted to block you from saying it looked like Nicanor was tiring, I would have deleted your latest post. It was other elements in your previous post the led me to delete it.

18 Jun 2009 5:54 PM

To Barbaro Fan--

If I wanted to block you from saying it looked like Nicanor was tiring, I would have deleted your latest post. It was other elements in your previous post the led me to delete it.

18 Jun 2009 5:54 PM

To Rambo,

Follow me here: when you finish first, it means you WON. When you finish anywhere other than first, it means you LOST.

18 Jun 2009 5:55 PM

Greg J.  

Glad you had fun.  Love your site and I hear ya on the things you say.  :)

18 Jun 2009 6:06 PM

Greg J.  Boy Nicky does not like those blinkers being put on LOL.  That was funny....  :)

18 Jun 2009 6:14 PM


    The race was probably more around 1 3/16 miles. It's probably slightly less than that, so his time matches up just fine. I will say that i think a grade one or two would be too soon right now. Though he has done some major developing, he is still getting bigger and filling out. He's also still learning, five races is not enough experience to go in a grade one against top three year olds. And six or seven races is not enough to run in the turf against the likes of the top Euros, especially if Yeats shows up. I would wait until later in the year, after the BC to run in a Grade one, my pick would be the Hollywood Derby. If you want him in a stakes, the Monmouth might not be a bad idea.

18 Jun 2009 6:45 PM

Greg and all the pictures and video are great and thank you so much for thinking about all of us and letting us "be there." There are naysayers on the blog but what the heck let them have their jollies.  I to don't know if Nic would be ready for the VA Derby, of course would love to see that happen but think he should gradually work his way up the ladder.  Of course I am not Michael Matz and am not around Nic so he knows much better than I do how he would feel his chances would be and on second thought he might be going to the VA. Derby but maybe in another race on the card, we will just have to wait and see.

18 Jun 2009 7:09 PM

DaHoss, et al , No I am not new here, been reading the blog since it started and you know after awhile the silly stuff really grates on a person. Geez they have their thread over on  ABR where a human pretends to be Nicanor and they have parties, etc.

Then when any thread comes up about Nicanor these human horse pretenders go on those threads and ruin them with their chatter of key lime pie, etc.

They take copyright photos and photoshop them and some are really disgraceful to the racing industry and to the Jacksons and their horses. I am surprised no one has complained or laid a copyright lawsuit on that person/s.  

I just like to see talk of Nicanor and all without those people(mostly women and 2 guys over 40) who pretend they are horses and make up silly names for horses do the same all over the boards and blogs. They have their silly make-believe thread over there, why bring it over here??  

I like the Dynaformer progeny and I liked Barbaro, and I love horse racing and a see a good discussion and talk about the Brothers of Barbaro, just don't care for the kiddy stuff ya know!  Have to skim through stuff to find the good stuff and photos, etc.  

Sorry I am not into hero worship or let's pretend I am Nicanor games, I love rarcing and the horses behind them and I live in reality :)

18 Jun 2009 7:19 PM

Correct me if I am wrong, and I know you dudes and dudesses will need no prodding. Is this not the first time Nicanor has gone a mile and 1/8? Every time Nicanor goes out on the track, it is a new and exciting experience for him. Has it not occurred to people that Nicanor is simply feeling the race thing out.

1st race:

Ow!! What just happened to my leg. Ow Edgar, take it easy of me. I just boo booed my leg.

2nd race:

Jose Lezcano is aboard and says and I paraphrase, "He is still learning."

3rd race:

Jose Lezcano is aboard and says and I paraphrase, "Nicanor is still a little green." I mean, what has Glittermans Cartel done lately? Has he won an allowance yet?

4th race:

Whoopee!!, my word. And I believe that the 15th lengths he won by is significant even if the field wasn't exceptional.

5th race:

Whoopee!!, my word. Grass was long and saturated. The race was 1 1/8 mile instead of 1 1/16. And I think we will all find that Nicanor needs to soak in any experience he comes upon. He isn't Barbaro in the sense that Nicanor does not comes by the race thing innately. How many times do you think Nicanor has said to himself, "Oh, that's what you mean Boss, I'm going to do that for you better next time, you just wait and see M.M.

I suspect Nicanor will lose some races, and the "see I told you element" will say, "see I told you."

But what I see is a thoroughbred that is continually learning and digesting race data. And Nicanor is lucky because some race horses will never have the opportunity to achieve as much as Nicanor has because Nicanor has been given the time to learn the race thing.

And I still think Nicanor will do just fine!!

18 Jun 2009 7:24 PM

Horse First: FYI Kitten's Joy is now in the breeding shed so he is not a filly or mare, hope that helps. Think it is a race for colts and or horses/colts.

18 Jun 2009 7:58 PM

Hey Greg! Thanks so much for your narrative, pictures and videos. The photos of Barbaro are GREAT! I also love the one with Nicanor and Barbaro together. Are they your handiwork?

I just want to say that I absolutely love this blog site…I love the cool people who take the time to explain terms etc to those of us who are not horse people…I love the sharing of information about the boys…the narrator (Ron) is quick to give us updates and set things straight..and I also love the obvious passion that so many of us have for Barbaro and his family.  What some of these negative people do not understand is that no matter how these brothers actually fair, we will all love them just the same. It is NOT just about the odds,  the game and the is a true passion.. There are a ton of us who never cared about horse racing before…like me, and I am actually going up to Saratoga for the Travers Stakes… Of course, each of us would be completely and utterly thrilled if one of the family members becomes a Triple Crown winner….my  sights are set for the Derby next year…I fully expect to see Lentenor and I look forward to seeing Barbaro’s hard as that will be.

And gee whiz…what is the difference if some of us prefer to use a nickname instead of the formal names for these brothers? They are just evidence of endearment and do no harm. I sense some old strict convent school expectations…”formal names only”...

Greg, Kathy, Marigold, Karen PA, Ragsy, Stardustyrose and so many others, please keep up your entries! And I am curious, Ron, how many hits does this blog get daily/weekly? Incredible interest in the Barbaro family…good for our boys and good for horse racing!

18 Jun 2009 9:14 PM

Bottom line, Nicanor won.  It doesn't matter if the time was slow, if etc. etc.  HE WON, with not much effort at all.  This was an easy win.  Nicanor had a good time.

18 Jun 2009 9:32 PM

Bonnie you are right on, the blinkers helped.

18 Jun 2009 9:34 PM

What makes the Nicanor story so fascinating, up to this point (IMHO), is we really don't know just how good he can be. It's as if he's teasing us.  I believe we really don't know just how fast he actually is or how far he can really run. This is a horse who has only just begun to scratch the surface.  I see comments about how he hasn't really been pushed, how he runs only as fast as he needs to, etc. I tend to agree. I saw Rosie give him only two cracks of the whip in his win on Wednesday--at the top of the stretch and again in deep stretch. If what we have seen so far is only a glimmer of what he can be, we are in for a hell of a ride.  God willing, he stays sound and healthy.  The quality of care, training and horsemanship is already there and is well known. He has the breeding and the talent. Just stay healthy, keep Rosie on him as much as possible, and a little luck won't hurt, either!  Sure would be nice to see him in at least a minor stakes next time out, prior to the summer races.  Saratoga would be ideal!

18 Jun 2009 9:36 PM

Barbaro Fan, I don't think Nicanor looked tired at all.  This win did not take a whole lot of effort on his part.  It looked to me like he was just galloping along, having a good day.  We will soon find out if he was struggling.  If they put him in a stakes race, we will know.

18 Jun 2009 9:39 PM

Barbaro Fan

I don't for a second believe you are a Fan of Barbaro. :)

18 Jun 2009 9:53 PM

Hello All!!  While I'm new to post a comment here, believe me, I've read every comment from every entry. I have decided to jump in now for a few reasons.  

First of all, I love horses. I'm a Ky woman so horses are just in the blood and heart. I have not missed a Triple Crown race since I watched Secretariat race to greatness. Long before cable or internet so it was no easy feat.  Any time I can see a race or anything to do with a horse, I'm watching it.  Since discovering Youtube, I've spent hours watching races I would never have seen otherwise. I own 3 horses as well.  I know a little about the subject.

Second, some comments posted here lately are getting just ridiculous! It is the reason I never join in on other blogs and the main reason I am getting in this one now. Who cares what we call Nicanor, Lentenor or the new foal?  Why should it matter?  They are all names used with love.  FOB is here for all things Barbaro whether it be his dam, sire, sibs, trainers, handlers, owners AND FANS!!  Of course fans are going to be biased.  We wouldn't be a fan if we weren't.

Third, there are several new people commenting that are not fans.  They are only wanting to stir the pot.  Many people are missing the point of this blog.  It is not to critic the people who love this Barbaro family, it is to discuss, in a mature manner,  the Barbaro family. Just like in all families, this one is not perfect.  Nicanor is not the best racehorse ever.  Noone said he was.  Sure people would have loved him being a Triple Crown winner.  Just because that didn't happen doesn't mean he is thought of any less.  Horses are like children in a way.  They all mature at different times. He has had a taste of winning and gained confidence.  It is rumored he is full of himself now. Greg J's video of MM putting the blinkers on showed he's full of spunk. Who knows what he is capable of until he is tried and tested.  If he doesn't win, we hope he gives it a good try and stays safe and sound.  Just like we hope for our own children.

Lastly, to the surrogate father of the blog, Greg J, thanks for the voice of reason on here.  I always enjoy your knowledge with the touch of bias that any true fan should have.  Your opinions are obviously respected and sought after.  Thanks for sharing.

18 Jun 2009 9:56 PM

I also wanted to thank Greg J. and Elaine D. for your pictures.  Great job!  That all-four-feet-off-the-ground shot by Elaine reminded me so much of Barbaro in the Derby.  (It's now my desktop background at work).  Thanks again and keep them coming, please, plus anyone else who wants to contribute.  Your efforts are much appreciated.

18 Jun 2009 10:11 PM

Yawn, thank you for your reasonable post.  It was a fair response.  A difference of opinion is fine, a dig at someone 's enthusiasm is not fine.

Some others here seem to enjoy being less than nice, and it is getting very old.

18 Jun 2009 11:59 PM
Bob D.

So now we're worrying about barn names?  I thought this was about following the progression of Nicanor, Lentenor, etc.  How they are developing & performing. Let's try and stay on topic please.  

Nicanor's last effort was fine, especially with the condition of that turf. By race 8 it looked like several hundred head of cattle had been driven through there.  Now it's gut check time - a really good effort in the VA Derby would be nice - a win even better!  Good luck team Nicanor!


Jumps as in Gem Twist or as in McDynamo??

19 Jun 2009 8:39 AM

I have seen the second race of Nicanors turf career is it just me or did they put blinders on that horse.  When i see a horse with blinders i see he is easily distracted i know some people would begig to differ with that opion.  I really think he is capable of running a stakes race if it is on a centhetic surface but not dirt forthermore in his previous race he dominated by fifteen lengths in this race he won by four lengths against not that hard of compation.  What's it going to be like when he has to go up against real compation.  I can honistly tell you where i want him to be and that's the Breeders Cup come Novermber.  But we have along ways to go before we get there he has to get in to the breeders cup by racing his way in because he doesn't have enought points so he is going to have to run in one of those lets race to get in races.  I noticed he has a jockey i have never even heard of course i realize when there is a special race you are not going to have to good of a jockey.  

19 Jun 2009 10:02 AM

MMatz stated... that Nicanor was a suspicious horse.... compared to his eldest bro Barbaro... who was the perfect horse to train and race....for Barbaro did as MM all things.....on HRTV 6-17-09...

I dont know about the rest of ya... but with the brothers growing and racing... my subcon.thoughts... go back to.. Barbaro his racing and events that followed......

19 Jun 2009 11:08 AM

Irene:  When you go to the Travers... will you take some pictures and post like GregJ... Oh, that would be so great.....


Greg the pictures are just great to review....thanks....

19 Jun 2009 11:26 AM
Mike Relva


Hi,I still haven't got your email. BTW I agree with you,don't think he or she is a real fan.

19 Jun 2009 11:35 AM
Mike Relva


I think you're one of the so called fans that finds fault no matter what a horse does. Nicanor could win by thirty and you would spin it into a slam. People like yourself I can reason that Nicanor's trainer could care less what you think! In fact,it's a good bet they would laugh at your feeble attempt of passing yourself as someone w/ a moderate level of knowledge.

19 Jun 2009 11:39 AM

Is it just me or does anyone else feel that this horse is one paced at this stage. I see no effort to teach him to relax or rate, all I see is every new rider with the same instructions to go to the front. Prado was the only rider to try and get this horse to settle.

If they are going to try graded stakes next out, it's a huge step up with his running style.

19 Jun 2009 11:51 AM


YA Think LOL!  :)

19 Jun 2009 1:14 PM

Congratulations to Nicanor and all his connections. Thanks to Greg for sharing his experiences, pictures and videos.

I'm not an expert but we need to remember that Nicanor is still a very young horse. His pedigree suggests that he will get better with age. The Jackson's are in the game to race so there is reason to believe that they will continue to race Nicanor as a 4 and 5 year old. Michael Matz has been very careful to place him in situations where he can succeed. One step at a time until we find out just how good he is. I intend to enjoy every moment of Nicanor's career and no matter how far it takes him I will love him all the same.

19 Jun 2009 1:32 PM

Just in case the idea of Nicanor becoming a great racehorse  and possibly overshadowing Barbaro is of concern to B's fans, not going to happen.  Nic may become a great racehorse but he and his big brother are two distinctly different animals and so is Lentenor.  Watching Nicanor develop in his career is fascinating and soon, we'll have Lentenor to watch, also.  Eventually little Babynor (Margano) will  have his turn.  So much interest and fun ahead for all of us.  Let's try to get along.  Those who want to call him Nicky, may do so, those who don't, won't.  

Those of us who want to dream about their future accomplishments should be permitted to.  If this is annoying to some of you, go elsewhere!  It is America and we should be allowed to express our enthusiasm without attacks.  Start your own blog:  :"Serious posters about the brothers of Barbaro. A no nicknames, fantasy free zone."  We won't attack you and we will confine ourselves to our own place.

19 Jun 2009 2:18 PM
Elaine D

Nicanor is young and still learning. Yes, he needs to learn to rate. Yes, he needs to be pressed by the competition. If he can't rate and wants to be the front runner, then he needs to learn to save something for that extra gear he will need to kick into to not get passed. It will take time. Will he be in over his head in Virginia? He may be. But not one of us knows for sure. As long as he comes out the race safe and having learned something, I consider it as good as a win. He will win some and lose some. That's okay.

The racing industry needs to stop the revolving door of horses. We don't need 3 year olds that burn themselves out after 1 year. Remember when racehorses actually had careers that got out of the single digits? Nicanor might take the rest of this year to get it together - but wouldn't it be wonderful if he raced as a 4 and 5 year old and won some good stakes races? I'd rather have Einstein than Big Brown in my barn.

To OhTheHysterics: I'm so glad that you can predict the future and know that Nicanor will be an also ran. Just curious - did you have Mine That Bird as the Derby winner? If not, you are just making an assumption based on nothing more than your opinion.

To Ace Hare: I'm glad that after 5 races you feel confident enough to determine that Nicanor will never be any good. Trainers from all over the world must look to you for advice.

19 Jun 2009 2:30 PM
christy tate

go nicky good job and good luck in future races.

19 Jun 2009 2:59 PM
Greg J.


   Thank You for the kind words...


   "Ice Road" is back on the trail!, He is entered in Race 8 at Delaware Park on Monday, June 22, In a MSW Race for $38,000, It is on the Turf at 1 1/6 Miles, Clinton Potts will be on Board and Mr. Matz trains him.  It is his first race since Oct. 3, 2008, He is Nicanor's Former work-out buddy, Here is to him doing well and having a safe race...

Matt H.,

    Just to let you know, Nicanor's current Jockey, “Rosie” Napravnik, Is a very talented jockey, You might not have heard of her yet, but in racing circle's, She is well respected and thought very highly of, She is currently third in Delaware's Meet in wins and earning's, Here are a couple article's for you:

19 Jun 2009 3:10 PM




19 Jun 2009 4:45 PM

Jumps as in Gem Twist or as in McDynamo??

Bob D.

Bob D.-

Well, McDynamo was a very good steeplechaser, so I suppose that would be the best way to go if Nicanor went the jump route.  And I'm NOT saying that will happen just that if things don't keep working out in flat racing it would be something to think about.  He needs a little more age on him before any jumping though.

But what I really meant was, yeah, like Gem Twist.  The Pie-in-the-sky part of me has said "Jumper!" ever since I first saw Nicanor.  Don't know why.  Matz would certainly be capable of bringing him on in the endeavor, if he wanted to.  I will never forget watching Matz loose his stirrups over Olympic jumps and never miss a beat, never loose his position or his leg position, and get them back without you noticing that he had them back.  It would be beautiful to have a full blooded Thoroughbed competing at that level.  But like I said, that's the pie-in-the-sky part of me talking.

19 Jun 2009 5:11 PM

I am travelling, and just now have access to a computer, and lo and behold, I saw Nicanor won!

I thought he ran a great race, and I think his rider gave him a really, really good ride.  

She slowed him down without fighting with him.  The two reached a compromise--he ran faster than the rider wanted (based on her legs being "on the dashboard" early in the race) but not as fast as he wanted to go.

I didn't think he was tiring badly at the end--I'm sure he was, but he wasn't backing up.

He didn't look rank in the early part of the race and took some bumping and crowding.

I thought he ran really well.

Someone asked earlier what an allowance/optional claiming race meant.  Basically, it is an allowance race if your horse has the conditions for the allowance part of the race, say non winnners of a race other than maiden or a claiming race if your horse doesn't have the conditions.  In other words, if the horse doesn't have the condition for the race (they have won too many races), they must run at a claiming price.

Once a horse has gone through all their conditions, they can only run in claiming races or stakes races.  The conditions will be things like non winners of one, two or three races other than maiden or claiming.  There are other conditions the racing secretary can put on the race, but the main ones are simply races won.

Few horses are good enough to run in stakes, so they run in claiming races.  Some of these claiming races are for a lot of money, with claiming prices of over $100,000.  Many of the horses running in the claiming part of the Allowance/Optional Claiming race are former (and future) stakes winners.

19 Jun 2009 5:41 PM

Matt H..1. You are nuts Rosie is a very good jockeys and has been around the eastern seaboard circuits for a few years, very talented gal and she fits Nic like a glove.  Yes he has worn blinkers for his two turf races, don't forget he is still a little inmatue but getting better each race.  I think we all agree that Rosie is the right fit for Nic and Michael should stay with her.  There are a lot of good jockeys out there and you may not have heard of a lot of them because they don't race in NY, or KY or CA but are just a capable.

19 Jun 2009 7:22 PM

I had to laugh at Bob D.'s comment about the turf and the cattle.  I agree, it really looked "clumpy" out there.  I think all of the tracks out east have had a heck of a time fighting the rain.  I give them alot of credit for trying.

19 Jun 2009 10:00 PM

Two front running wins are nice ... good confidence builders ...even fractions...ears pricked and little urging...we're all mostly race fans here, so let's be realistic. Graded turf winners are, for the most part, long strided as Nicanor is, with high gait action, as he is. But they are kept off the pace and show enormous turn of foot at the head of the lane. Sooner or later, and I'm sure MM would agree, this is how he will need to run to compete in the graded company to which he seems headed. Don't misconstrue my comments. He appears to be a very nice horse, indeed, but in my book, still unproven. His future endeavors will be the basis for his true ranking. So far, so good. Continued success and luck to all the connections

20 Jun 2009 7:40 AM

Wanda, I'm not sure Nicanor will ever rate.  Some horses are like that.  That puts them at the mercy of things going their way in a race.  Nicanor looks like a horse that could be "cooked" in an early speed duel.  He may lose some races because of that, but he can still win his share.  Horses that must come from off the pace are also vulnerable to the way a race sets up, too, so it goes both ways.  Also, most turf races are won by closers, so a front-running distance turf specialist is not ideal.

I think this is really fun watching Nicanor develop with this group.

I think of young horses as Christmas presents with layers and layers of wrapping.  You really don't know what you have for a long time and many races.  You send the baby to the track for his first breeze and unwrap the first layer or two.  Everytime the horse is asked for something, you get to unwrap yet another layer.  Each race and each breeze tells you a little bit more about this particular horse.  It takes so long to find out what you have, and even with a 3-year old, you can get surprised.

20 Jun 2009 9:09 AM
Don from Delaware

I have also been very impressed with the young rider "Anna/Rosie N" she isn't perfect but who is? One quick story, last year at Delaware Park in a turf stakes race, can't recall horse/race, etc...but the very honorable Barkly (sp) Tagg was the trainer and owners were high profile, but I was right next to Mr.Tagg (he is so nice, real gentleman) and after his horse won, with Anna/Rosie on board, he hurried his owners out of the winners circle to watch the race inside again and he said....

"you have to watch her (the jockey Anna/Rosie;s) Hands, she has so great hands !" I heard that and I agree, what a good judge of riding this man is....Don

20 Jun 2009 10:15 AM

Now.. that Nicky is learning to race...I think he really needs to continue practicing rather than run a Stakes race this the stakes races next year and learn this year.... wouldnt Nicky look awesome doing dressage!!!!Barbaro was such a prancer probably was a balerina....

20 Jun 2009 10:28 AM
The Phantom

To those who like my opinion now of the winner Nicanor, I love any horse that makes me a ton of dough and he is on top of my list .It's the easiest money I ever made betting a horse.Still would love to see him shorten up and use that speed against local talent either on turf or dirt to make more money.I've been a man enough from birth nothing has changed.I always called it as I saw ithe was skinny but has grown up.

20 Jun 2009 10:31 AM


Good analysis on what the actual time means as opposed to the distance he actually ran.  Any horse that runs 1-1/8th below 1.50 is a good horse and if your conversion is correct and I don't see any reason why it isn't, then lookout.

As far as his running style, if he learns to relax it won't really matter if he runs in the lead or comes from behind going distances longer than a mile and less than 1-1/2 miles.  If there are thoughts of him being a miler, then it is advisable to get him to learn to rate.  The best milers on turf usually stay off the pace and crank it up at the end.

20 Jun 2009 11:55 AM

Was "thumbing" through the puter when I found the following site.

He or she has some more pictures on Babynor and Rags filly.

20 Jun 2009 12:23 PM

How did Nic come out of the race?

20 Jun 2009 12:41 PM

Stardusty Rose and Mike Relva -

I am a Barbaro's fan - as well as Nicky's, Lenny's and the new baby's...

I had to lie to my boss about doctor's appointment so I could leave work earlier just to watch Nicky's race. Would I do it if I wouldn't be his fan? (BTW, I'm she :-). All I wanted to say is that he is not progressing very fast and he looked tired at the end. In my opinion, he is not quite ready to jump to the stakes competition. He needs few more races to get more expirience as well as to build up his confidence. I know that his fans would like to see him in the huge races right now (Arlington Million?? :-) but I think that it would only hurt him. I would rather see him in a few more "low profile" races and THEN move him up to the stakes, than throw him in the deep wather and hope he won't sink...He is still young (and green) and I hope we will be given to enjoy him for few more years. Peace :-)

20 Jun 2009 6:38 PM
My Juliet

   Hi FOB :) Congratulations to M.Matz and the Jacksons for the win- Barbaro's baby brother did it again- Great job Nicanor!! (Like he can read this, hay it's something positive out there.)

    Marigold, thanks for the comment about " nicknames, fantasy free zone.. ",to those being too serious. I haven't read a lol comment on these blogs for a while, thanks:)  

    Ragsy, I have had the same thoughts, I think true fans of the great Barbaro can't help but think of him when there is an accomplishment of his sibling.          

20 Jun 2009 8:32 PM
Chris K

Congratulations to our Nicky!!  Also a big congratulations to the Jacksons and Mr. Matz.  I would love to see Nicky in the Breeder's Cup in the fall.  Woudln't that be something!!

20 Jun 2009 11:06 PM

If Nicanor goes to the Virginia Derby, then he's ready.  Matz is not going to put him in a race that he has no chance of winning.  I think that everyone is fascinated by this horse. You cannot deny it, he is beautiful, blinkers and all.  

21 Jun 2009 12:04 AM
Lou in TX








21 Jun 2009 2:37 AM

Maybe I should change my tune a bit??  The Turf Cup fractions were slower than Nicanor's maiden victory and I would think contain inferior speed figures.  Talk about slow! I personally think he would have got away from that field prior to the far turn; of course speculation.  He may not win the VA. Derby, but can't imagine one of the turf cup horses will either.

21 Jun 2009 11:11 AM

I've read a few of Ted's other posts  elsewhere and I believe he is a true Nicanor fan who wants Nic treated with the same respect the rest of his fans want for him.  So, I don't mind the criticism over our nicknames for Nicanor.  But, we will each call him what we will and it is not meant with ay disrespect -- rather, it is mean with affection for this wonderful animal we've all fallen in love with. (Oops. Pardon my dangling participle!)

21 Jun 2009 1:58 PM

lobieb, you are right about rosie, she's a pretty rider, no wasted motion, doesn'r throw a horse off its rythm...

So sad today to Trevor's Clever running in a $12,500 claimer.

21 Jun 2009 4:47 PM
Eilene Wood

Way to go "Nicky Knocks" "Nic" some of us have our pet names for him.  I called him "Baby Nic" for the longest time. He has turned into such a beautiful horse, he was always a beautiful horse.He is a big boy now.  

21 Jun 2009 5:08 PM

Thank you, Lolieb, JAJ, and LDP for information supplied.

MrPick4, thank you for your thoughtful, reality-based yet hopeful post about Nicanor at this point in time.  When I read posts about him at other venues with knowledgeable horse people, they are like yours, hopeful but realistic about what they see in front of them now.

It's about seeing if the horse matures and becomes more pliable to the jockey.  It's also about seeing if he's more than a 9 furlong horse, which we don't know yet! (Please keep in mind that until I see otherwise, I consider that Rachel Alexandra is best at 9 furlongs, IMHO)

Is there a jockey out there who is good at getting horses to rate who don't seem to want to?  I think Rosie is doing a good job and it's not about her abilities but whether there is someone with a special talent that could help teach Nicanor to rate?  I am in agreement that sooner or later, Nicanor will have to learn another running style.  He may do just fine as he is but if he continues to improve, that talent would best be used if he was more versatile in his running style.

So do some horses ever just "get it" at some point and become more amiable to change?

And while I like Rosie, I remember when people thought only Edgar should ride Nicanor- then Lezcano became the rider of choice, and now Rosie.  I'm not sure any ONE rider is best and that at any given time, another may get something else out of the horse.

But I guess the main question is, is there a jockey out there who is known to get his/her mounts to relax?

21 Jun 2009 5:25 PM
Paula Higgins

Well, it's exciting to have a brother of Barbaro's even out there running. I am not sure he will ever be the second coming of Barbaro but he is a good horse who is starting to mature. I think his future looks bright.  Very happy to see it.

21 Jun 2009 7:41 PM
Greg J.

Lou in TX,

   Great to hear you and your Family had such a great time at Churchill Downs!  Let us know when you get the pictures up, And, I believe you meant that Chip Wooley is sending Mine That Bird to the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. II) at Mountaineer Park on Aug. 1. It would be interesting if he was in the same race as Nicanor ;)

Don from Delaware,

     Great little tidbit on Barclay Tagg talking about "Rosie" and her "Great Hands"...

    Also, If and when Nicanor goes in the Virginia Derby, He will only go if Mr. Matz thinks he is ready.  Mr. Matz is known for doing right by the horse, and he certainly has been patient with Nicanor from day one, I don't see any reason that would change.  Everyone is also spot on regarding getting Nicanor to be able to rate.  Before his Maiden Victory, The plan was for Nicanor to rate and stay back, But, After the race, "Rosie" said Nicanor wanted to run and lead.  Will that work against a tougher field?, Only time will tell, If he wants to lead, He is going to have to set a slower pace or he won't have anything left at the end, especially in a longer stakes race.  He has four weeks of training to build his stamina and try to teach him.

Ron, JAJ, Everyone:

     Question for you, The Virginia Derby is the same weekend as the Delcap at Delaware Park, What do you think the odds are of Nicanor's current Jockey, Rosie Napravnik getting to ride him?  I am sure she has other commitments on that Saturday, She is also vying for the top jockey spot for Delaware Park's current meet, But wouldn't it be in her best interest to lose those mounts and ride Nicanor in the Derby?  It is on National TV, The exposure she would get would be greater then riding at Delaware park that day, And I am sure Nicanor and Rosie would be the top story for the Network coverage, I Was curious on your thoughts, Thanks...

21 Jun 2009 9:26 PM

These questions are for anyone who wants to answer them.

Do you believe that Michael Matz is training Nicanor at 1 1/4 miles for this next race? I for one do not know how long and how far trainers train horses on a daily basis.

And if he is, I would think that M.M. probably has a good idea how well Nicanor will perform at the Virginia Derby if Nicanor is entered in that race.

Has anyone figured out how other Dynaformer colts and fillies rate?

And is the reason some horses can't rate because they are stubborn or because they are slow learners or both?

And do all TB horses that make a beeline for the lead have a rating problem?

Thank you all in advance. And I personally believe Nicanor is perhaps one of the most scrutinized thoroughbreds in history. Is it any wonder that Michael Matz does't give up much information on Nicanor anymore.

21 Jun 2009 10:04 PM

Mike Relva; Hi! long time no see, how are your horses doing?

Greg J: great post, and how FUN!

Lou in Tx: sounds like you had a great time, wish I was there!

21 Jun 2009 11:57 PM

I'd be surprised to see Nicanor at the VA Derby if Straight Story shows up.  He was mighty impressive in the Colonial Turf Cup.  

22 Jun 2009 8:44 AM

In looking back over bloodhorse' blogs about Nicanor and looking at the photos posted of hims, I am struck with how elegant and really beautiful he was as a foal.  Really lovely, lovely baby.  Lentenor and Babynor were the personality kids with their responsiveness to people, the camera, and life in general.  Over on ABR it is being reported that Lentenor has become a demanding brat, not wanting to share any treats with his brother..  Funny to read these comments.  Love hearing about their personalities.

22 Jun 2009 11:40 AM

I understand all the comments about he's a young horse learning but they are creatures of habit and if you don't try now to get him to rate he is very limited farther down the road. I watched the race and yes he's relaxed on the front end but when another horse came to him the rider did not gather him up and take a hold. Next out if some serious speed laps on to him he may fight or not breathe properly because he's not relaxed. And don't you think he may be a target for a fly and die to set up for a closer?

22 Jun 2009 11:56 AM


If "Nicky" was to rate off the slow fractions he put up in his last race he'd find a difficult time catching whoever was on the front. A 1:13+ 6f ,1:39+ mile, and a 1:52+ 1 1/8 is nothing to get excited about.  In fact it's rather slow. I suspect the jock did just what she had to do against the competition Niancor faced that day. In the future I would not be surprised to see Niancor rating off the lead if there are more legitimate fractions being run up front. Sometimes it makes sense to go to the front when the field lacks early speed just like Dunkirk did in the Belmont.

22 Jun 2009 12:02 PM

BarbaroFan, I am sure folks just got carried away with themselves, of Course: you are a FAN OF BARBARO, one can see that.....

My Juliet: Thank you, for confirmation.... makes one wonder sometimes....

NickyNor -Nicanor-Nicky-Nic-

22 Jun 2009 12:26 PM
Bob D.

Horse First,

Guess I should have said Jet Run with the Matz connection.  How about this for Pie-In-The-Sky: They decide to make Nic a show jumper and Michael comes out of Grand Prix retirement to ride?

Anyway, I share your question on is there any one jockey who is really keen at getting a horse to rate, or is it maybe just a matter of getting the right horse & rider combination together?  So many variables......

22 Jun 2009 3:23 PM


Nicky would look good doing dressage.  Good thing he has MM and the Jackson's as his team or he would never get that chance if he wasn't good with racing.  By the by, Rags told me last night that the green peppermints that you have been giving her are nice but she would rather have red ones.  I dunno why she told me that but she wanted you to know.  And she said that she wanted to know why you wanted her to jump over that creek.  She was trippin on that Ragsy LOL!

22 Jun 2009 3:54 PM
Greg J.


   Lentenor had another work today, He went 4 Furlongs in 50 Seconds flat, Breezing,  The fastest of four that worked that distance.

   Also, "Ice Road", A former work-out buddy of "Nicanor's" and trained by Mr. Matz, Won his second race in two Starts. He has been off the trail for a short time, His first race back, Congrats to "Ice Road" and all of his connections...

22 Jun 2009 4:51 PM

Lentenor has had another workout.  Is it at all possible in the upcoming weeks to hear from Peter (if he is riding Lentenor) what he thinks about him.  Peter was kind enough to do a Q & A about Nicanor last summer.  It would be fun to know a little more about Lentenor, especially how he differs from Nicanor.

22 Jun 2009 6:36 PM
Lou in TX

Hey Guys

Lentenor worked out today at Fair Hill: 4 Furlongs

50:00 Breezing

Tract Cond:  Fast

Surface: Dirt

Rank: 1/4

Our younger boy is getting down to business. Wish we could have a video of him working out like some of those of Nicanor. Anyway, hope he's having fun and enjoying his workouts.

Ice Road won his race today. Broke his maiden so now maybe he can race with his buddy someday.

Racheal will be in the Mother Goose at Belmont this Sat. Don't have a time yet.

Hope everyone is having a good Monday.

22 Jun 2009 6:36 PM
Greg J.

    A correction on my behalf, I misspoke on Ice Road getting his second win, It was actually his First win, My Bad, I think I was confusing him with Rockland?, Oops...

23 Jun 2009 8:47 AM

The wiz,

    The rail was set 15 feet of the fence. If you read other posts you'll see Nicanor ran closer to 1 3/16, i think some said around 1 5/32, which is probably more acurate. Plust the ground looked like hell after being run on while under terenchal down pours in DE, i should know because i live in DE not far from DE park, only about an hour if that. His time was just fine and you'd know that if you actually looked at the conditions and other post rather than just posting unimformed.

23 Jun 2009 9:07 AM


Hey there how ya doing.

Lou in TX...

Sounds like you had a lot of fun and a fond memory to keep 4ever.  I don't know if I ever would have left LOL.  One day, I'll head over there.  :)

Greg J.  Do you know if the Mother Goose Stakes is on TV?  AND do you have an exacta or tri in mind LOL!  :)

23 Jun 2009 11:08 AM

Kathy, you are absolutely right about Nicanor's being the most scrutinized TB in recent memory.   Dynaformers CAN be taught. Barbaro learned to rate.  Nicanor has been a bit headstrong from the getgo and has been permitted to have it his way.  He needs someone aboard who can impose HIS (or her) will upon him and hold him to a rate. Either that, or slowed down as someone suggested, to control the pace.

23 Jun 2009 12:27 PM
Greg J.


   Regarding The Mother Goose, I would just enjoy seeing Rachel Run, She sure is Poetry in Motion!, No need to place a wager on that one, Since only Three are taking Rachel on, They are: Flashing, Don't Forget Gil, and Malibu Prayer.  It should be Rachel and Malibu Prayer coming in One, Two...

The Wiz,

    One should not just look at the times for Nicanor's last race, But also take into account all the varibles involved, Like LDP stated, The Rail was set out fifteen feet, The Turf was a mess, it was raining prior and during the race(Light Sprinkles while they were running).  Nicanor had a 104 Beyer in his Maiden Win, and had a 93 Beyer in this last win.  I don't think his speed and times are a concern, I do agree he does need to save himself for the end if he continues to be a front runner.  The more I think about Nicanor,  I have come to conclude  that he will always be a front runner, It is his "Style".  Yes, Very difficult for him to continue,  But, He loves the lead, His last four races, He has been on the lead or very near it. If "Rosie" or whoever is on Nicanor, They need to hold him back until the stretch.  So let's see what happens in the Virginia Derby.  If he can win the Derby with that "Style", Well, The sky is the limit, If not, Then he will learn as he progresses...

23 Jun 2009 12:47 PM

Rating is not generally something that you can force on a horse.  If they don't rate and you take a strangle hold of them, they will expend much of their energy fighting the jockey and come up empty in the stretch.  They could even displace a palate (where part of the throat becomes entrapped in another part of the throat and the horse can't breath).  You can stress them and increase the incidence of bleeding.  In general, you don't want to be fighting with a racehorse during his race.

If he persists in being only a front runner, he is very vulnerable to the competition entering a rabbit or two to soften him up.  They will send out a rabbit to make him run too fast and wear him down.  Some really good front running horses can put the rabbits away and still win, but often they get cooked in the process.  Sending out rabbits is quite the norm in Europe but not so common in North America.

Good horses always want to win.  Sometimes they have their own ideas on how to win and will fight with a rider.

23 Jun 2009 5:05 PM

I was at Colonial Downs for the turf cup.  Look at the splits there, 25.15, 49.4, 1:13.56, 1:38.58, and 1:57.59 for the mile and a sixteenth.  Yes the rail was out but the run up was also changed somewhat.  Just thought I would throw these out for looks since at two different tracks we are comparing apples and oranges.

23 Jun 2009 5:39 PM
Mike Relva


Haven't seen you on in a long time. Where you've been? Hope you are doing well,as for me everything is great. Thanks!

23 Jun 2009 6:15 PM

Alan Garcia, Johnny Velasquez, and Rafael Bejarano are popular rides for trainers who struggle with a talented, yet rank horse.  All three have a reputation for soft hands, and getting a horse to rate and relax.  However, this is on the margin as all jocks know how to get a hold on a horse, and ultimately the horse is the determining factor.  In his last four starts Nicanor, while a bit rank, has yet to go uncontrolled to the front where it has been detrimental.  Actually, I think he could have got that second GP race if Lezcano had let him go a touch more.

23 Jun 2009 9:25 PM

Greg J.

A four horse field?????????

24 Jun 2009 12:26 AM


As long as you love Barbaro and the brothers and family then you are a FOB! :) It is that simple.  There is a big difference between people who like Barbaro and people that lost it when Barbaro was put down.  I don't know what you went through but a lot of us went through hell on Earth.  :(

Sure miss the big guy and he is all over my house.  Always will be.  He is one amazing horse.  The fame is outstanding and no other horse can touch him.  :)

24 Jun 2009 2:22 AM
Battle of Hastings

Please don't send Nicky to the $750,000 Virginia Derby.  I want a chance at the Grand Slam  


Battle of Hastings

24 Jun 2009 10:32 AM


Below is the math behind the actual added distance Nicanor traveled because the rail was set out 15 feet.  There is a lot of misunderstanding on this.

Nicanor traveled an extra 94 feet.

Here is the math:

circumference = pi x 2radius

Since the change in radius (delta radius) is linear, the added distance Nicanor traveled is:

pi x 2 x 15ft = 3.14 x 30= 94 feet

With the rail set out 15 feet, the added distance is 94 feet.  That is a far cry from 1/16th of a mile some are suggesting.  (1/16th of a mile is 330 feet.)

Suppose Nicanor finished his final eighth mile in 13 seconds, then he would be traveling just over 50 feet per second.  (1/8th mile = 660 feet.  Divide 660 feet by 13 seconds, or 660/13 = 50.8 feet per second.)

In other words, the rail being out 15 feet had LESS than a 2 second impact on his final time.

24 Jun 2009 11:44 AM

I don't believe anyone outside of say Michael Matz and his crew know precisely how fast Nicanor can run. And it is entirely quite possible Nicanor is surprising them as well.

I heard about rabbits when watching video on Dr. Fager and Damascus. The only two times Dr. Fager lost to Damascus were when a rabbit was involved. Both horses were extraordinary, but it appears that Damascus couldn't beat Dr. Fager without a rabbit which quickened the two races pace.

My conclusion on Nicanor's 6/17 race is that in this case anyway, that had the track been dryer, Nicanor's pace would have been quicker and he would have won the race by more lengths because I don't believe that the other horses could have out beyered Nicanor.

24 Jun 2009 2:12 PM

Kathy earlier asked about the distances horses are trained at, specifically Nicanor.  I don't have that answer, but I can give you some insight into how trainers tend to train daily.

Most trainers will gallop a horse five days a week for anywhere from a mile to two miles.  Depending on the horse, the trainer and where that horse is in the trainer's program in relations to a specific race, the horse may gallop very slowly or might gallop along at a two-minute mile pace (called a "two-minute lick) or anywhere in between.  They might even jog the wrong around the track for anywhere from a mile to two miles.  How far they gallop depends on the general fitness of the horse and its soundness.  For a horse racing at over a mile, the gallop will usually be at least a mile and a half.

Normally horses gallop five days a week, breeze one and walk the shedrow (by hand) the day after the breeze.  That's a general training regime.

You can see from Nicanor's official breezes, that the horse rarely has a time that is in the top few at the distance.  Matz seems to prefer to breeze Nicanor 4f rather than 5f.

The slowish times could be because that is the way Matz does it for all his horses.  Or, Nicanor might be a lazy horse in the morning.  Or the track is really deep and slow.  Or it could be that he doesn't want to put too much pressure on Nicanor because of some underlying soundness issue.

Does that help, Kathy?

24 Jun 2009 3:07 PM


    That formula will not work seeing as how a oval and circle are not the same, plus you math is wrong seeing as how 15 feet is not the radius, of a 1 mile track, which is what DE Park's track is. My math is base on his time. the widest part of a horse is on average probably 2.5 feet wide. Divide fifteen by 2.5 and you get six, which means the rail was placed 6 paths out from the original rail. A horse only looses ground on turns, and seeing how this is a two turn race you multiply 6 by 2, getting 12. I have heard that for each path out a horse loses 1 length, meaning Nicanor lost 12 lengths total. Divide 12 by 5, since every length is about 1/5 of a second and you get 2 2/5. If you subtract that from Nicanors time you get 1.50.4. On a track that is crap, and had been rained on heavily for days, that is a good time. What also makes it good is the fact that the times at DE park have been playing slow. If you find out how to mathmaticly show me the distance he traveled, by a formula for an oval i'll be glad to look.

24 Jun 2009 5:29 PM
Mike S

I liked BARBARO, and I thought it was just awful that he died, poor guy. I like NICANOR, too, and I hope he does well. I can't get overly enthusiastic about NICANOR just yet, however, because he has only won one allowance race so far, but at least he is 2 for 2 on turf. He might turn out to be a good horse. So far, he's OK.

24 Jun 2009 5:41 PM

Mike Relva;

I've been on foal watch, but the colt is here, so I've got more time again. Glad your horses are doing well! I'm hanging in there!

24 Jun 2009 7:35 PM

Stardusty Rose:

The horse that I rode last week was named Rags.  We took a week of trail rides, wagon trips, camping back into the mountains in Southern Oklahoma.  Food is sure tasty when cooked along the trail...and the weather was hot and miserable...its nice to be in air conditioning....we take so much for granted...

Love ya Nicky....Barbaro..Lentenor and Baby.....the sex of the new one to come should be known soom....

25 Jun 2009 8:43 AM

Speaking of foals, any word on the sex of LVR's new, upcoming, foal yet?

25 Jun 2009 12:38 PM

Peter Brette has been Nicanor's exercise rider, but WHo is Lentenor's???

25 Jun 2009 12:43 PM


The math is correct.

The track is made up of two semi circles and two straight aways.  Put the semi circles together and you get a circle.  The straight aways do not change because the rail is out--they stay the same length.  The only difference is the added distance on the two turns.

Because cicumference is linear to the radius, we can ignore the original radius and only deal with the change in the radius, in this case 15 feet.

If you don't believe me that the math is correct, just plug in some numbers for the radius (which is the distance from the center to the outside).  Pi equals 3.14.  The circumference of a circle (the two turns on the track) is 2Pi x radius.

Circumference = 2 x pi x radius

Plug in any numbers you want, but when you change the radius by 15 feet, the change in the circumference is about 94 feet whether the original radius is one foot or 100 feet.

The math is correct.  Take it to a math teacher if you still don't believe me.

25 Jun 2009 12:52 PM


Yeah I hear ya.  Nicky has been acting up a lot too cause of the heat.  We decided to skip the mountains in Southern Oklahoma and went to Michigan.  It was HIS idea.  Sooner or later we will catch up with you and Rags.  I can't find Greg and Rockland either.  Do you know where they are?  :)  Nicky has been stopping at all of the apple trees and eating them until he can't reach them anymore.  He actually reared up once on me to get an apple.  

25 Jun 2009 12:58 PM


Hey horsenut where are you at?  We seem to have split up and all gone different directions for awhile.  :)  How's your horse doing?  

25 Jun 2009 1:00 PM

Hey Marigold and all others interested--

Although today is 60 days since La Ville Rouge was bred to Dynaformer, she will not be checked by the vet again until his next routine exam, which is conducted at the end of each month. So we will not know the foal's sex until next Tuesday and I will post an update then. While they will say it is the 60-day checkup, it will actually be longer than that just because of when they perform these tests.

25 Jun 2009 1:58 PM

Thanks JAJ,

I'm just trying to figure out what happens to Nicanor as he is being trained. As Michael Matz tends to be a tad tight-lipped as to what he does, and frankly I don't blame him, I feel a broader perspective on all TB's may help me fill in the gaps.

If Nicanor goes for gallops at 1 1/2 miles on a regular basis, Nicanor may very well be able to handle the Virginia Derby extremely well.

As far as soundness goes, I have a sneaking suspicion that Nicanor is extremely sound, say like his sire sound. But Nicanor, although light years more even-tempered than his old man, may just be the stubborn one of the brothers, which may explain why jockeys have a hard time getting him to rate properly.

Is Nicanor a chip off the old block?  Well maybe he is a sixteenth of a chip.

25 Jun 2009 2:36 PM

Thank you, Ron.

25 Jun 2009 2:51 PM

Ron Thank You.  

THINK PINK!!!!!!!  :)  Either way I hope for a healthy and happy baby birth and sibling.  (would love to have a filly though).  

25 Jun 2009 2:57 PM


My dad has a PhD in math.  I can ask him.  You are probably right though.  Usually you are.  :)

25 Jun 2009 3:00 PM


    Thanks for the actual math!  That is not my thing, even though I did look for how to calculate it.  My biggest question is, who actually runs "on the rail".  Most horses run 2 - 4 feet off the rail and the distance is affected more on turns than on the straight away ( at least to my math impaired mind).  On the straight the rail does not really matter, rail out it only really becomes a factor on the turns.  

25 Jun 2009 3:01 PM

Hey Ron, the end of the month is sooo close, soon we will know the sex of the one to its a boy!!!!

Hey Stardusty Rose:  

that horse is just wonderfullll.....there is nothing like a trail ride and open fire at nightime.... looking and gazing at the evening stars....

25 Jun 2009 3:47 PM

JAJ, what a wealth of information you have and thank you for sharing ....

25 Jun 2009 3:50 PM
Greg J.

Thanks Ron,

    I Just Hope La Ville Rouge and the Foal remain healthy, and, For The Jackson's Sake, I hope it will be a Filly...

25 Jun 2009 3:55 PM

Stardusty Rose:

We visited the Kaimichi( mountains)Country with 14,000 foot mountain peaks in the Choctaw Nations of Oklahoma....southeastern Ok... wow cant wait to get pictures on a cd...HD....that is the most beautiful place I have ever been...

Hope its a girl but a boy will be that Barbaro he really would have loved to see the country....what a sweet of my life.....

25 Jun 2009 4:03 PM

(IMO) NICANOR is a true Front Runner. I don't care if they send a rabbit out there to wear him down, he'll do just fine. I believe that if he goes in the front nobody can pass him. I saw AFFIRMED races on youtube, they go head to head with ALYDAR. But Alydar still no success to wear him down. I like true FRONT RUNNERS, they'll go wire to wire. GO NICANOR... Hope to see you race in Virginia Derby... GOOD LUCK!

25 Jun 2009 10:27 PM

Hey Stardusty Rose:

I just witnessed 4 horses on the loose just eating grasses and munching along 1-40.....the county is trying to capture them before an accident occurs....the Sheriff is taking them to a boarding facility in Muskogee, await the owners....

Nickynor and Lenny lots of love to its a boy on the way....

26 Jun 2009 9:33 AM


    I was not trying to be rude just pointing out different areas. I don't get quite what you mean, but i did my own math using the diameter, it's less work that way and come out the same. since the track a DE Park is once mile i just assumed that each turn was a quarter mile long, whether thats true i don't know. Anyhow putting them together it was a half mile circle. To find the diameter i simply divided 2640 by 3.14. I came up with by rounding a diameter of 840.76 feet. I then added thirty to that since of course fifteen multiplied by 2 is thirty and came up with 870.76. I then multiplied that by 3.14 and got 2734. From that i subtracted 2640 and found that you were correct, in saying the total added distace was 94 feet. As i said i don't quite understand the method you used and all the linear stuff, but you are correct.

26 Jun 2009 11:10 AM

JAJ, Michael Matz works all his horses moderately.  If you watch his other charges, you'll see that that is so.  I don't know that we will ever get an idea of how fast Michael's horses are from their morning works.  They are surprisingly similar to one another. Perhaps he doesn't want them expending their energy entirely in the mornings.

Brettzky, what is your background?  What is your  relationship to horses?  Knowledgeable fan?  Horseman?  Former trainer?  You have facts at your command and your opinions seem so well formed.  Can you tell us about yourself?

26 Jun 2009 12:08 PM


Currently 1/5 part of an ownership group.  Also, work for a fund, who in conjunction with a marketting agency has worked to drive advertising revenue to Arlington Park, Maywood, and Hawthorne.  Really got into to racing long ago, based on a great friend to our family being a bloodstock agent. My real interest in Barbaro, started with the fact that this agent had an affinity toward Carson City, and always felt he was the greatest value of all the Mr. Prospector sons.  I saw him run, and followed (and still do) his progeny.  I completely support and encourage casual racing fans who were drawn in through the Barbaro story.  I have also found that many of the critics are armed with a lot of misinformation.  Sometimes, a dose of reality is necessary, but some of the naysayers throw out facts, theories, analogies that I would consider incorrect, especially when it comes to mating models/bloodstock, which is my favorite aspect of racing.  I must also say that I have learned a lot from this and some off the other blogs as well.

26 Jun 2009 3:18 PM

The track I race at has the Trackus system in place.  There are GPS sensors in every saddle cloth and sensors around the track.  They will record the actual distance each horse travels and their rates of speed.  At the end of the race, they will post the actual distance traveled by the winner, and the relative distance (plus or minus however many feet in relation to the winner) of all the other horses.  Plus, they post the finishing 1/4 mile.  I find that sort of data really fascinating.

LDP, the equation I used is the equation for calculating the circumference of a circle.  I know it is counter intuitive, but the math is there.

I don't think we should be hung up on the actual times that Nicanor finished his race in.  We need to look at HOW he finished them and he finished very strongly.  We can only hope the horses he beat were good horses.

Will he be able to step up in class and take on stakes company?  At this point, no one knows.  We shouldn't be disappointed if he isn't Graded stakes material--few horses are.  There are lots of other stakes races besides Graded stakes.

26 Jun 2009 3:26 PM

Nicanor was slow to develope and missed out on the Kentucky Derby. I am sure he will continue to improve and win lots more. Lentenor is definately going to make it into Kentucky Derby 136 and DOMINATE it! Barbaro's 3 full brothers have the breeding & bloodlines to dominate.

26 Jun 2009 6:01 PM

Has anyone realized that Nicor has beaten older horse, graded stakes winners, and younger stakes placed colts. If Nicanor can beat or compete with stakes company, he's proven himself already. Nicanor should be able to handle stakes winners, and he has done sop. Consider Custom for Carlos, who ran in the Swale, Dazil, grade 2 placed, and Einstein, whom he beat in a workout. I can't wait to see Nicanor unleash his true speed, which reminds me of Louis Feustel's comment about Man O' War: Noone knew just how fast he could run. Even on the tracks of those days he could have turned a mile in 1:32 flat....and so can Nicanor.

26 Jun 2009 11:42 PM

JAJ and LDP; thanks for the math! rmitchell, I'm looking forward to finding out what gender this new sibling will be!! Filly filly filly... but if it's a colt it'll still be adored just as much as a filly, I just think it would be cool if there was a girl in the family. And Dynaformer fillies are known to be quite something, if I'm correct. I'm sure I will be told with all honesty if I'm not lol :)

27 Jun 2009 8:17 AM

Regarding "Rating" Nicanor as he runs.  If you watch the video of his latest race,  Rosie was standing pretty high in her tack through the first three quarters of the race, which means she was HOLDING Nicanor, and rating him.  Only after the last turn did she get into a compact, less wind resistance squat while at the same time she stopped holding him and began urging him to gallop on.  The riding objective for that race was to keep him in front without letting him expend all his energy, and then teaching him to finish strong. The objective was not to see how fast he could go for the whole distance, it was to win the race while at the same time training the horse.    Matz is training the horse for the big picture, the big, long races, and the proper running form, which is to say, run so you cross the wire first.

27 Jun 2009 11:34 AM


You think that was a trip.  Nicky and I have been in the parking lot of Churchill Downs for 3 days now.  When he saw his big brothers statue, he walked over and lied down next to it and nickerd and nickerd and nickerd.  I got off of him and sat down thinking that he would get up and we could get going.  He just wanted to stay there.  Of course being as big as Nicky is, I couldn't move him so I just decided to go and get some water (lots of it), hay, oats, carrots and peppermints and I have been sleeping in the car next to the statute and Nicky for three days!!  I am OK and Nicky is OK but he doesn't want to leave!  If you are anywhere in the area, will you and Rags please come and get us? Man I knew that he loved his big brother but this is getting old LOL.  I am tired of sleeping in the car and fast foods.  Then of course people are looking at us like we are nuts!  I just tell them "this is Barbaro's brother and he is not budging".  Maybe your horse can knock some sense into him and get us OUT OF HERE!  :)

27 Jun 2009 11:38 AM

Ragsy.  I agree with your comment about JAJ and the wealth of information.  

Good info there as well as Greg J. and Mike and if missed anyone, you know who you are.  :)

27 Jun 2009 11:40 AM

Yay! Nicanor can't wait untill we hear about the others!

27 Jun 2009 12:19 PM

I come from a 3-Day Event background and I would love to event Nicanor! Does anyone have photos of Man in Havana and Holy Ground (besides his stallion shot) - I would like to compare all brothers' confirmation.

In watching a video of Lentanor at Stephens Training Center, he seems to float across the ground when he moves and has a little spring as he moves forward. I have had some top event horses and have had only one that did that - always look for it.

27 Jun 2009 7:26 PM

Just wanted to say:  If I owned a racehorse and was lucky enough to say he had won 2 of 5 starts, with a couple of great 2nd place efforts, I would be absolutely THRILLED!!!  That is an amazing record for just about any racehorse--so many NEVER get a win and just keep plugging away.  I think Nic is doing great and I feel confident that Matz will continue to find competitive races for him to compete--even if he never wins a stakes race, he has already accomplished much more than many racehorses.  Way to go Nicanor.

28 Jun 2009 1:05 PM

Ron:  We want a filly but bet it's a boy!!!Tuesday 6-30-09 is the end of the month....???

29 Jun 2009 8:59 AM

Stardusty Rose:

Yes, GregJ has very good info but who is Mike???

29 Jun 2009 11:26 AM

Brettzky, thank you very much for the response. I am fascinated by the bloodsock end of horseracing.  I, too, think that is the most interesting aspect of this whole business.  In fact, it is fascinating to me.  

To the rest of you, I am hoping for another colt!  I want to flood the racetracks with these brothers and I have a fantasy of the other trainers and owners being overwhelmed by all of them -- "Oh no!  Not another one!"  And, of course, all of them will be outstanding.  

Jon, WHEN did Nicanor race Einstein? WHERE?

29 Jun 2009 12:26 PM

That's correct, Springsmom83, the "dogs" being  up (the rail being set wider than the original track) only counts on a turn.  The straight aways stay the same.

Few horses travel the rail, although Nicanor has been lucky to for his past two races.

Jon, you get me every time, lol!  Nicanor did NOT beat Einstein in a work.  Horses don't race in breezes.

Audra made a very good point.  To date, Nicanor has done very well.  Should the class he is running against now be the highest class he can be competitive against, he's doing pretty darn good.  Very few racehorses ever earn graded black type (placing first, second or third), regardless of their pedigrees.

29 Jun 2009 12:27 PM
Greg J.


    Lentenor had another Monday Work(Three Monday's in a row), He went 4 Furlong's in 51:20...

29 Jun 2009 1:15 PM
Greg J.


    FYI, Einstein and Nicanor have never been on the same track, Either racing or in a work-out...

29 Jun 2009 1:18 PM


Mike Relva  :)

29 Jun 2009 2:34 PM

Stardusty Rose:

I dont believe I have seen his name anywhere....Go Nicky wonderful fella, Lentenor (lenny ) cant wait for your first race.....

Run safe, Storm In May friday 7-3-09

at Caulder....Secretariat's GGGgrandson....

29 Jun 2009 7:17 PM

Was there a blogger suggesting that Nicanor NOT run at the VA Derby?

Colonial Down's turf surface is excellent. So ....why not take him to Colonial Downs on July 18th for the Derby??

02 Jul 2009 12:23 PM

Yes! I knew Nicanor would soon shine like his big brother Barbaro. Honestly, I see him more as a Turf Racer than Dirt. But then again Barbaro did the same thing. I have complete faith in his trainer and owners! Nicky, Good luck, Keep up the good work.

02 Jul 2009 12:55 PM

IMO - Nicanor has only one chance at the Virginia Derby as a 3 year old. If he doesn't win, so what? The Jackson's will try another race for another win. If you don't think big, well I guess then you think at another level, take your pick from the other two choices.

02 Jul 2009 1:40 PM

I had heard and read that Nicanor had trained with Einstein and wish I had saved the article. Also, horses do train in pairs, for seasoning,  and Seabiscuit was one example. They may not race, per se, but train such that one horse gets in front and the other catches up, to train to rate, or race on the lead. In fact, Man O' War had trials with Golden Broom, who beat him, because he was able to get away faster. Man O' War had longer legs and took time to get going. Once he did...well, the rest is history.

04 Jul 2009 4:45 PM

Here you go...horses do train's called "working in company...

Nicanor worked in company with the far more experienced Rockland - who is ... going to be a good horse," said Todd Pletcher, who trains Idol Maker. ...

04 Jul 2009 4:49 PM

I've just come back home from Colonial Downs and the VA Derby is 2 weeks away.  The talk I heard there today was that EVERYONE wants to see Nicanor...   If Nicanor is a "turf specialist" then he should run on a great surface there at Colonial.  The fans I heard buzzing about him want to see him, but I can say that a couple of years ago those of us who hang out at Colonial like myself were GREATLY disappointed when, I think it was Nick Zito, pulled Seaside Retreat from the VA Derby at the last minute. For those of us who wanted to see him in the VA Derby it was like a punch in the stomach.. The cause was said to be "too much heat in VA in July so we're taking him up to Saratogo early." the fans will ever forget that lack-luster VA Derby.   Let's see Nicanor turn up and give the fans what they want to see.   I'll be there with my camera ready!  But who will be his rider??

05 Jul 2009 2:07 AM

I would still prefer that Nicanor learn to rate. However, here is an example of a horse who, from the article, prefers to run in front and the jockey just lets him go:

Quite a race and quite a pace!  And he did it at 1-3/8 mile.  I'm not sure if Nicanor has the capability to run beyond 1-1/8 like he does but time will tell.

Really read the story as there are some similarities that come out, including "maturing" and "there is no fighting this horse."

Elvis Trujillo comes up on the radar as a possible jockey for Nicanor, if Rosie is unavailable.  Could be that Rosie has made the same decision about Nicanor although in his last race, as someone else put it, she had her feet on the dashboard trying to come to some compromise.  He's still got to learn to relax earlier to pull this kind of win off.

05 Jul 2009 12:42 PM

i watched custom for carlos run at monmouth gr3 jersey shore 200k sunday short field but he looked great 6f in 108 flat coasted home

so it makes nicanor look good!!

i think he will run all day 1 1/4 will be a great distance once he matures/relaxes mm horse looked good at hp am oaks gr1 700k got boxed in and couldn't make a run and still finished 4th the winner looked great a dynaformer filly!! 1 1/4 !!

06 Jul 2009 5:02 PM

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