Will Post 13 Be Lucky for Nicanor in Dixie?

By Jack Shinar

Nicanor, full brother to 2006 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Barbaro, drew the far outside post in a field of 13 for his stakes debut in the $200,000 Dixie (gr. IIT) on the Pimlico turf May 15.

The Dixie, at 1 1/8 miles, is the race preceding the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) on Pimlico's biggest day of racing. The 11th race on the program, it is set for a 5:12 p.m. EDT post.

Nicanor, Lael Stables' 4-year-old by Dynaformer   out of the Carson City mare La Ville Rouge, had been set to make his stakes debut in the Virginia Derby (gr. IIT) as the morning line favorite at Colonial Downs last July 18. But a leg injury forced trainer Michael Matz to scratch him on the day before the race.

The bay colt was sidelined until April 8 when he returned to action at Keeneland, finishing fifth -- though beaten by just one length -- as the favorite in a 1 1/16-mile turf allowance race. Nicanor, who was restrained early in that race by jockey Julien Leparoux, will be ridden for the first time by Robby Albarado in the Dixie.

Pimlico, of course, is where Barbaro shattered bones in his right hind leg shortly after the start of the 2006 Preakness and later succumbed to laminitis.

Nicanor began his career in January 2009 and has won twice with two seconds in six lifetime starts, his last three on turf. Both of his victories came on the Delaware Park grass.

He'll face a salty group in the Dixie, including Just as Well and Wesley, who ran second and third, respectively, in last year's renewal.

Jonathan Sheppard's 7-year-old Just as Well went on to finish second in last summer's Arlington Million (gr. IT) and was placed first by disqualification in the Northern Dancer Stakes (Can-IT) at Woodbine. The son of A.P. Indy   has earned $1,042,412 in a 22-race career that includes five victories.

Just as Well has raced once in 2010, finishing fourth in the Ben Ali Stakes (gr. III) on Keeneland's Polytrack April 18. He'll break from post 4 with Leparoux aboard.

Grade III winner Wesley, who drew the rail with Javier Castellano riding, has won once in two starts in 2010 for trainer Mark Hennig. Following a convincing 2 1/2-length win over an optional claiming field at Gulfstream Park Feb. 25, the 5-year-old El Prado horse ran fourth in the Maker's Mark Mile (gr. IT) at Keeneland April 9. Wesley, owned by J. Paul Reddam and Willmott Stables, has won five of 19 overall and earned $333,128.

Grassy makes his first stakes appearance since running a close fourth in Belmont Park's Jamaica Handicap (gr. IT) last fall. Christophe Clement trains the 4-year-old son of El Prado for Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider. Garrett Gomez rides Grassy, who breaks from post 2.

Baltimore Bob is the only horse in the race with a win over the Pimlico course, coming from far off the pace to win the one-mile Henry Clark Stakes in a driving finish April 17 for trainer John Secor. The 5-year-old son of Malibu Moon   finished eighth in last year's Dixie.

Coolcullen Times won three consecutive races in his native Ireland last year and wasn't embarrassed when finishing fifth in his American debut in a high-level allowance race at nine furlongs at Keeneland April 10. Trained by Graham Motion for Hickory Tree Stable, the 4-year-old Rock of Gibraltar colt had been on the sidelines for more than nine months. Edgar Prado rides.

Edgewood Farm's Forgotten Dynasty won three races in a row on the Gulfstream Park lawn. The lightly-raced 4-year-old son of Dynaformer makes his stakes debut for trainer Seth Benzel.

Grade II winner Strike a Deal, a lifetime earner of $932,341, ran sixth in last year's Dixie. The 6-year-old has been idle since a seventh-place showing in the United Nations Stakes (gr. IT) at Monmouth Park July 4.

$200,000 Dixie Stakes (gr. IIT, Race 11, 5:12 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Trainer
1. Wesley (KY), J Castellano, M A Hennig
2. Grassy (KY), G K Gomez,  C Clement
3. Coolcullen Times (IRE), E S Prado, H G Motion
4. Just as Well (KY), J R Leparoux, J E Sheppard
5. Forgotten Dynasty (PA), J R Velazquez, S Benzel
6. Picou (FL), E Trujillo, C C Brown
7. Baltimore Bob (MD), V Diaz, J B Secor
8. Strike a Deal (KY), R A Dominguez, A E Goldberg
9. Rahystrada (KY), I Karlsson, B G Hughes
10. Lonely Whistle (NY), S Russell, E Maher
11. Rockaby Bay (KY), K J Desormeaux, H A Smith
12. Pick Six (KY), M E Smith, E M Oare
13. Nicanor (KY), R Albarado, M R Matz
All carry 118 pounds.
Blinkers Off: Pick Six


Leave a Comment:


Stay safe Nicanor and show these old salts your seaworthy legs can sail through the verdant waves of Pimlico with the best of them.

May Robby Albarado and you become a team that every owner and trainer yearn for.

I'll be watching and rooting you on when you race on Saturday.

And regardless of the outcome, you are hands down my favorite horse ever.

13 May 2010 9:54 AM
Lise from Maine

Bonjour Nicanor!

Good luck in the Dixie Stakes race on May 15th.

I will be watching.

Lots of love to you, Nicanor.

13 May 2010 10:01 AM

So thrilled to see this!Go Nicanor and be safe!

13 May 2010 10:09 AM

Go Nicanor!!!  Saturday will be an exciting day at Pimlico!!  Does anyone if the Barbaro Stakes is on the undercard as well?

13 May 2010 10:13 AM

I just looked on the stakes calendar and didn't see the Barbaro Stakes listed on the undercard.  I remember it's first race at Pimlico a few years back when Chelokee won if for MM.

13 May 2010 10:57 AM
Karen in Texas

Great to see Nicanor in a stakes race! Robby Albarado may be a good fit as a jockey for him. Good luck to team Nicanor!

13 May 2010 10:58 AM

Good Luck to Nicanor. This is a tough field, but he has to start somewhere

13 May 2010 11:04 AM

Great luck to you Nicanor. Hope you have a safe and fun race. and show all thoes other horses how its done.

13 May 2010 11:49 AM

Go Nicky! Looking forward to seeing you run saturday!

Come home safe!

13 May 2010 12:30 PM

Check out the pics of Margano!  He is awesome!

13 May 2010 1:10 PM

Be safe Nicanor, run with the wind, return safe, have fun and win that race...

13 May 2010 1:26 PM
Lou in TX

Nicanor run with the wind. Have fun and come home safely. That's the most inportant thing. Your guardian angel will be with you on your run. He's always looking out for you and showing you the way.

We love you big boy.

13 May 2010 1:35 PM


13 May 2010 2:12 PM
Criminal Type

Blessed be Nicanor, Now is your time to shine.

13 May 2010 2:14 PM
Criminal Type

Correct me if im wrong, but didn't Lentenor run in a recent race with, and finish behind Grassy? I wonder how Grassy will like it when Nicanor takes up for his little brother.

13 May 2010 2:33 PM

Albarado?  Isn't he the jock who abandoned ship(prematurely, in my opionion) on Einstein acouple of years ago? NO THANKS!!!

13 May 2010 2:34 PM
Criminal Type

I am wrong and I'm going to correct myself, It was Nicanor that ran against Grassy in his last race. Lentenor's last was the Florida Derby.  

Speaking of Lentenor... No works since the Florida Derby, that makes me nervous. Last time one of the brothers started missing works, it was due to injury. I hope Lentenor is alright. If anyone has any info I know they will pass it along.

13 May 2010 2:42 PM

Good luck on Saturday Nic. I'll be watching you big fella.

13 May 2010 3:10 PM
Greg J.

      I will be taking the trip down to Pimlico on Saturday for Preakness Day, Mainly to see Nicanor run, Wouldn't mind if Jackson Bend won also ...

I will post pictures and videos when I return...

Godspeed Nicanor...

13 May 2010 3:33 PM
Greg J.

Criminal Type,

     Lentenor is fine, Just on a small break like Mr. Matz had said.  If everything pans out, He is being pointed towards the Travers at the Spa...

13 May 2010 3:34 PM
Joan Canan

Go Get Them Nicanor, Let them see who Rules!!!!!

All the Best,


13 May 2010 3:51 PM


Run fast, far and safe.  Please listen to Robby.

Safe trip to all.

13 May 2010 4:03 PM
Greg J.

Nicanor is 5th choice in the odds at 8-1...

Just as Well is the favorite at 3-1 odds...

Grassy is second choice at 5-1 odds...

Wesley and Rahystrada are next at 6-1 odds...

Then Nicanor, I suspect his odds to go down to maybe 6-1 by post time...

13 May 2010 4:04 PM
Penny in TX

Stay safe Nicanor.  I have my fingers crossed for you.  Big brother will be watching out for you.

13 May 2010 5:04 PM
Lou in TX

Greg J....how do you feel about him coming out of gate 13? Do you think he can get up front in a hurry or do you think Robby will keep him back and let him run up like he use to before he got injured? he use to be a come from behind horse.

13 May 2010 5:44 PM

Hey, " Pick Six " is no slouch...never leave a horse out of the line up discussion, that one may just suprise you..

Go Nicanor Win That Race.

13 May 2010 6:14 PM
Criminal Type

Greg J, awesome news...The TRAVERS.....YAY ! Long way for me to Saratoga, but I will be in the Grandstand @ Pimlico cheering Nic on Saturday..GO PADDY !

13 May 2010 6:41 PM

Criminal Type- Robby won all those races on Curlin. You should respect him.

Good luck Nicky :) I'll be watching.

13 May 2010 9:56 PM
christy tate

hope nicanor finishes in the money. he should be okay on turf. lentor runs good on it, so maybe they're turf horses instead of following in barbaro's hoofprints.

14 May 2010 1:36 AM

I dont like gate 13 perhaps he can run like Rachel in 09 and take off like a bat out of h...but, its better than railing it and getting boxed in...hopefull Nicanor can wsp, he's no wimp, he can do it, Yes,Yes Yes!!!

14 May 2010 10:54 AM
Cal Gal

Nicanor is an established turf horse and always ran on the front.

I believe his last race was the first time, he was not on the front while on grass.

14 May 2010 11:21 AM
Chris K

Good Luck Nicanor.  Will  he have his blinkers on?  Why isn't Rosie riding him?  Them two were such a good team.

14 May 2010 11:52 AM
jclson( Fan of Nicanor)


14 May 2010 5:29 PM
Criminal Type

Susie, Excuse me ? When did I disrespect Robby ?  I think he is a fine jockey and don't recall making any negative comments about him, ever. I'm glad he is on Nicanor.

I did not care for Curlin though, but admittedly, mostly because of his owner. I take nothing away from his accomplishments, however I think he was carefully "managed". I LOVED IT when Rag's beat him in the Belmont. Not just beat him, but looked him in the eye and said not today you SOB !.

14 May 2010 6:15 PM
Penny in TX

2 questions, what does "pick six" mean and does anyone know if the race will be seen on ESPN?

15 May 2010 7:42 AM


15 May 2010 1:50 PM

Good luck fella and come home safe!

15 May 2010 2:30 PM

Well, Nicanor crapped out today!

15 May 2010 6:46 PM
Chris K

Congratulations to our Nicky.  Even if he didn't win, he put out a good effort.  I still think he needs his blinkers and put Rosie back on him.

15 May 2010 6:47 PM
Lise from Maine

Bonjour Nicanor,

So sorry that you didn't win in the Dixie Stakes race today, and I even betted on you for a win.

Actually, it was nice that you started racing once again.

Good luck next time as you will improve over time.

Love to you, Nicanor!

15 May 2010 7:54 PM

Nice try Nicanor... we'll get them next time...

15 May 2010 10:25 PM

Nicanor is just great, beautiful and a pure joy to watch.  Almost in the money but was too tired to fight on.  Boycott NBC !!! I for one will never tire of the Brothers...

Nicanor ran the track which led to the demise of Barbaro, you did good sweet brother of Barbaro, you did good and came home safe..I love you!!!

16 May 2010 11:54 AM
jclson(Fan of Nicanor)


16 May 2010 12:38 PM

The request was asked on the Margano thread for some thoughts on Nicanor's race.  Here's what I THOUGHT I saw:

Several times in the run to the first turn it looked like Robby had to keep Nicanor off the horses to his left or Nicanor would have just pushed into them in his rush to the rail and to the front. (And this begs the question of whether Nicanor dislikes the rail-he sure seems to want to get there and doesn't matter who's in his way)  Also, it looked like Nicanor threw his nose up in the air a couple times before the first turn- typically, this would be to try to evade the bit.  However, Robby looked like he was sitting admirably still for the job he had to do.  More likely to me, Nicanor was trying to dominate the rider.

Going into the last turn, it seemed Nicanor either looked right and started to veer right, or Robby may have had to do more to get him to swap leads, dunno.

I am in disagreement with those who think Rosie is "magic" on Nicanor.  She just let him do his thing.  That worked in the lower ranks but won't very well against better company.  

I have several thoughts on this race and some won't like it.  If Nicanor is so headstrong they can't get him to rate and settle until it's too late in the race, then run him shorter and let him just blast along.  Maybe he's really more of a miler- or less- than they think, especially with his style.

Either that, or find him another job.  There, I said it.  I'd like him to try steeple chasing, some of the Dynaformer's are very good at that and maybe with something in front of him to deal with, he'll learn to settle and listen.  

I can see where they'd want to get at least graded earnings, better if he stands at stud, or some graded wins, better yet.  Maybe he'll do that, hope so.

I am not a racing specialist so some others please chime in.  JAJ?  Did I see what I thought I saw?  Is this guy ever going to settle?

I do really like Nicanor, he's one of my faves.  But I've thought all along in the back of my mind this horse should be jumping. Dunno why on that, either.

16 May 2010 12:51 PM

Penny in Texas, a Pick Six is a wager where you have to pick the winners of six races in a row.  A lot of people play it because if you hit, you win a lot of money.  I could never be so lucky!

I never saw the Dixie.  NBC didn't show it.  I read the chart and saw the results.  Better luck next time, Nicanor!

16 May 2010 1:32 PM

i agree with Chris K...

Nicanor+Blinker+Rosie=BIG WIN

16 May 2010 3:11 PM
Lou in TX

I think I agree with some of the bloggers at AB.  He has a liitle Dynaformer in him. Seems he wants to do it his way, a little stubborn I'd say.  Still think MM will get it figured out. Love you Nicanor. We'll get them next time out. You did your best yesterday. Tomorrow is another day. You'll keep trying until you get it right. We have all the faith in the world in you.  Hope you got some peppermints for your hard effort.

16 May 2010 6:41 PM

When I watched it I saw Robby setting his hand strongly into Nicanor's neck so that Nicanor was trying to get away from that hold but Robby had the leverage and Nic just ended up pulling and fighting against himself until he settled.  The only thing I wonder is if they let him go at the start if he would relax under that lack of restraint.  The theory of sometimes you have to trust and let go in order to get them back to you-show them you won't stranglehold them.  Maybe he wouldn't and he would just run fast and burn out.  I think they will give this rating/settling experiment a good try though--Mr. Matz is patient as they come and maybe they will figure it out.  Maybe through works in company or with a consistent rider or just more races.  I think Robby managed him a little better than Julien--it was just a different restraint.  I think Nicanor is just "hot" and that it will be hard to get through to him, but hopefully it will work-we know the talent is there.

17 May 2010 10:00 AM

HorseFirst, Lou In Texas,

google Michael Matz and you will read what Nicanor was up to prior to the race.  He was being his father.  (To me when they put that figure 8 halter on Nic is when all the trouble started.)  Same goes for Rachel same thing...

Nicanor threw a wall-eyed fit, kicking with his back end, working himself up and had to be re-bathed due to his fit.  sounds like daddyformer to me...seems to me that was what ended Dynaformer racing was his bad-assed attitude...my horse racing friend, before he died, told me never buy a horse that acted like that. Netherless, I love that boy Nicanor....    

17 May 2010 10:36 AM

Heck, "Pick Six" was a horse racing in this field of horses at the DIXIE STAKES!!!  Duh

17 May 2010 10:38 AM

Criminal Type,

I love masterful Curlin but really loved the Belmont 2007 when that filly "Rags To Riches" looked Curlin in the eye and seemed to say to him

"Not today bud, my turn"  

the look on Curlins face was priceless!!!

17 May 2010 10:44 AM

Criminal Type

just a question here, why dislike a horse due to the owner?  a Horse cant do anything about who owns him/her,  I just do not understand that rationale.

I look at it this way,

     I love them all!!

17 May 2010 10:49 AM

Under the Margano site a person stated that Nicanor did not tire at the end, he put his ears back and slowed due to intimadation of the other horses comming up on him. Virginia woman stated put the blinkers back on.  interesting, wish MM would make another update..

17 May 2010 11:11 AM


I think some of that throwing his head up going into the first turn had to do with uneven ground.  I thought he bobbled a couple of times.  Turf races don't have a perfectly even surface that dirt and synthetic tracks have.

I agree, he bulled his way over to the fence and he never really relaxed down the backstretch.  Some of that will be because he would be pretty hyped up leaving the gate in front of such a big, noisy crowd.

I also agree about your assessment of Rosie--she did just let him have his way.

I do think he is getting more amenable to rating with every race, but he is still not relaxing which is costing him dearly in the stretch.  To win a route race on the turf, you really need to have a horse shut off and relax and then have a decent turn of foot heading for home or just be so superior to the rest of the field the way Precious Passion is.  Nicanor seems to have a decent turn of foot, but he is not showing it in the 9f races.

I don't know what you saw going into the final turn.  Racehorses have their head turned a bit to the outside leg--and I think that is how jockeys ask them to switch leads.  I thought he came off the rail a bit going into that turn, but it might have been a bit of race riding, trying to float the horse on his flank wide.

After watching that race, I too thought of shortening Nicanor up.  He might be a good 7f horse, which is a really tough distance.  At 7f or a mile, he might have something left turning for home.

I don't agree with your assessment of him trying to dominate the rider.  I don't find that mentality in a racehorse.

Racehorses do what is natural to them--they run and they try to beat the other guy.  That is natural.  They may be pig headed about how they want to go about running their race, but dominating the rider really doesn't describe it very well.

I don't know why everyone is talking career change.  There is nothing about his races that suggests he shouldn't be a racehorse, and a pretty nice one at that.  If he is not good enough for graded stakes--for whatever reason be it a lack of innate ability or temperament suited for racing at that level--you drop him down in class.  You keep dropping until you find where he belongs.  Maybe he will move up in class as he gets more mature, maybe not.

Very few horses race in only stakes races.  Most horses run through their conditions (maiden, non-winners of a race other than, non-winners of two races and non-winners of three races).  After that, they either run in only stakes races (very rare) or they run in claiming races.  An open $50,000 claiming race at a good track is a pretty tough race.  Most stakes winners end up running in claiming races.

17 May 2010 12:59 PM
Lou in TX

Ragsy, if you and all the FOB's will go to the AB site Greg J has lots of pics and video. I know he was sweating in the stall before the race and he was also kicking. Almost got MM. He didn't like all the noise and it was very crowded and hot in there.  Can't say that I blame him. He's not use to all the ruckus before a race.  I understand Barbaro acted up a lot before his races.  Someone commented that that was part of the Carson City from Mom.  Apparently she acted up in the stall before races. He got soo worked up before the race he used  up alot of his energy. Greg J saw it after the first turn.

We still love you Nicanor and MM will get it figured out for you. Hope you got some peppermints for your hard work. Glad you are back at FH where it is quiet and cool.

17 May 2010 1:38 PM

Yeah, Lou In Texas I remember when Barbaro was throwing a fit and here came Michael Matz running up and he calmed him down really fast..what a wonderful trainer Michael Matz is.  If anyone can cure Nicanor its MM...

17 May 2010 4:37 PM

Thanks JAJ, for your assessment.

The reason I would go for a career change, and steeple chasing in particular, is that he'd have to think about what his rider wants him to do every so often.  The, "Ooops, there's something in my way, maybe I'd better settle a bit so I can jump this...."

Maybe your opinionated is what I would call dominating the rider- either way, Nicanor is trying to call the shots.  Question: as he gets older and more studdish, is it going to be harder to get him to listen?

Greg, thanks for the videos and pictures.  But I'm with JAJ on this one.  Unless there is stuff on the video that was different, I saw an agitated horse lifting his leg and jerking it back a bit.  If a horse kicks, you're not going to see a slow motion version of it and you're going to see some reaction on the front end when they do it.  Horses will do the same thing when protesting a fly that's bugging them, water trickling down their leg (which could be it in this case), or just a way of saying "I'm uncomfortable" or with some, "I'd like to be a brat."

You don't want him connecting with the wall, even so.  But Nicanor was "talking" with his feet.  Kicks are not talking, they're all action.

17 May 2010 4:49 PM

GregJ your videos are really good just sorry you had to pay a fortune for parking, now thats what I call highway robbery...love Nicanor even if hes acting up...

guess, all watched Rainbow View another Dynaformer babe, the owner said she was somewhat troublesome


What a beauty she is...

17 May 2010 7:40 PM

Nicanor's efforts thus far do not warrant a career change. He isn't dead last, he isn't schlepping along, he isn't droopy and sad after running. He's just a beastie who is lightly raced so learning slower than those with 12 races by the time they are 4 - if they make it that far. I think this horse will race well into his 5th or 6th year. Then, the Jacksons will have a decision or two to make - which of the boys will they keep at stud to carry some of Barbaro's genes going? Sheesh! I couldn't decide between the three of them now! Nic does seem to be a daddyformer personality - strong willed. I agree a consistant jockey and experimenting with just letting hiim go would be interesting. I think he has distance in his genes, and with enough conditioning could go ahead and run full blast a mile or 1-1/4. Maybe when he's 8 he can be an event horse, but right now, I want to see him have several more chances in flat racing. Anybody else but me note it could have been Dynaformer 1-2-3 in the Dixie?

17 May 2010 8:59 PM

Hi everyone! ???? "AB site" ?????

....I wonder how Nicanor would do if they give Rosie another shot on him?

18 May 2010 6:10 AM

Good job Nicanor, you made it through the race safe and sound.

Now, if you knew how much people scrutinize you, your heart would be all aflutter.

When trainers have Dynaformer colts, gelding and fillies figured out, they have very good to excellent horses. Look at Perfect Drift and McDynamo. And it appears that Rainbow View is starting off pretty good this year.

Is Nicanor a sprinter or distance horse? Is Nicanor a chip off the old block who luckily was handled by people at an early age? I think there are a lot of unanswered questions about Nicanor.

JAJ, seeing how making Nicanor rate early on doesn't seem to help him win, what could it hurt to have him go to the lead? I see horses do this all the time.

And do you think they are exercising Nicanor prior to his races. I would think a little exercise would limber him up and get rid of some of that nervous energy he seems to have prior to his races.

And Nicanor, I will continue to watch you race. I believe you have an excellent future, but I think you need to relax a bit.

18 May 2010 8:43 AM

Dynaformer had to run with a ring bit. This was information that was given to us before we bred to him for the first time. He also was (and probably still is) a handful in the paddock at the breeding farm (was Wayfare back then). He was and is a MAGNIFICENT animal. We felt that the opportunity to breed to him his first seasons was worth the risk of getting a head-strong baby. Have never regretted that choice.

Dynaformer tends to throw his size and (in many cases) his head-strong attitude. Michael Matz surely knows what he's doing. He will make the right determinations with his charges. His experience with all kinds and disciplines will lead the BOBs to the winners circle.

As an aside, it tickled me to see that Rodney Jenkins (another former top rider from the show jumping world)is training thoroughbreds to race.

18 May 2010 9:37 AM

Gee, Criminal Type, don't you understand that all top stakes horses are "carefully managed"?  Can you spell z-e-n-y-a-t-t-a?  Notice the list of horses skipping the Belmont to be fresh for Saratoga?  Disliking a horse because of its owner is ridiculous.  Curlin is a champion.  Not his fault his first owners were crooked lawyers and his current owner is an opinionated billionaire.  I was furious at NBC for their inept Preakness coverage and skipping the Dixie to interview the vapid Ms. Vonn.  I agree with everyone who commented that the same rider and same race tactics for a few times should help Nicanor learn his job.  He's got some potential.  I only wish those idiots at NBC had remembered his brother on Preakness day, and I hope Pimlico finds a way to fund the Barbaro Stakes again.  

18 May 2010 10:17 AM

Hmmm funding the Barbaro Stakes... perhaps if all the FOB came up with, say, $50 (save $1 a week)... surely Pimlico could come up with the remainder.

18 May 2010 11:54 AM

I watched a horse race at Santa Anita Park, one horse took the lead and ran his race and won, when an official asked the owner, why he did not slow him down and stalk the leaders, his response was he won, and who cares if he rates or not.

Sometimes, I think Nicanor is just like that horse.  Just let him go and he will run his race, win or lose you gotta love him..  

18 May 2010 12:43 PM

Lou In Texas

I just dont find ABR folks ready for other peoples opinions, they like only their inner circle opinions.....

18 May 2010 3:32 PM

Hey Colmel

I want you to know I used your words about "Lightning In A Bottle" and all loved it.. later I went back and gave your words credit...sorry for that oversite...

just gotta love the brothers!!! I do......

18 May 2010 4:02 PM

Some horses win racing on the front.  BUT, THEY HAVE TO RATE AND RELAX JUST LIKE ANY OTHER HORSE. Horses can run on the front and "steal" the race if the jockey can slow the pace down without the others realizing it.

Nicanor cannot do that yet.  It is preferable that he learn to do that rather than give up and let him run like a maniac from the gate.  It is also safer if the horse learns to listen to the jockey, especially in the run to the first turn.

And it is entirely possible that while Nicanor won with Rosie, because she let him do his thing, it was also the worst "lesson" he could learn.

If he won't rate kindly, then at least he's got to listen enough to the jockey to not come over on horses in the run to the first turn.  Get him to do that, then maybe let him run like Precious Passion, but shorter distances.

MM is one smart trainer.  Telling Robby to let the horse pull against himself is the best lesson.  Horse is set up to do it to himself. When you can do that, it is one of the best ways to train when you have to make corrections.

18 May 2010 4:25 PM

What are you all talking about that rating doesn't help Nicanor?

Just maybe the horse isn't up to graded stakes competition at this point in time!  He ran a great race and got beat.  It happens.

Here is a video of a superb filly, Careless Jewel, who decided to just free wheel it on the front end in the Breeders Cup Ladies Classic.  She literally just grabbed the bit and ran.  The jockey did everything possible to settle this filly and failed.  You can see where she ends up.  Maybe against a weaker field she could have gotten away with it, but not against some of the best in the world.  Last year this filly was talked about in the same sentence as Rachel Alexander.


18 May 2010 4:41 PM


The word "dominate" is an emotionally loaded word.  It suggests a frame of mind and a thought process that only the horse is privy to.  We have absolutely no idea what he is thinking, but we can look at his behavior.

We, as animal care givers, need to not anthropomorphasize what we think we see and just stick to the behavior that we can see.

It is always best just to look at the behavior, without passing judgment on the motive.  We cannot every know Nicanor's motives--those are private feelings only Nicanor knows.  Okay, off my science of applied behavior pedestal.

I always try to avoid constructs like that because they can send you the wrong way when you are analyzing a behavior.

I really doubt Nicanor is in a power struggle for control when he is racing.  By that, I mean he is not trying to be the alpha pack/herd leader.  He is just racing, doing what he has been trained to do.  He and the jockey/trainer want him to run differently than his natural inclination is to run.  Lots of horses are speed crazy.  It limits the horse's potential.

In general, racehorses are cajoled and guided along.  They are allowed behaviors that would not be acceptable in your riding horse because their job is to win races and happy horses win races.

I don't know if I've completely muddied the waters or given any insight, lol!

18 May 2010 5:01 PM
Lou in TX

Ragsy...I have found them very welcoming. I've put my opinion out there several times. Also, Greg J posts there an awful lot. Maybe you could just read their posts if you don't feel like writing. Some do have some very interesting views.  I see Greg J did post his pic, video's etc. on here to. One thing is, you can post something and it's up there almost immediately so you can have somewhat of a conservation with someone. You don't have to wait for days to read someone's response. That I like. Give it another try. Look under the Barbaro Nicanor Lentenor subject. Or there is one going that Greg started with his stuff from the Dixie. Check it out.

I think there are some people who don't feel comfortable about posting here either. Sometimes I've noticed their comments saying so. We need to be open to everyone. I'm sure those on AB have been there a long time and have gotten to know each other very well. Greg even met some of them at Pimlico. We are all Friends of Barbaro and are pursueing the same goals. We need to all get along.

Sorry if I hurt someones feelings but we are all Friends of Barbaro and friends to all of his brothers. We all need to work together not separately.

19 May 2010 2:12 AM

Hey, Ragsy!

I promise you, I'm not the first to use the term "lightning in a bottle." I've been around quite a while (eons compared to some of the FOBs, I'm sure), but not long enough to have coined that phrase (LOL). I think it may have been first used even before Man O'War, and I'm certainly not old enough to have seen him.

However, even if I had originally come up with that phrase, you would have been welcome to use it any time. Horse lovers are all in the same "club."

19 May 2010 10:57 AM

Hi Lou In Texas

Never posted on ABR just read their fights and conversations about horses where some of the rescues were bad and took money for their own personal use I would guess other than that I would guess its ok.    

19 May 2010 11:54 AM


I would love to get inside a time machine and go back and see Man O'War and all of those magnificient horses that I have missed, even Secretariat I just flat missed Secretariat, had I known horses at an earlier age I would be living and working with them instead of nursing.  

19 May 2010 12:28 PM
Lou in TX

Ragsy... I just read about Barbaro and the brothers. It hurts too much to read about the rescues or ones that have gone wrong. I can't even watch those commercials on TV about helping animals in the Shelters.  I just tears my heart out.  Do enjoy visiting with you here though.  

Maybe our attention will turn back to Lentenor soon. Greg says he's headed toward the Travers. Yea!! We get to see our little brother race again.

Hope everyone has a great rest of the week and a great weekend.

19 May 2010 1:57 PM

"Lou In Texas

I just dont find ABR folks ready for other peoples opinions, they like only their inner circle opinions.....

Ragsy 18 May 2010 3:32 PM "

Ragsy, you said a mouthful.  In addition, most aren't fans of "racing" and only became aware of it during Barbaro's post Preakness life, but are now "experts" who are now trying to second guess Mine That Bird's owners choice of Trainer.

20 May 2010 8:34 AM


D Wayne Lukas is one mighty good trainer, nothing wrong with a change.  That Summer Bird is one beautiful, talented horse.  I hope his time off and surgery was sucessful and he's roaring to go..

20 May 2010 10:51 AM


I wonder how the Lukas naysayers will twist his giving Dublin a break.  It appears that he's doing it to give the horse a rest, but I'm sure the anti-Lukas crowd will find something sinister about it.

20 May 2010 12:40 PM

Now doubt they will Yawn, they need to give it a rest too.  Dublin really has had a hard time of it, he needs a break then come on back..he's a good horse..

20 May 2010 2:05 PM

Yawn,  I should have said that Mine That Bird is one good horse too.  

24 May 2010 6:58 PM

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