Although it has been more than seven months since Barbaro was euthanized, owner Roy Jackson says that he and his wife, Gretchen, still receive plenty of letters and fan mail about the fallen champion.
But recently, Jackson says, more of the incoming mail has turned to an uplifting subject – Nicanor, the full brother to Barbaro, by Dynaformer. Now a yearling, Nicanor is only about a month away from being sent to Ocala, Fla., to be broken by John Stevens at his Thoroughbred horse farm in Marion County. Barbaro fans all around the country are anxious to know how little Nicanor is progressing.
“He’s doing fine,” Jackson said Sept. 7. “He’s still at Mill Ridge Farm in Lexington, Ky. I’ve only seen him four or five times, and it’s been about three months since I was last there. But I’ll get over to see him again while I’m at the (Keeneland September yearling) sale next week. “
Nicanor, out of the Carson City mare La Ville Rouge, was foaled at Mill Ridge on in March, 2006. Like Barbaro, the bay colt is named for one of the six foxhounds in a family heirloom painting that hangs in the Jacksons' West Grove, Pa. home.
Mill Ridge Stallion Marketing and Sales Development manager Bayne Welker Jr. sees Nicanor almost every day. He said the yearling has all the makings of a fine racehorse. “Nicaonor has developed nicely over the summer and is currently between 900 and 1,000 pounds. He has a good demeanor but has a competitive side when out with other colts," he said.
“Although his markings don't resemble Barbaro's, he is similar in color and stature. He currently comes up in the day out of the summer heat and is groomed and put out at night with other colts in his same age group. He should leave for Ocala around the first of October.”
After his time with Stevens, Jackson said Nicanor will be sent to trainer Michael Matz, who saddled Barbaro during his spectacular racing career. Barbaro won six of seven career races, including the 2006 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
If all goes well, Nicanor will begin his racing career in 2008, but no timetable has been set.