Trainer Michael Matz switched Nicanor to the turf for his fourth career start and it clearly suited the colt well, as he demolished a maiden special weight field by 15 1/4 lengths at Delaware Park May 13 (VIDEO).
The 3-year-old Dynaformer colt, who is a full brother to 2006 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Barbaro, took the lead early and never looked back. Under jockey Rosie Napravnik, Nicanor set comfortable fractions of :24.34, :49.0, and 1:14.35 before completing the 1 1/16-mile contest in 1:46.31.
“I am relieved that this is over with,” said Matz. “I think he has a good future and I think he is a real nice horse; I always did. I am not sure if it was the turf or the blinkers, or what, but he ran great today.”
Sent off as the 3-5 favorite, Nicanor had a 10-length lead at the top of the stretch. From there, with his ears pricked, the bay colt continued to open up on his 10 rivals. Today’s Man, who is a half-brother to grade I winner Pico Central, was second. Supreme Day finished third, 1 1/4 lengths farther back.
Wearing blinkers for the first time, Nicanor returned $3.20, $2.60, and $2.20. Today’s Man paid $12.40 and $7.60, while Supreme Day returned $12.60. The exacta was worth $44.80, and the trifecta paid $806.20.
Although Nicanor finished off the board in his career debut Jan. 31 at Gulfstream Park, he finished second in his next two starts there. His last race was March 28.
Nicanor races as a homebred for Roy and Gretchen Jackson’s Lael Stables and is out of the Carson City mare La Ville Rouge. La Ville Rouge is also the dam of a 2-year-old Dynaformer colt named Lentenor and another full brother who was born March 10 at Mill Ridge Farm. Lentenor recently joined Matz at his Fair Hill base in Maryland.
The ill-fated Barbaro also broke his maiden on the turf at Delaware, by 8 1/2 lengths, but it came in his first start as a 2-year-old in 2005.
To comment on this race visit the Tracking Barbaro's Brothers blog.