Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Day with Barbaro's Brothers: Part II Nicanor

Nicanor's race was still six hours away and the rain was still coming down.  I came to the realization that the rain was here to stay and would affect Nicanor's race one way or another.

Arriving at Delaware Park, after walking through the casino to get to the track (a long depressing walk!), the first thing I heard was the track announcer say that races three and eight were taken off the turf.  This, I thought, was a good sign for Nicanor's race to stay on the turf, a turf course on which the Barbaro brothers were undefeated, Barbaro having one victory and Nicanor having three victories.  Since these were the only races prior to the Sussex Stakes on the turf, the chances of the grass being torn up from their pounding hooves was now zero.  It was all up to Mother Nature at this point, and we all know how unpredictable she is.

Nicanor's race originally had a field of eleven.  With three hours to post, three horses had been scratched due to the rain. The field was now down to eight. Still raining.

Besides the running of the Sussex Stakes, two other races were prominent on the card, the Barbaro Stakes and the Grade II  Delaware Oaks.  It was only fitting that Barbaro's younger brother would be running on the same day that the Barbaro Stakes was being held.  Delaware Park holds a special place in their hearts for the Fans of Barbaro.  It is where both brothers earned their first victory, Barbaro back in the fall of 2005 and Nicanor last year when he won by fifteen lengths. Both wins were on the Delaware turf.

During this year's running of the Barbaro Stakes, the undefeated three-year old bay colt, Trickmeister, won going wire to wire in a dominating performance.  Being only the third race of his young career, it was an impressive race for Trickmeister.  He did Barbaro proud.

In the winner's circle, Mr. Matz presented the trophy to the overjoyed connections of Trickmeister.  It was nice to see the now retired Larry Jones with his wife, Cindy (Trickmeister's trainer), enjoying their victory with Mr. Matz.

One and a half hours to Nicanor's race, three more scratches, field down to five.  Still raining, lighter though.

Next up was the 59th running of the Grade II Delaware Oaks, featuring the amazing three-year old filly, Blind Luck.  Blind Luck had shipped in from California three days prior and had never run on an off track before.  Even with the rain, the buzz was growing as Blind Luck approached the track.  I must admit, I am a huge fan of hers, and as any Blind Luck fan will tell you, she never makes it easy. This race was no different!  As is her style, she was dead last for three quarters of the race, then she made her trademark charge down the stretch and won by a head bob over a very game filly, Havre de Grace.  Blind Luck showed what a genuine champion she is, overcoming her three thousand mile trip and her first time racing in the mud.  She is truly a class act.

Half hour to Nicanor's race, one more scratch, field stood at a mere four out of the original eleven, and I first learned that the race was now off the turf and had been moved to the sealed muddy track, a surface Nicanor had never run on. The four remaining in the field were Nicanor, Pickapocket, Tybalt, and Bullsbay.  The sun was starting to make its way through the clouds.  Go figure!

Making my way down to the paddock for Nicanor's arrival, I positioned myself so that I was within a few feet of Nicanor when he entered the paddock area.  Sure enough, Nicanor was being led by his trusted protector, Eduardo.  Nicanor looked great as he walked by me.  This was my fifth time seeing Nicanor in person, and for sure, this was the best I had seen him look, by far.  He had a calm demeanor about himself and looked more filled out and chiseled than before.

When he walked by his fans and they let out a round of applause, he seemed to take it all in stride and relished the fact they were there for him. The sun was now out, and combining that with all of the moisture in the air, it truly felt like a sauna.  Even so, Nicanor seemed relaxed getting saddled by Mr. Matz, usually not his favorite thing in the world.  After getting saddled up, Eduardo walked Nicanor around the paddock as Mr. Matz and Jose Valdivia Jr. talked strategy.  At first, I thought it was good that they were down to a field of four, that Nicanor had a better chance to hit the board than if it was the original field of eleven.  The more I thought about it though, I honestly would rather have had the race stay on the turf with the large field.  Nicanor loves the turf and had never run in the mud before, compared to the remaining three colts who had so much more experience on off tracks and just had run a lot more races then Nicanor in their careers.  Either way, I knew Nicanor wouldn't scratch all day long regardless of which track he would go on.  Besides needing general race experience, having experience on an off track could only benefit him down the road, regardless if he won or lost.  Mr. Matz gave Jose a leg up, and just before entering the muddy track, Nicanor stopped suddenly, and it looked like he had just realized that he was running in that mud!

It was now race time, the running of the $100,000 Sussex Stakes.  I had a perfect vantage point to see the race, at the rail near the finish line.  Breaking from the gate, Nicanor leaned to his right and hit the gate, as I would find out later, that was when and where he grabbed his quarter. He was third out because of this, but he still managed to rush to the lead in a matter of four or five strides.  As the small field rushed by me, Nicanor had what he has shown to be his favorite place right from the start, the lead.  Jose seemed to get Nicanor to relax a bit, and they were going at a modest pace through the first turn.  Down the backstretch, nothing seemed to change; the race was playing out exactly as I had hoped it would.  The pace was starting to pick up going into the final turn.  Nicanor still had the lead with his three competitors right on his heels.

Down the stretch they came, and Jose was urging Nicanor to give it all that he had.   With only a sixteenth of a mile to go, the second place colt, Pickapocket, was under strong handling by his jockey, Brian Hernandez Jr.  He got even with Nicanor and then edged clear and hit the finish line first.  Nicanor was holding his own for second, but right at the line, Grade I winner Bullsbay, with Jeremy Rose aboard, nipped him to earn second place.  Tybalt finished behind Nicanor in fourth place with Rosie Napravnik aboard. It was an exciting and frantic finish!  As the field returned home, Nicanor was a few feet from me.  He didn't seem to be breathing hard or look exhausted.  I don't think he tired down the stretch; I just think he was beaten on this day by the experience of the others in the field.

It became obvious as he was being unsaddled that Jose and Eduardo were checking out his front left leg.  I found out later that this was the leg that received the cut, “grabbing a quarter,” from his back leg clipping it at the starting gate.  I honestly do not think it affected the outcome of the race at all.  It was just very unfortunate that this happened for the second time in Nicanor's young career.  As Nicanor's jockey walked in front of me, he was giving an interview, and I heard him say that Nicanor wasn't comfortable with the surface the moment he stepped on the track.  While initially disappointed with a third place finish, after considering the variables involved (first time in the mud, grabbing a quarter, not liking the surface), I thought Nicanor ran a great race and gained a world of experience, which will benefit him down the road. When all is said and done, he still had a third place finish in a stakes race.  As Nicanor walked off the track my day with the brothers of Barbaro concluded, and what a day it was!  One I will never forget.

I would be remiss if I didn't thank everyone who made this day so memorable.  So, a huge thank you to Nancy, Mr. Matz, Mr. Woolley, Carolyn, ALL the "Fans of Barbaro," and of course, Lentenor and Nicanor!

The saga of the brothers, to be continued...
All things considered, a decent race, and the best part is, Nick, you came out of it safely! Grabbing a quarter, not on turf and a muddy track to boot!  What is a  horse to do?  Still love ya!
nannie284 28 Jul 2010 4:04 PM
Wonderful reporting on the Day! We know that he will cross that wire in front next time.
TerriC 28 Jul 2010 4:04 PM
WOW - I felt like I was there with you.  Thanks Greg!
nvsally 28 Jul 2010 4:04 PM
Great story and it was an ugly day.  So glad he raced to get the experience and hopefully next time.  Love the brothers!!!!!
wee-o 28 Jul 2010 4:15 PM
BRAVO GREG!!!!  Awesome pictures of the big boy.  
Deby 28 Jul 2010 4:19 PM
Wow, what a nice article.  Thanks!
Matt D 28 Jul 2010 4:23 PM
BRAVO, Greg ~~~~ just absolutely Barbaro-ifically fantastic.  Great writing, and oh, those photos.   Eagerly await the next installment from you.  You are a breath of truly fresh air.  Your love for the brothers shines through, always.  Thank you!
chrys (sylversky) 28 Jul 2010 4:26 PM
Wonderful Greg!  Loved it!  Again, felt like I was right there watching it all with you.  Only bad thing leave us just wanting more, more, more!!  Thank you!
HsLewis 28 Jul 2010 4:31 PM
Fantastic, Greg.  As the First Brother, Nicanor gives it his all.  He's my colt, win or lose!
Story great, pictures, too.  Look forward to more.  
Marigold 28 Jul 2010 4:38 PM
Great account and pictures.
alybar 28 Jul 2010 4:42 PM
What a Great story with awesome picture. Poor Nic, I didn't realise he had injured himself. I hope he heals quickly and gets his preferred conditions in his next start.  Im not disappointed at all in his last race. He did well under the circumstances. Is Lentenor any closer to starting again?
Criminal Type 28 Jul 2010 5:15 PM
Something told me to check back here and I'm so glad I did!
Again, wonderful reading ... this was just full of extras, too.  Thank you so much for sharing, and we hope you and 'the brothers' have many more meetings in person.
Love 'em all! 28 Jul 2010 5:28 PM
What a story about beautiful Nicanor, those pictures are stunning. They make me want to touch him so perfect he is..just wish it had been the turf instead...beautiful,beautiful story.....
Ragsy 28 Jul 2010 5:32 PM
No matter what, those Barbaro brothers give their ALL!!!  There is definitely something special in that Dynaformer-LaVille Rouge combination when it comes to spirit and heart!!
Mary Ann W in Louisville 28 Jul 2010 5:55 PM
Hi Greg!
BH did a fabulous thing bringing you onboard!  You tell great and wonderful stories and bring to life what your day meant.  Its exciting to read your posts.
Margaret 28 Jul 2010 5:58 PM
Another great story, Greg, we are "right there" with you....please don't stop anytime soon! And oh my goodness, look at the muscles on Nicky, he certainly has developed! What a beautiful, beautiful horse! Mr Mrs Jackson must be SO proud of the boys!
And Marigold, mine to!
sandieh 28 Jul 2010 6:06 PM
Greg, wonderful piece. Your accounts of our boys only helps to visualize what went on.  It is like having a front row seat as things progress.  Please keep up the good work.
lobieb 28 Jul 2010 6:49 PM
Another really nice story, Greg J.! Nicanor looks fantastic!
Karen in Texas 28 Jul 2010 6:52 PM
Great pics and story. Thanks for the great writing you do,it's always interesting.
Mike Relva 28 Jul 2010 6:52 PM
Great article, it's like being right there, especially with the fantastic photographs.  Well written again, right up to the standards we have come to expect from you.  Keep up the good work! Looking forward to the next "saga" installment.
PatC 28 Jul 2010 8:09 PM
SUPERLATIVES!!!  Excellent writing and the pictures were great!  In my part of the country (Oregon) racing isn't exactly a biggie and getting info can be like pulling teeth.  Case in point, I had a devil of a time finding much at all about the race.  I knew something was wrong besides the sloppy track however, and sure enough from your story I hear he grabbed a quarter.   Sure hope he's o.k. now.   I even wrote on the mill ridge site I thought he ran a good race and I still believe that now more than ever.  How about Lentenor?  Any news on him?  I eagerly await your next installment.
Zowie 28 Jul 2010 8:36 PM
Thank you Greg for the fanstastic story and photos on Nicanor's Sussex Stakes race. As always, when Nicanor races, he quite obviously enjoys the entire experience. Nicanor, may your hoof mend well and may you continue to enjoy your racing experience. I will continue to watch your races. And tell Lentenor hi for me. I await his return as well.
Kathy 28 Jul 2010 9:04 PM
Thanks for the pictures - and thanks for taking over the boys' blog. Will the youngest boy be added soon???
Devora Berliner 28 Jul 2010 9:11 PM
Great reporting Greg!  It was exciting to read your blow-by-blow account and I was there with you as it happened LOL
LindaVA 28 Jul 2010 9:33 PM
Great read, Greg!  I sure wish I lived closer to the NE so I could see the brothers race.  Nicanor couldn't look any more fit.  Can't wait to see him on the turf again since that is the surface he races the best on.
PattyTX1 28 Jul 2010 9:37 PM
Nice story, can't wait for more.
Robin from Maryland 28 Jul 2010 10:27 PM
Hi Greg,
Thanks for the excellent account of the day and of Nicanor.  Without a doubt it is evident that he is Barbaro's brother in the way he carries himself, his body language and his keen awareness of his surroundings.  He is very beautiful, as was Barbaro.  He ran a very good race and hopefully, it will be a springboard to more success - as long as he comes home sound!
Nancy 28 Jul 2010 10:29 PM
Enjoyed the article and pictures.  Nicanor is a beautiful animal.  He has such a gorgeous face.  I thought he did well in his race considering the conditions.  Looking forward to Lentinor's next race.  Eagerly awaiting your next article.
scpalohorselvr 28 Jul 2010 10:59 PM
Interesting that Nicanor didn't even want to go on the track.  he had a great effort given the circumstances.  Thanks for the info and the wonderful pictures
MJ 28 Jul 2010 11:15 PM
The best thing about your writing is that it's from a fan of the Barbaro family perspective. You tell us how Nicanor looked, how he seemed to feel about the mud, how close you were to observe him and it's all from a viewpoint that we (the readers) would have wanted to experience. But it's that personal experience you describe that truly comes thru. You're not a writer just writing for the viewer, you are writing to your family about other family members and it's so refreshing.  Everything we want to ask about is covered because you tell us all you know and if more information is needed, we know you will be there and get the straight poop for us. You are willing and that willingness has been rewarded by bloodhorse. But it is your audience, your fellow Lael family fans that truly benefit. I don't mean to make it sound like Amanda, Claire and Ron didn't do a great job because they certainly did. But, you were and are a Barbaro man and I think that makes you very special indeed.
I loved how you described the day's beginning. I fretted over the rainy track and like you wanted Nicanor to run because he needs the experience. Fearful of the conditions, I still applauded Mr Matz for the effort. Nicanor is a real nice racehorse and he will get his chance to shine. We just need to stay patient and hopefully his injury will heal soon.
I was day dreaming today and thought, wouldn't it be great if Nicanor comes to California next year? We have some really great turf races and nothing would make me happier than to see a son of Dynaformer win the "Big Cap"! Like I said, I was dreaming but what's wrong with that?
Happily looking towards the future with you Mr Jones and the Barbaro brothers. Oh, and the icing on the cake? You give great photos!
Dona 28 Jul 2010 11:29 PM
Greg you have a way of taking us there with you, thank you!
So happy Nicanor is safe. He is stunning!
Jenny 28 Jul 2010 11:30 PM
Thank you for sharing your day with Nicanor.  I felt like I was right there with you. The pictures are great. I really love the last one. Nicanor looks so much like his beautiful dam La Ville Rouge. I look forward to many more articles about my favorite racing family.
PatCA 28 Jul 2010 11:31 PM
Great story Greg! It's like reading a good book that you don't want to put down!!!! Can't wait for your next installment!
Nice job Nic!
horsenut23 29 Jul 2010 12:02 AM
Greg...loved your second piece. Thanks sooo much for all the details. Like others have said, I felt like I was there with you. Our boy Nic is certainly a turf horse. Hopefully he'll back on it for his next race. He did his brother proud running and placing third in the mud.
Thank you again for such a wonderful account for the day. Keep up the good work, my friend and fellow FOB.
Lou in TX 29 Jul 2010 2:21 AM
sounds like he did pretty good to hurt himself ,a nd still finish in the money. think he'll get better as he goes. some horses just need patience and luck.
christy tate 29 Jul 2010 3:08 AM
Finally back home and am catching captured this entire day perfectly Greg! This blog is in the best of hands. See you at Saratoga.
Carolynbk 29 Jul 2010 7:07 AM
What a Great story with awesome picture, thank you!
Debbie L.A. 29 Jul 2010 8:56 AM
Thanks for this great report, Fren Greg.  You know that the hearts of the FOB are with you.  Our beloved NIC is learning as he grows.  He is showing that he is a true racehorse.  May God continue to protect our BARBARO Brothers.  Looking forward to more reports. (See you on the DB ^-,^)
Your FOB Fren, O
Otherlyn 29 Jul 2010 9:44 AM
Wonderful!  Absolutely wonderful, Greg, the way to told this story of your trip to see Nicanor's race, complete with the sharing of terrific photos.  Thank you doesn't really seem to cover it, but I do not know of a better way to express how grateful I feel for your story.
txhorsefan 29 Jul 2010 9:49 AM
Great job, Greg!
Rachel 29 Jul 2010 10:21 AM
Thank you Greg for the updates on the brothers and the wonderful pictures.
I love the bit of information that Nicanor stopped before stepping onto the track, "Oh my, MUD!"  Would have loved to see his eyes about then.
Someone, maybe JAJ? Is it common for horses to grab a quarter more than once?  I don't have race horse experience but in other cases, sounds like he gets those hind legs up under himself pretty far and fast.  I know he bumped the gate, but still...
Horsefirst 29 Jul 2010 3:30 PM
I don't think it is common for them to grab a quarter very often, but I don't really know.  They do tend to get bumps and scrapes in a race; my guess is from coming out of the gate but I don't really know.  He didn't come out of the gate very well at all, but he recovered really quickly and didn't seem to lose any ground over it.  To be honest, I don't like that he has done it twice.  It may just be a coincidence and never happen again.
Have you ever seen footage of horses breaking from the gate in slow motion?  It is incredible what they do to get out of the gate quickly.
JAJ 29 Jul 2010 3:45 PM
Greg J...Great part II. You followed up nicely to part I. You must of had an awesome day seeing Barbaro's brothers, Barbaro Stakes, and Blind Luck. Also, great pictures. A picture is worth a thousand words(11,000 this case).
DanH 29 Jul 2010 7:44 PM
Ms Carol A Marano RN 29 Jul 2010 7:49 PM
Really enjoyed experiencing the your day w/ Nicanor through your words and pictures.  I totally enjoyed your post.  Thank you for taking the time to paint the day w/ your words.
Cassidy 29 Jul 2010 8:18 PM
Secretariat always broke out of the gate very slowly.  Perhaps, Nicanor's connections need to look at that.  Secretariat was a closer, but after the Kentucky Derby, his closing ways were over. Breaking from the gate quickly is a very stressful endeavor.
Mary 29 Jul 2010 9:37 PM
There is no doubt in my mind that Barbaro inherited the X-factor gene from his mother, La Ville Rouge; therefore it is likely that all of her offspring inherited the gene. Of course we all know it takes more than that to create a superhorse, but it sure does help.
Perhaps MM should try training Nicanor to brake from the gate a bit slower to releive some of that stress.  It might also help him to rate.
I have watched all of Nicanor's races many many times, and my feeling is that Nicanor brakes so quickly that he thinks the lead is his only option.
Mary 29 Jul 2010 10:02 PM
Thanks.  I know it's incredible what they do to get going.  I've read that Quarter Horses actually "pull" with their front legs at the start, which differs from what Thoroughbreds do.
To the question of getting Nicanor to break more slowly, his speed in breaking from the gate is not his issue- it's being ratable once he's out.  His need to speed immediately to the front has got to cost him some endurance at the end of the race.  
Horsefirst 29 Jul 2010 10:55 PM
Breaking from the gate quickly is a distinct advantage in racing.  Watch races where horses break badly--they lose so much ground right at the beginning.  You will see they break a bit behind the pack, and then lose more and more ground so what starts as a small deficit turns into being lengths behind.  A horse that has a bad break is going slowly when the other horses are going much faster so the distance between them just gets bigger and bigger.
You never want to slow a horse out of the gate.
Horses like Secretariat and Zenyatta were/are slow out of the gate simply because they are very big and it takes a lot to get themselves together.  A big animal just doesn't have as quick a turn over of their stride as a smaller horse.
Rating and breaking quickly are not really connected.  Being relaxed is probably one of the hallmarks of a horse that breaks well from the gate.
JAJ 30 Jul 2010 9:02 AM
Thank you Greg for a wonderful article.  I felt like I was there at the races. Nicanor is sooooo handsome! Thank you for all the pictures.  Overall a great job by Nicanor.
Penny in TX 30 Jul 2010 10:20 AM
very good reading everyone!!
Ragsy 30 Jul 2010 2:39 PM
I, too, had read that Quarter Horses break differently from Thoroughbreds using their front legs which TBs do not do (very much).  It might be because they have more fast-twitch muscles than Thoroughbreds do.
Some Thoroughbreds will sit right back against the back of the starting gate and use that to push off from with their hocks.
You are correct that sprinting to the lead of a distance race does use them up a bit.
I'm not convinced races over a mile or a mile and a sixteenth are best for Nicanor.  I wonder if he would be more effective at a mile or even 7 furlongs.
JAJ 30 Jul 2010 3:55 PM
I am so glad the Nicanor is back a doing well.  I've a question for those out there that know the idustry better.  In show jumping and dressage training if a horse is prone to and even if he's not they will wear bell boots for protection.  Is this something that is done with race horses.  And seeing as how Nicanor has now grabbed a quarter twice would they help or hinder him?
Becky 30 Jul 2010 4:52 PM
o.k....countdown for part 3
..Babynor (Margano)coming up!(oh my, how we love these guys.. You to, Greg!
Welcome back, Horsenut 23!!
sandieh 30 Jul 2010 5:26 PM
Great writing and story teling, Greg. i kept wanting to know what came next - and I aready knew the end results. thanks for a wonderful perspective.
lisainco 30 Jul 2010 6:23 PM
Absolutely, your article takes us right there with you at the track. You couldn't describe it any better. I would give my eye teeth to see him up close and be at one of his races. Maybe he will run at Pimlico one day and I can see him. He is breath taking~!!
Linda/Maryland 30 Jul 2010 10:24 PM
Secretariat was 16.2 hands tall, Zenyatta is 17.2 hands, and Barbaro was 17 hands.  Secretariat liked to lean on the back of the gate and break slowly, that was his style.  The way a horse breaks from the gate has nothing to do with size. I'm just saying that since Nicanor grabed a quarter breaking from the gate, maybe his connections should try something different with him.  Perhaps breaking so quickly is not his natural style, rather it is something that he was trained to do.  But what do I know, this is just an observation from watching his races.  Barbaro in many of his races did not break all that well, but because he was such an athelete, he was able to overcome that.  
Mary 30 Jul 2010 11:13 PM
I love to hear about Nicanor and Lentenor.  Barbaro has left a strong legacy behind.  I check regularly to hear about these brothers.  I have followed them every since they were born and love to see them run.  I appreciate the stories that you post about them.  I am looking forward to their little brother Margano as well.  All of them are so strong and beautiful.  Thank you for the updates.
KMW 31 Jul 2010 10:56 AM
thank you sooo much for your post on the little, lose or draw I love to see them...they are not their brother, but wonderful in their own right...hsven't heard much sbout the new one yet and would like to know how he is doing and what his name is going to be...thx again...
THE FARMERS 31 Jul 2010 3:01 PM
This was so enjoyable to read, Greg......felt like I was right there! So glad BH tapped you for your knowledge and skill. And pictures! Well done.....
your FOB buddy,
Kathy from Toledo 31 Jul 2010 6:16 PM
Wonderful article and one heck of a gene pool!
Candace Serviss 31 Jul 2010 7:20 PM
equinetb voice 31 Jul 2010 9:04 PM
Thank you for the story and the great pictures of Nicanor. He is so incredible and reminds me so much of Barbaro. Greatness and great looks run in that family.
Nicanor has a very kind face like his big brother, and a kind eye.
Renee Antaya 31 Jul 2010 11:29 PM
Bell boots can be good protection but I've never seen them on a race horse.  I think they could be dangerous if a horse stepped on them at speed.
I don't believe there would be any point-or any success- at trying to retrain Nicanor to break slower.  He's too antsy to get out there and get going.  If you watch the starts, he's not necessarily faster than the others at getting out.  He just has to speed to the front.  If he broke more slowly, with that mindset, it might cause more problems because he's be charging through traffic or going much wider.
JAJ, I've wondered too if Nicanor is just a shorter running horse (The Carson City through LVR coming through?) than his brothers and might be better at the shorter distances.  Then again, maybe those races would would be run faster earlier?  
Horsefirst 01 Aug 2010 6:31 AM
Since Nicanor breaks from the gate quickly and immediately goes for the lead, perhaps he needs a shorter distance.  Obviously this extremely talented stubborn horse is not rateable, therefore maybe he would make a great sprinter.
Mary 01 Aug 2010 11:44 AM
I wanted to say Thank You for the nice comments regarding my day, Thank You.
I will do my best to report any news regarding the brothers in the future.  I hope to be attending any race that either Nicanor or Lentenor are entered in, so, I will be giving my account of those days as well.
BTW, Nicanor had his first work since the Sussex Stakes this morning at Fair Hill.  He went 6 furlongs in :48.20 seconds on the all weather surface, second of five who worked that distance.
Greg J. 01 Aug 2010 12:45 PM
Hey JAJ and Horsefirst:
The same man has another Apaloosa in his pathetic yard, I saw him while getting a hamburger and asked if this one was for sale and he stated YES, guess, he must do this to make a little money?  I gave him my name and number if he wants to sell him...I might have another horse before too long.. this horse is, I would guess aroung 2 and this man stated, the horse has never been vaccinated nor wormed...isnt that discusting...
Ragsy 01 Aug 2010 3:57 PM
The Farmers..his name is Margano
MJ 01 Aug 2010 9:38 PM
You took me right there with you.
I could smell the mud.
A vivid report of the weather and the race and the Handsome Nicanor.
Although the outcome was not to be what we had hoped for, at least he came safely home.
Ah, the beautiful Jackson boys.
Thanks for the ride,
Robin(15 minutes from Pimlico Racetrack)
RobinJude 02 Aug 2010 1:18 AM
New one's name is Margano and there is an article on him right here  on this blog, scroll for it.
He's stunning.
Marigold 02 Aug 2010 1:32 PM
Small update on Lentenor,
Lentenor had another work this morning on the all weather track at Fair Hill. He went five furlongs, covering the distance in 1:01.40, listed as "breezing".
This is the third published work for Lentenor since his break, this being the longest of the three. The previous two were at three furlongs, in times of 39 and 37 seconds.
Greg J. 02 Aug 2010 1:52 PM
It sounds like you are bound and determined to own a horse.  If so, why don't you get something that will be a good fit for you rather than just saving the one closest to you?
I feel bad for you to be trying to save all these horses that could end up costing you a lot of money AND heart ache.
It sounds as if you will only be supporting and encouraging this man to continue.  He does seem to have very poorly cared for horses, so I would be careful about rewarding him with a sale.  I know you want to save them all, but I wonder if your buying the horse from him (I bet for an exorbitant amount of money) will only encourage him to continue.
Have you thought about going to a Thoroughbred retirement organization?
Whatever you do, make sure your horse is vaccinated for rabies.  There are a whole bunch of other things they need to be vaccinated for, but rabies will kill you and the horse and there is no cure.  
JAJ 02 Aug 2010 3:12 PM
It looks like Lentenor and Nicanor will be racing again very soon.  La Ville Rouge, what a great mare.  I don't know if she is a double copy mare, but she definitely passed on the X-factor gene to her great son, Barbaro.  I did not know this at the time, but Barbaro ran the last two furlongs in the Kentucky Derby as fast as Secretariat.  On that lovely day in May, 2006, no horse in America could have beat Barbaro.
Mary 02 Aug 2010 6:14 PM
Greg, is Lentenor perhaps ready for another stakes race?? A five furlong workout leads me to believe that he is indeed ready.  
Mary 02 Aug 2010 6:19 PM
Greg, I think Nicanor went 4 furlongs not 6. lol
Loved that Lentenor worked so well. Did anyone else notice his time vs Rachel Alexandar? Yes, I know it was different tracks and different surfaces but his 1.01.40 vs her 1.02.45! He's just coming into form and she's getting ready for a Grade 1 race. Just saying!!
Dona 02 Aug 2010 10:59 PM
Thanks, I spoke to old Charlie again and he refused to allow me to have him transported to town for Rabies,worming and other vaccines so it looks like I wont buy him, and I told him so, I dont know where these horses come from that he gets.
Ragsy 03 Aug 2010 9:38 AM
I bet your Charlie gets them from an auction.  It is not normal to transport horses for routine vet work--the vet comes to the farm.
I can't stress enough that you should probably stay away from a horse like the one you've described.  You will be getting yourself a very expensive horse that might not be very satisfying to you in the long run.  If you are going to go the expense of a horse--and your initial outlay is the cheapest part of the bargain--make it a horse you'll be happy with in the long run.  A young horse is not going to be safe for you without a great deal of work by a professional.  At least if you got an off-track Thoroughbred, they will be (should be!) well cared for, up-to-date on vaccinations and dental work.  They'll have been handled a lot.  Most off-track Thoroughbreds are pretty bomb-proof once they've been let down properly.  You'll still need a professional for much of the basic work under saddle, but I've found Thoroughbreds to be one of the smartest and kindest of all breeds of horses.
Mary, please, stop with this double x-factor gene, lol!  In my opinion, there is nothing about Barbaro, Lentenor or Nicanor that makes me think they have an exceptional cardiovascular system, which is the supposed end result of this rumored x-factor gene.  The industry doesn't talk about an x-factor gene, why should we on the list?
Dona, as I've explained before a breeze means nothing on its own.  You cannot compare one breeze to another on the same track, let alone on different tracks.
Trainers have different goals for their breezes.  Some trainers breeze slowly, some very quickly.  Then you have to add the horse into the equation--some horses want to breeze slowly while others just smoke in the morning.  A breeze might be a maintenance breeze or it might be one to put in endurance.  Or, it might be to put in speed.
A published breeze may not be as published, either.  A horse may have a published breeze of say, 5f, but the rider will gallop out another two very strongly.  Or, the horse may pull up at the end of 5f.  Two different breezes both published as 5f.
I don't pay much attention to breezes (except my own horses, of course!) except for first-time starters or if a horse has an interrupted work pattern.  Or, if there is something very different about the pattern.
JAJ 03 Aug 2010 8:33 PM
JAJ is right, if you want a horse, get something appropriate for you that won't be a heartbreak down the road.
If you just want a pasture pet, maybe contact a rescue organization?  I don't recommend a Thoroughbred for that although some of them are suitable.  It's knowing what is and is not suitable that is the problem. In your case, you'd also need a horse that can be alone, although not an ideal situation for most of them.  Some kind of companion animal is good, maybe a goat.  Had a mare who was OK when out with the cattle, kind of herded them and took care of them.  Found only one horse that mare was friendly with.  (Not norm)
There are tons of horses right now in need of homes, that have had better care, up until now.  Which should up the odds you'll have less problems.
If the horse can be ridden, find someone to ride with who can teach you.
This guy sounds like he needs to be reported to Animal Control.
Horsefirst 03 Aug 2010 9:41 PM
I guess any FOB is automatically a rescuer at heart, but hey, Ragsy - if you suspect neglect by the Appy man have you thought about calling local authorities? Humane Society? Animal Care and Control? The local law enforcement agency? I'd sure start there. D
diastu 04 Aug 2010 1:49 AM
JAJ, yes the industry does talk about the X-factor gene, double copy mares, etc.  As a matter a fact, there is an article on the internet about Barbaro and the X-factor.  If you know nothing about it, you better start reading. I would never dream of buying a horse without looking at pedigree and the X-factor.  I would appreciate it if you would not tell me what I can or cannot talk about.  If you don't like what I say, then don't read my comments please.
Mary 04 Aug 2010 4:34 PM
I can find articles on the internet that says the world is flat, but that doesn't make it so.
No one in the industry talks about x-factor mares.  Read the trade publications--do you see any reference to x-factor?  Do you see anything in the stallion ads?
Some in the industry will do evaluations of the heart at the sale, but those are heart exams of an existing animal, not based on the horse's pedigree.
Never have I seen a broodmare advertised as having the x-factor.  There are many sales a year, and before the industry took such a dump, many of these mares sold for millions.  If there was something to this supposed x-factor, don't you think at least one of those mares would go through the sale and it would have been noted in the write up leading to the sale or in the recap of the sale?  Trust me, if it would help sell a horse the consignors would be marketing it even if they  knew it was baloney.
I'm in the business as a breed-to-race owner.  I have never had a stud farm mention x-factor.  X-factor is only mentioned in blogs like this, populated by fans of a horse or racing in general.
I will always bring to the attention of the group when someone tries to pass off unproved hypotheses as fact because the more times it is said, the more people tend to believe it.  You are a victim of that yourself, believing it to be true simply because you've read it in so many places.  Look at the references of where you get your information.  Show me the science behind it, not some unscientific book written by a layman.
JAJ 05 Aug 2010 9:03 AM
Google it.  There is a lot of scientific information about it. Read about Secretariat. Enough said.  Please move on.  I reiterate though, you are not the moderator, Greg is.  
Mary 05 Aug 2010 12:17 PM
I had heard that Lentenor could go in the Travers, or will he run in some other race and then step up in class? The Travers is in late August, and Lentenor could run.
People were mentioning closers. Just for kicks, watch Smuggler's first race, Donnaguska, and of course, Silky Sullivan's 41 length masterpiece in 1958. Man O' War was another horse who closed well, as was demonstrated with Golden Broom in trials they had. Golden Broom was faster, but Man O' war had a longer stride, and could win once his trainer, Louis Feustel, harnessed that energy. Secretariat ran on the lead in The belmont, as did Sham, a style atypical for both, and Sham was never the same. Secretariat seemed to bounce against both Onion and Proveout after that record shattering race. So, one does wonder if Nicanor might be a sprinter?
I think that Blind Luck is the best three year old in training (sorry "Lucky) and could make a good show of The Travers if she ran with her closing style.
jon 05 Aug 2010 1:59 PM
I think that Nicanor is indeed a sprinter, IMO.
Mary 05 Aug 2010 10:46 PM
6 furlongs in 48 and change?
Springsmom83 06 Aug 2010 9:34 PM
Dona & Mary,
My mistake, You are both correct, Nicanor went 4 furlongs in :48.20 seconds, not 6 furlongs, lol.
About Lentenor being in the Travers? Obviously that is not going to happen.  That race was briefly mentioned before Lentenor had has break, with the Travers three weeks from today, not going to happen.  Lentenor is still getting back into race shape, patience.
Greg J. 07 Aug 2010 9:10 AM
Nicanor had another work at Fair Hill yesterday (Sunday), He went 5 furlongs in 1:01.00, first of three at that distance.  His second work since the Sussex Stakes on July 10.
Just to let everyone know, I should have another blog entry up later this week, sorry about the delay.
Greg J. 09 Aug 2010 10:14 AM
Lentenor had a work today on the all weather track at Fair Hill, He went 4 furlongs in 49.20.  This was his 4th published work since his lay-off.  
Greg J. 09 Aug 2010 2:12 PM
Dear Greg J,
Thank you so much for all the information you provide on our boys.  We are so blessed to have you.  We all appriciate the stories and the pictures.  Keep up the good work.
Chris K 10 Aug 2010 4:58 PM
Thanks Greg...we love to get updates. Thank goodness Nicanor is back at work. That means his injury was minor.
YEA for Zenyatta!! 18 for 18. Love to watch her run.
Lou in TX 10 Aug 2010 10:17 PM
Hey JAJ, Horsefirst,
I have been thinking about buying Holy Ground's daughter, her name is "Graced With Power".  Cost around 8500.00 then with transport guess, it would be around 2000. I would guess...she will be 2 next year  and she is at flyinglionfarm located in Florida..
There is a training facility in Poteau,Ok which is around 75 miles from me. I dont want a race horse though..cant afford it,  but really like this horse.
My problem is I think about something too long then find the whatever sold or already taken...
but that money would be good for other horses in need like old charlie's.  
Ragsy 11 Aug 2010 5:29 PM
Hey Lou In Texas!!!
Wasnt "The Queen Zenyatta" awesome, but her running times appear to be slowing and that worries me for the Breeders Cup!
Everytime I get to see Zenyatta close up I get super ice chills looking at her....making my plans to attend the Breeders Cup races so I can see both jewels the Zen master and Rachel Alexandra....
Ragsy 11 Aug 2010 5:34 PM
Ragsy, what a own Nicki's niece, Graced with Power, such a lovely filly. You sound like me when you say you think about something to long, then its gone. Otherwise, i might have a barn full!
AND it is chilling to watch Zenyatta, what a BIGGGGGGGGG girl! L love anychance to watch her race. Some folks are saying she  might be retired soon. I wish her the best luck whatever she does.
Is there any news on Nicki, Lennie, Margano or Babynor2? I think Greg is so lucky to have seen the boys in person. Maybe at some point we could see an article on LaVille Rouge or even Dynaformer. (I know, Greg, don't push my luck, right)? With sincere gratitude to Greg and Bloodhorse!
sandieh 11 Aug 2010 7:13 PM
Surely you are pulling my leg!  Are you suggesting you want to buy this yearling for $8,500?  Off the internet?  And you don't want a racehorse?
You can get beautiful, healthy horses for free who are in need of a home.
If you do not intend to race (costs of around $30,000 a year on the cheap), you do not want to spend $8,500 on a yearling.
Ragsy, I think you are just having us on and I don't like it.
JAJ 11 Aug 2010 9:31 PM
JAJ, read about double copy mares.  Ragsy, yes I love Zenyatta, but she is slowing down.  She is a most magnificent filly.  I think that Rachel is just getting started.  These two fillies are right up there with Ruffian.
I got chills looking at Rachel.  Zen Master and Rachel Alexander.  Beautiful
Mary 11 Aug 2010 10:23 PM
Hi it hot enough for you? Just got back from DC and it isn't much cooler there.
Hope you get your horse. I know about waiting too long and then loosing it to someone else. Go to ABR and check out the FOB's that are planning a b-day gift for Dr Richardson and his staff. Dr. R's b-day is the 30th of this month.
You are sooo lucky getting to go to the Breeder's Cup. Please take lots of pics of the Queen and Princess. Zen is just awesome. I can't get over how tall she is. I'm not worried about the slower times. John will have her ready for the Classic. She just hasn't had the competion too expend that much energy right now. She'll be ready for RA and everybody else that enters the race. Even if she doesn't win the Classic, she's got a record that no one can take away from her. She'll still be the "Queen"! Got the t-shirt that John designed for her. It says "Dancing again in 2010" and has a pic of her with Mike aboard above the quote and with Zenyatta written in pink above her and Mike. Been trying to get a Fan of Barbaro shirt but they are having a hard time getting enough orders in order to place an order. If you want one go to the ABR site under Barbaro, Nicanor and Lentenor blog.
Try and stay cool.
Lou in TX 11 Aug 2010 10:52 PM
That's an expensive horse you're not going to be racing.  It's also young and a TB, so would need several years to settle down, lots of training, etc.
If you want a horse to ride, there are a lot of them out there that wouldn't even cost you the shipping fee on this one.
If you want to help a horse, you could take care of a retired one.
Don't go back to "Old Charlie."  You're just enabling him to keep up what he's doing.
Find a reputable stable or trainer in the area.  Do some research, take some lessons, take your time.
Even if you have the acreage, do you have the fencing (safe fencing), a shed or run-in where the horse can get out of the elements, a place to store hay for the winter or when grass may be too short?  Can you afford to have a vet out at least once a year to give shots, float teeth, etc.?  Can you have a farrier out every 6-8 weeks?
Your heart is in the right place but do research very carefully because even owning a pasture ornament is not cheap.
Horsefirst 12 Aug 2010 8:30 PM
Hey you guys,
what I have seen is not lack of interest, its other peoples comments re: who is right and who is wrong... we all love the Brothers, so, at least allow others their opinions, "be it right or wrong" !!!
The right to agree or dis-agree!!
so peace and love to all....lets not run anyone else off the blog....
Ragsy 13 Aug 2010 7:30 PM
Lentenor and the Travers was mentioned back in April 2010 way before his break...would love it myself, but only want what is best for him!!!
Ragsy 13 Aug 2010 7:33 PM
Yes, I love all you guys that come here...JAJ and Horsefirst are full of knowing what happens with horses, Mary I dont know you but I am sure you are a delightful person. Lets get back to agreement, ( I like the FactorX also) remember when Barbaro died and Nicky was so young and how we turned our sorrow to hope because of Nicanor....something I will never forget....thats why he is so special to me...
its called LOVE....
Ragsy 13 Aug 2010 7:44 PM
When is the next installment on this blog!!
Stonefox 14 Aug 2010 5:31 AM
JAJ, with all due respect, you are not going to find anything on the internet that says the world is flat, condescending remark, but it's okay, I do understand.
It is a science which I have been studying for a very long time.
The X chromozone (female} carries most of the genetic material that is passed on to her foal {male or female}, and the Y {male} chromozone carries basically the sex of the horse.  The X chromosone is much larger than the Y.
Now with a sire, when he produces a female, she will receive his one X chromozone {all of his genetic material}, and the other X from her mother.  The sire has one X chromozone and one Y, but the female has two X chromozones.
It is a lot of fun to study the pedigree of a horse.
I'm not very good at explaining this, but in the last two years,  I have bet on two Kentucky Derby winners, Mine That Bird and Super Saver, one Preakness winner, Rachael Alexandra, and one Belmont winner, Summer Bird.  Four out of six isn't bad, and I based every bet by first studying the pedigree of the horse for that particular race.  I knew that Summer Bird could go the distance.  I knew that Rachael could handle the sharp turns in the Preakness, and I knew that Super Saver loved the slop in the Kentucky Derby.  It is mostly about pedigree and a great deal of luck.  I knew that Mine That Bird had a great heart and with Calvin Borel aboard, why not.  
Mary 14 Aug 2010 8:11 PM
Barbaro loved the dirt.  I have watched his races over and over again, and although he ran away from the field on the turf; he was extremely aggressive on the dirt.  He was no doubt about it a dirt horse, but he had a lot of fun galloping along on the turf.
Grief is the price that you pay for love, like Gretchen Jackson said.  An amazing animal he was.
Mary 14 Aug 2010 8:24 PM
Any New News on the Boys???
Linda / Maryland 14 Aug 2010 9:36 PM
Okay, fantasy time: I win the lotto, start a syndicate with all my favorite FOB posters, then go get Holy Ground and bring him home where he belongs. If Southern Hemispherians want a piece of him, I'd be glad to facilitate, but his bloodlines alone are reason enough to be covetous of his breeding welfare. Sigh. Don't laugh at me for silly dreams.
diastu 15 Aug 2010 11:15 AM
I love these guys and all the updates, however there is a third brother...and I'm still waiting to hear how Margano is doing.  Please please do tell.  Pictures are always welcome of any or all of them.  Thank you! Thank You! Thank You!
Cindy 16 Aug 2010 3:23 PM
JAJ, no, I am not pulling your leg! I would have to go to Florida to see her and if she doesnt sell maybe get her for a little less. Holy Ground is a special horse and his daughter would be a jewel to have...and I agree with Mary to bring him home...
Lou In Texas,
heat index was 110 yesterday and the electric was off for over 8 hours... where did you get your shirt??
Ragsy 16 Aug 2010 5:48 PM
Dreams are what life is all about...I agree with you...such a special horse...shame we cant pool money for that purpose..
I am just thinking about it, no conclusion has been reached.  
Ragsy 16 Aug 2010 6:41 PM
Diastu, that is not a silly dream at all. That is a dream that a lot of us would like, and if I was ever lucky enough to win a lotto, I would make a donation to the Barbaro Funds and to Penn Vet for the care of all animals, and horses in need of homes. We all have learned so much from our precious Barbaro's short life, concerning horse health and illness related issues. I have  deep gratitude, respect and love for Roy and Gretchen Jackson for sharing what has surely been a dear part of their lives.
Ragsy, I agree with you, Nicky did turn our sorrow to hope, and this family has showed us how to continue to love. There is nothing like feeling an animal respond to love.
And, yes, any news on young Margano and the Baby? Would love to hear anything!
sandieh 16 Aug 2010 7:58 PM
Cindy...don't think there are any new pics of Margano but he will be shipping to Stephens in Ocala,Fla to begin his training sometime in October.  All the brothers have been trained by the Stephens so they are very familiar with our boys. It's a beautiful place and they seem to really adapt to it while they are there. Hope this helps some.
Greg, please feel free to add your comments if you'd like. You always know more than I do.
Lou in TX 17 Aug 2010 12:46 PM
See that Nicanor has been nominated to the Barnard Baruch Stakes at Saratoga on 8/27.  Don't know if he will make it in the field for not but fingers and toes crossed that he will.
lobieb 17 Aug 2010 3:18 PM
Lou in TX, had to smile when i saw your post, our baby Margano will be going to school in Oct, my goodness, time went by fast, and he has really grown.
That is good news lobieb, is this race televised? I don't get to see the races very often in my area. anyway, the bloggers are REALLY good about getting the news to this blog soon after!
Run safely, sweet Nicky! Love and carrots to Nicki, Lennie and Margano!
sandieh 17 Aug 2010 6:46 PM
I wish all of the brothers well, but I must say after looking at pictures of Margano, he doesn't look like his brothers.  He looks so much like his sire, Dynaformer, amazing.  Barbaro was a big one, 17 hands, about the size of the magnificent Zenyatta.  Barbaro was larger than Secretariat, and he ran the last furlong in the Kentucky Derby as fast as Secretariat.  JAJ, the X-factor, very important in predicting a horse's stamina, endurance.  I know what I'm talking about here.
The last two years in the triple crown races, I have won 4 out of 6, based solely on the horse's pedigree.  Mine That Bird, Super Saver, Rachel Alexandra, and Summer Bird.  I bet on Fly Down in the Belmont, but he finished second. What I am saying is that perhaps I look at a horse's pedigree in a different way than most people. To me it is an exact science.
Mary 17 Aug 2010 9:27 PM
Sandieh...I can't believe he won't be our baby much longer. We now have another "Babynor". Gosh how time flys. Hopefully we will be talking about a "Fillynor" but we'll love whatever our next baby will be.
Hopefully we'll see Nicanor on the 27th but if not, we'll be ready for whenever he does run. His readiness must come first.
Mary it sounds like you have that down to a science. Good luck on your future bets.
Lou in TX 17 Aug 2010 10:59 PM
Nicanor is also nominated for the Play the King Stakes at Woodbine on August 29th. Good luck Nicanor wherever you race at.
Kathy 18 Aug 2010 9:25 AM
Yes saw the cross nomination for Woodbine this morning.  Michael does that quite a bit and of course we do not know if he was also entered in something at Monmouth as they have not come out yet.  Regardless he will be racing sometine within the next two weeks.  Go Nic  TVG shows all the Woodbine, Saratoga and Monmouth races so if you get that then you will be able to see the race.
lobieb 18 Aug 2010 11:35 AM
Nicanor and Lentenor both worked five furlongs on the all weather track at Fair Hill this morning.
Lentenor covered the distance in 1:00.20, tied for first with another Michael Matz trained colt named Mikoshi.  Nicanor was next in line, he covered the distance in 1:00.40.  All works were listed as "breezing".
Greg J. 18 Aug 2010 2:08 PM
Thanks Greg!  Keep us posted for Nic's next race.  I am hoping it is for Saratoga on the 27th....i'll be taking the afternoon off from work!
Deby 18 Aug 2010 2:45 PM
Well...I am definitely no expert, but an average of 12 seconds and a little change per furlong is really good or so I've been told. Did I divide this correctly? I certainly hope so. Congrats to the Brothers of Barbaro. I am torn between having you both race on the same day or doubling the fun eah month by having you guys race on two separate occasions. If the day ever arises that I can see you in person, I hope you both race on the same day. Otherwise, doubling the monthly fun each month will be super-fantastic as well.
Kathy 18 Aug 2010 3:10 PM
I've read a lot about the x factor and I have to agree with JAJ on this one.
And no, it is not a "science."  It is someone's theory.  It is unproven and until scientifically studied, it is not "science."
You cannot just take circumstance  and come up with science.  It would mean doing lots of ultrasounds, autopsies, etc., over years and tracking the bloodlines before any merit could be attached to the theory.
And if the theory were correct, EVERY horse with the theoretical X factor would burn up the tracks and the facts are, they don't.  Just as the X factor comes up against a brick wall when horses who don't possess an oversize heart, go on to fame and glory.
It's fun to hypothesize and study the pedigrees but to call it a "science" is quite a stretch.
As JAJ said and I think I've said before, if it was such a deciding factor, every horse racing would have, at minimum, a heart ultrasound before they were purchased.  You'd also think they could identify a gene involved and I don't believe they have.
Extraordinary horses are rare.  Horses who could potentially carry the theoretical x factor are not.
Horsefirst 18 Aug 2010 7:02 PM
Mary, I agree with you 100%, we have a baby Dynaformer with Margano..cant wait to see his demeanor in action.
Ragsy 18 Aug 2010 7:52 PM
Horsefirst, I understand.  I know what I'm talking about, and it is to my advantage that you don't.  I will never bring this up again.  It was really stupid of me to bring it up at all.  I'll just keep doing my thing.
Ragsy, Margano is a Dynaformer, get ready, here he comes.
Mary 18 Aug 2010 11:35 PM
uestion for Greg:  I know that you try to attend all the races for our boys, my question is this if Nic races at Woodbine are you going to be able to go or is it too far as I know you now have this blog and have been getting up and personal with our boys.  
lobieb 19 Aug 2010 10:57 AM
Yes, I will make every possible effort to attend every race the brothers are involved in, including Woodbine. I will say, California is probably the only place that would be too far!  Stay tuned...
Greg J. 19 Aug 2010 12:19 PM
Heyyyyy, is the Secretariat movie next month or Oct?  lost the time frame.....
thumbs up, Mary!!  Yes, he is....
Ragsy 19 Aug 2010 3:36 PM
If you're going to tell someone "they don't know what they are talking about," then I want to see your proof.  Studies, journals, veterinary studies/track studies/breeding studies- not some articles written by someone who traced back a pedigree and decided on the almighty x factor.  Back up your statements with science.
It is just as likely, you'll note, that the "qualities" being passed down, through the MARE'S side, are also coincidental with some darn good mare lines. Perhaps it's more to do with the mitochondrial DNA? (Another theory out there)
Really, show me the science before you tell me I don't know what I'm talking about.  Real evidence, not conjecture based on tracing pedigrees.  Along with this, I want evidence as to why not every champion must have the x factor.
Horsefirst 19 Aug 2010 4:06 PM
If you havent, go read about "Better Than Honor" carring a Street Cry FILLY, just love "Rags To Riches"  now isnt that it and weep boys!!!
Ragsy 19 Aug 2010 4:12 PM
Hi Horsefirst, great to read your information its very informative...
Dynaformer is one heck of a daddy...
Ragsy 19 Aug 2010 5:27 PM
The Secretariat movie opens on October 8.
Greg J. 19 Aug 2010 6:20 PM
Greg, I cannot wait for the Secretariat movie.
Okay, here is what I do when I place a bet.  Mine that Bird, longshot in the 2009 Kentucky Derby.  He was racing in the mountains, a lot of oxygen in his lungs.  I was impressed by the fact that Calvin Borel was aboard because we all know that Churchill is where Calvin feels the most comfortable.  So I bet on Mine That Bird.  But I did look at his pedigree first.  My friends tell me that I was the only person in the world that bet on him.
Then, in the Preakness 2009, I bet on Rachael,  No discussion necessary.
I then bet on Summer Bird in the Belmont, and I must say that I did so based soley on his pedigree.  Summer Bird has the most beautiful pedigree that I have seen in a very long time, Secretariat comes to mind.
Kentucky Derby 2010, I bet on Super Saver based to a great extent on his pedigree, no doubt about it a slop loving horse, but the fact that Borel was aboard clinched the deal.
I did not bet in the Preakness, because I didn't think that Super Saver could handle the turns, so I didn't know what to do.
In the Belmont, 2010 I bet on Fly Down, wonderful pedigree, but he came in 2nd.
So I do look at more than pedigree, but it is the first thing that I look at.
Pedigree, trainer, jockey, luck, in that order.
I so love Barbaro's brothers.  Maybe we should all get together and buy a racehorse.  His name "Resurrection".
Mary 19 Aug 2010 10:42 PM
Is there really a "Resurrection"? I do know of one,  but it doesnt have to do with horses....
buy a racehorse, yep, that sounds nice...I too love the marvelous Brothers of Barbaro!
Ragsy 20 Aug 2010 12:53 PM
Thanks GregJ,
Marked my calendar so I wont miss it...
Ragsy 20 Aug 2010 12:54 PM
Ok, what is General Quarters chances at the Arlington Millions Saturday?  1,2,3rd perhaps? lost on his last race,but he usually is in the mix.  Not sure how to bet with Geo Ponte(sp) leading the pack..
Ragsy 20 Aug 2010 1:01 PM
Arlington Million: General Quarter/Gio Ponti/Just as Well.  GQ is loving the turf, throw out his last race.
Deby 20 Aug 2010 3:00 PM
Horsefirst, the x-factor is a gene.
Also I apoligize, I didn't mean to say that you don't know what you are talking about.  What I meant to say is that you and I disagree, which is good for me, because although I rarely bet, the way in which I read a horse's pedigree puts me in the winner's circle often.
There are four horses (likely double copy mares) that I look for in a pedigree, and they must be placed in such pedigree in an exact way. Call me crazy, but it seems to be working.  
Mary 21 Aug 2010 2:24 PM
There is no "x-factor" gene.
There is a lot of research into the genetics of speed in horses;  however, the supposed X-factor isn't being researched or discussed by the scientific community, just by bloggers who don't own or breed racehorses.
I'm glad you are successful betting based on the superstitious placement of four mares in a pedigree.  I've looked at a lot of pedigrees in my life and I would be very surprised to find four mares close up that were common to any pedigrees.  A dam has a 50% genetic influence of a foal.  A grand dam has a 25% influence.  A great grand dam (3rd dam) has a 12.5% influence.  You get the drift.
To be honest, I would suspect that Secretariat's extremely enlarged heart on autopsy was a function of heart disease rather than some gift for a superior heart.  There just seems to be too much difference between a normal heart and Secretariat's.  Autopsy results on a 19 or 20 year old extremely overweight horse's heart that died as a result of a losing battle with laminitis is not the same had the autopsy been done on that same horse's heart when he was in his prime at 3.
JAJ 21 Aug 2010 4:12 PM
"Horsefirst, the x-factor is a gene."
Mary, please show me the reference, scientific, as in a bona-fide gene study, that identifies the "x-factor" gene.  It will have been identified, it's place found, etc.
I'm glad your system works for you.  But I want to know who found the gene and in what study.  If it's been legitimately identified, there will be a peer-reviewed paper on it.
Horsefirst 21 Aug 2010 6:15 PM
Lentenor running on Tuesday - Delaware Park, Race 8, 7-1/2 f on turf. Jose Valdivia on him.
Marigold 21 Aug 2010 6:23 PM
I just won the Arlington million with Debussy.  Wow, he came out of nowhere; a very nice rail trip.  I haven't bet on a race in a while, so this feels really good.
Mary 21 Aug 2010 6:52 PM
I am not well educated in Race Horsing Terms, but I received a message today from my stable saying Lentenor is going to run Aug. 24th in a "Claiming Race", I thought that these races were where the horses could be "Claimed" at the price noted which is $40,000. SOMEONE Please tell me I am WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Linda/Maryland 21 Aug 2010 11:28 PM
I no soon write than see that our boy Lentenor is racing at Delaware Park on 8/24 Race 8 going off at 4:24P.  It's an allowance on turf but think he will need it to help get back in shape from not racing for so long.  GO LENTENOR.  Will be watching with bells on.  Don't know if Greg will be able to go or not since it is a work day, but hopefully he can to get the blow by blow description of the race.
lobieb 22 Aug 2010 8:26 AM
You look at Swale's examination on death at 3 years old, found nothing wrong except he had a heart attack and died.. What a magnificient horse..
now, we have Tuscan Evening that died following a workout bet the same happened.
too many great horses have died to young...
Mary,  I did not bet the Arlington Millions just to unsure of the horses, congrats to you....Debussy was awesome with that run..
I had a favorite that Calvin rode to victory and his name is Atta Boy Roy, ran at Okla.City track...and he will be at the Breeders Cup...
Ragsy 22 Aug 2010 11:55 AM
I do not believe they have ever identified the exact cause of Swale's death.
JAJ 22 Aug 2010 4:45 PM
Debussy, a really nice pedigree.  Honestly though, I bet on Debussy's trainer to a great extent.  His pedigree sealed the deal.
Mary 22 Aug 2010 4:54 PM
They did not give a cause of Swales death but generalized it a heart attack.  
Ragsy 22 Aug 2010 7:41 PM
JAJ, Secretariat did not have heart disease; his heart was perfect as was determined at autopsy.  He simply had laminitis.  
Okay everyone, just call me Lucky.  By the way there are two mares and two sires that I look for in a pedigree.  I realize that it is not all about pedigree, but 75% of it is.  The track, surface, and distance where a horse shows his best form is written in his pedigree.
The other 25% is rested with the trainer, whose sole job is to develop an understanding of the horse, and train him accordingly.
Mary 22 Aug 2010 9:39 PM
Your right Mary, Secretariat's organs at autopsy were normal except his heart size.  The heart itself was perfect even though it was 3 times the normal size...
this magnificient horse was put down for Laminitis at age 19.
what a sorry day that was.  
Ragsy 23 Aug 2010 11:22 AM
Ragsy, that was a sad day, Secretariat, a most magnificent horse.  Upon autopsy, Sham's heart, who as we all know was Secretariat's rival, weighed in at 18 lbs.  Secretariat's heart was not weighed, but based on the size of Sham's heart, it was estimated that Secretariat's heart weighed approx. 22 lbs.
Based on these facts, it is likely that Secretariat was able to go the distance in record time in the Belmont because his large heart pumped so much oxygen into his lungs that he probably didn't take a breath until he crossed the finish line.
JAJ, equine veterinarians have published articles on the X-factor.  I invite you to read these articles, fascinating.
Mary 23 Aug 2010 7:14 PM
By the way, Sham was out of a Princequillo mare, Sequoia.  Secretariat was out of a Princequillo mare, Somethingroyal.  Enough said.
Mary 23 Aug 2010 10:45 PM
HorseFirst and I are still waiting for the references to the scientific studies you allude to but never produce.
Repeatedly saying it is so doesn't make it so.
JAJ 23 Aug 2010 11:09 PM
Sham's story has always intreged me due to the fact, there was no blood in his heart..all his organs were normal at death.  Most likely he suffered heart arrythmias in his electrical system and died instantly.
Just think, science would solve the question today, guessing here many other people have done over the years....
Ragsy 24 Aug 2010 9:55 AM
Mary, the perfect Zenyatta dates back to Princequillo.  This little lady is royalty throughout her pedigree..I have never heard of her heart size,but it must be think people would not buy her due to her size..guess she fooled many...
Ragsy 24 Aug 2010 10:05 AM
I don't think that even today you can definitively know what causes sudden death in horses or humans.  Look at Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in babies--they really don't know why these babies die.  Diddo for Sudden Death in adults.
Sadly it does happen and you are right, it often is caused by heart arrhythmias, which I suspect is what killed Sham.
JAJ 24 Aug 2010 4:48 PM
Don't kid yourself, Zenyatta's size is a real problem for her.  Hats off to her trainer John Shirreffs for keeping her together.  He had practice with the magnificent Manistique who was another massive filly.
Big is not good in race horses.  What Shirreffs has done to keep Zenyatta in one piece is an incredible job in training.
JAJ 24 Aug 2010 5:23 PM
Yes JAJ,
Zenyatta's trainer has protected her very well.  My hats off to him for his caring of the lady..
Ragsy 25 Aug 2010 10:54 AM
On SIDS, the Mayo Clinic did a study that reasearchers are interested in,  the hearts qt syndrome, which is a subtle electrical disturbance in the heart that causes sudden,extremely rapid heart rates.  A study was done that found 1 in 10 babies that died of Sids had a genetic defect in one of the genes responsible for a long q t syndrome.  If there is a history of Sids in the family, the doctor needs to check for the presence of long qt syndrome in the infant confirmed by an ECG and genetic studies.
          QT Syndrome
A long qt syndrome is a heart rhythm disorder that can potentially cause a fast, chaotic hearbeat these rapid heartbeats can trigger a sudden fainting spell or seizures or you heart may beat erratically for so long that it can cause sudden death.
It is treatable.  Some Medications can cause it and sometime an implantable devise is placed surgically
Young Adults and Children sudden death usually occur from Cardiomyophy, Congenital Heart Disease, Myocarditis,Connective Tissue Disorder, Mitral Valve Prolapse or Conduction Disease.
JAJ , My Thesis was written on "Sudden Death in humans" and I have more information back in my mind Just not enough time to put it here nor would Bloodhorse appreciate it.
there are about 4 other catagories of possible causes but this is where they are leaning.  
Ragsy 25 Aug 2010 11:25 AM
Other than the genetic test in humans (but not horses), doesn't the animal or person have to be alive and checked on an EKG to see the abnormality?  Once the animal/person is dead from unexplained sudden death, they can't tell if it was an arrhythmia, can they?
JAJ 25 Aug 2010 1:37 PM
Your right, it is diagnostic.  After death their is no abnormality on examination at time of autopsy.  
Ragsy 25 Aug 2010 1:59 PM
Just wondering about CPR for horses, is it done? Everytime one hears about a sudden death among horses there is always someone present.
Why not use an AED, which is an Automated External Defibrilator..if, we use it on people why not horses...the technology is there, why not use it on horses and save some lives ...
arrythmias are treatable when caught in time I know if people have a sudden death episode and are defibrilated and are brought back from death why not the horse!
You should hear about the Near Death Experiences I Have Heard....
Ragsy 25 Aug 2010 5:55 PM

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