Thursday, March 17, 2011

Nicanor to race at Aqueduct this Friday, November 26

Rain or shine, it looks like we will be given a post Thanksgiving Day treat with Nicanor hitting the track on Friday. 

He is entered in the $60,000 Three Coins Up Stakes race at Aqueduct.  The race is to be run on the Aqueduct turf at 1 1/16 miles.  If the weather doesn’t cooperate (60% chance of rain with temperatures in the 40’s), it will be taken off the turf and be run on the dirt track at a distance of a mile.  The race has a field of ten with two being main track only entries.  Johnny Velazquez gets his first ride on Nicanor after riding Lentenor twice before.  He rode Lentenor in his maiden win at Gulfstream Park on January 20 and had a second place finish with him in his next race, also at Gulfstream Park on February 17.

Looking at the field, it really is evenly matched, with the exception of two or three that seem to be out- classed.  As we have come to expect, Nicanor will go straight to the front and try his hardest to keep the others from passing him.  My biggest concerns are Bangalore Gold, Boots Ahead, and Wesley.  If the race comes off the turf, it becomes increasingly more difficult for Nicanor and the others.  Alma d’Oro and Slevin are added to the field if it does come off the turf.  They would most likely become the favorites in the race if that were to happen.   One other thing, if it is taken off the turf, Johnny Velazquez is named for the Todd Pletcher colt, Alma d’Oro.  So, most likely Nicanor would lose Johnny Velazquez and a new jockey would be named to replace him.  My guess would be Jose Valdivia would then get the mount on Nicanor.

So let’s hope the race stays on the turf, Johnny Velazquez guides Nicanor to the lead, and they all come home safe, with Nicanor in the money, preferably in first!
This looks like the last race of the year for Nicanor before he heads south to Palm Meadows in Florida for the winter with his little big brother Lentenor joining him on the trip. 

Hope everyone has a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

$60,000 Three Coins Up Stakes, Aqueduct Racetrack, Race #8, 1 1/6 miles on the turf, post time 3:10

Nicanor at Belmont Park on Sept. 24

Nicanor at Delaware Park on Aug. 25.

Nicanor leaving the winner's circle at Belmont Park on Sept. 24.


Go Nicanor!
Mrglassoniongirl 24 Nov 2010 11:39 PM
Good Luck Nic!! Run fast and come home safe!!
Katherine Buckley 24 Nov 2010 11:56 PM
Bellwether 25 Nov 2010 2:36 AM
Good Luck Nicanor. Relax, stay safe and enjoy the ride at Aqueduct.
Kathy 25 Nov 2010 3:32 AM
God Bless Nicanor!
Carol 25 Nov 2010 5:49 AM
Good luck, Nicanor! I will be thinking of you!
MarginMaine 25 Nov 2010 6:16 AM
Love the photos -- he's beautiful.  Good luck, big guy!
BlueHen 25 Nov 2010 7:14 AM
Go Nic.  Win, lose or draw you are the man and much loved by all.  Safe trip to all contestants with a big hope for a win for our boy. He is getting older and is starting to put it all together so make yourself proud and run like the wind.
lobieb 25 Nov 2010 7:40 AM
Go Nicanor!! Godspeed, run fast and be safe!!!!
horsenut23 25 Nov 2010 8:12 AM
Thanks for the information on the race, Greg!  Here's hoping it stays on the turf and Nicanor gets another win.  The pictures are beautiful, as always, and I thank you for sharing.  Safe trip to Nicanor and all the horses!
txhorsefan 25 Nov 2010 8:34 AM
Go Nicanor!  Looks like he is the prerace favorite if the race stays on the turf
MJ 25 Nov 2010 9:04 AM
BEAUTIFUL pics, Greg...but of course your subject matter is extremely photogenic!!
NICANOR, run your race and do your best...but most of all BE SAFE! You are loved so much, and I am THANKFUL for your life no matter how this races unfolds...
nunecat 25 Nov 2010 9:21 AM
Hope you have a great holiday. Good luck to Nicanor tomorrow!
Mike Relva 25 Nov 2010 10:45 AM
Rolene 25 Nov 2010 10:48 AM
Good Luck Nic! Have a good trip and come home safely! We love you!
Meleah 25 Nov 2010 10:52 AM
What a nice Thanksgiving we get to have with Nicanor racing,be safe and we love you!
Tracy 25 Nov 2010 11:10 AM
Wasn't Wesley in one of Nic's early races?  I recall that name.
Speaking of which, there are new names on the board today.  Welcome to all newcomers and a very Happy Thanksgiving to all.
We love you, Nicanor.  Put everything you've learned together and use it tomorrow  and come home safe and sound!
Marigold 25 Nov 2010 11:17 AM
Hope they all come home safely.  But if Nic isn't on the board, I would be mildly surprised if he returns to the track next year.
He appears a bit past his best already and I'm sure his connections would like to see what he produces in the near future.  
Lmaris 25 Nov 2010 12:33 PM
Johnny V is already entered on Nicanor. If the Pletcher horse gets in, it would NOT be a smart move on his part to change mounts. In order for Johnny V to ride for Pletcher, Nicanor would have to scratch. Valdivia would not be a good ride for Nicanor.
Jim 25 Nov 2010 12:35 PM
Thanks for the update and photos Greg.
I was a bit surprised that they haven't dropped him back to a mile with his running style.  Hope this race stays on the turf.
Good luck Nicanor.  Safe race to all.
Horsefirst 25 Nov 2010 1:05 PM
I think Nicanor is justing getting to his prime
MJ 25 Nov 2010 1:09 PM
Love to you NICANOR, be safe,win,have fun...I will be watching you...quietly....
Ragsy 25 Nov 2010 1:32 PM
Seems to me Nicanor is in his prime time, right now, yep, I hope this fella races until he is 6....if healthy...
Ragsy 25 Nov 2010 1:37 PM
I just hope Nicanor races for as long as he enjoys doing so, and that he remains safe and sound and healthy just generally.  Same for Lentenor.  THEN Nic can retire and help produce little Nicky Knocks -- beautiful little foals who love to run on the front, also!
I don't care if Nic wins or loses -- just so long as he is enjoying what he is doing and comes home safely.  I'll love him just as much in any case.
Marigold 25 Nov 2010 1:52 PM
LOVE the close up of Nicanor's beautiful face and sweet eye.  His mother's boy!  Say what you want about Nic's racing ability, you cannot deny his great beauty.
Marigold 25 Nov 2010 1:57 PM
Good luck nicanor! I will be Black Friday shopping and then returning home to clean the barn, so unfortunately I won't be present to watch your race.
anniedixie65 25 Nov 2010 3:44 PM
Aquaduct is a nice place to     WIN NIC~!!!
"Run FAST and SAFE"
Linda/Maryland 25 Nov 2010 4:57 PM
Not sure how I feel about Johnny V being on his back, but I wish Nicanor and his connections the very best on Friday.
PS: I don't know how many people actually read the comments, but as an FYI to past and future commenters, please refrain from typing in caps. Not only is it really hard to read, but you make yourselves seem less intelligent. Thanks.
cat 25 Nov 2010 5:37 PM
This may very well be old news to some of you who are closer to the action than I am, but I understand that Johnny V took a spill when the horse he was riding, Go Go Shoot ,stumbled and went down at the 1/8 pole.  The horse seemed to be fine, but the story didn't really say much about Johnny V.  So to those of you who weren't to sure you liked him as a rider you just might get your wish and someone else might be up on Nicanor.  Anyway, whether the race be on turf or dirt, no matter who's aboard, Best of luck tomorrow, we're all rooting for you.
Zowie 25 Nov 2010 6:33 PM
I thought Johnny V. did a great job with Life at Ten.  He said before the race something wasn't quite right with her.  But he kept her safe.
Jim, I agree.  Johnny V. will keep the mount unless Nicanor is scratched.  
Mary 25 Nov 2010 7:59 PM
Just remember, that IF Jose Valdivia Jr. winds up riding Nicanor, he's already ridden him to a win (June 16 at DP)and Johnny V. rode Lentenor to a win and a 2nd.    I'd bet that if Rosie had been riding in N.Y., she'd have gotten the mount.  Ramon had aready committed to another horse in this race.
Marigold 25 Nov 2010 8:08 PM
Go Nicanor Go!!!  I will be watching.  I think JV is a good match for Nicanor.  The best early Christmas present for me would be if he wins going away.  Godspeed and stay safe.
Robin from Maryland 25 Nov 2010 8:47 PM
Ragsy 25 Nov 2010 9:35 PM
Mary, I would guess that Roberto is the most attractive of all horse's in Nicanor's pedigree..that I have seen so far...That Princequello is a highly regarded horse and quite handsome...
I found a Blueformer, a son of Dynaformer who is a gray/roan..which I found suprising..he is very handsome and around 16.1 hands or so..  
Ragsy 25 Nov 2010 9:51 PM
Congrats to Edgar Prado on Endless Circle win...Johnny V was not injured in the fall which is good...nice article on Endless Circle...he sure is a beauty...
Ragsy 25 Nov 2010 10:03 PM
good luck to nicanor and his connections. safe trip. hope he wins this time.
christy tate 25 Nov 2010 11:05 PM
Good luck and a safe trip
judy 25 Nov 2010 11:22 PM
Nicanor according to the jockeys that have ridden him, is headstrong, hard to handle, and intense. JV will bring him home.  
Marigold JV, Ramon, and Valdivia are great jockeys.  JV did a great job with Lentenor, so I'm happy that he will have the mount on Nicanor.
I saw Rosie in New Orleans today, which is where I live.  Thanksgiving dinner, and off to the races.
Mary 25 Nov 2010 11:34 PM
It's still Thanksgiving, so it seems fitting to give thanks for this truly classy blog....As well as thanks to the whole horses, connections, and supporters clan. Go Nicanor!!! Good Fortune, Good Health, God Bless!
Maxine 26 Nov 2010 12:29 AM
Good Luck Nicanor! Run like the wind big boy, but be safe! Hope you and your brothers and all you horsey family had a Happy Thanksgiving:)
Denise Babjack 26 Nov 2010 12:34 AM
Thanks :)
Hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving!  
Nicanor will be leaving Fair Hill in about three hours for his trek to Aqueduct(about a four hour drive).  I will be braving the weather and traffic and should be arriving at Aqueduct around 2:00(I hope!).  Should be an exciting race!
Greg J. 26 Nov 2010 12:37 AM
OMG Nicky is so photogenic! He should be modeling when not racing.
Good luck Friday and above all be safe.
Chris K 26 Nov 2010 12:37 AM
Greg, again thanks for the very special article you wrote about our boy Nicanor. I love it when you include pictures.
Here's hoping for a very safe trip tomorrow for you Nicanor.  Have fun and show them you can run like the wind. Your big bro and little sis will be watching from above and whispering in your ears to be safe and run fast. They will be with you in spirit.
Greg, hope you had a good Thanksgiving and didn't eat too much pumpkin pie. Please be safe on your way to the race and back but above all have fun.
Lou in TX 26 Nov 2010 1:38 AM
Thanks for the update on Nicanor.
Safe trips for all. Good looking boy!
Debbie1948 26 Nov 2010 6:14 AM
Gee, he's gorgeous!  Run like the wind!
derbyfan 26 Nov 2010 8:52 AM
Bellwether 26 Nov 2010 8:57 AM
Greg, hope you had a very Happy Thanksgiving, have a safe trip, I am so glad that we have you to provide us with beautiful pictures and
Lou in Tx, "whispering in your ears" that's so precious. You know, we have one heck of an equine Heaven.
Nicky, can't wait to see the race! Run safe handsome one!!
sandieh 26 Nov 2010 9:46 AM
Nicanor, u b so handsome!! u make the very best wallpaper.  Best of Luck and be safe  I wll be cheering you on.
NancyC 26 Nov 2010 10:17 AM
Looks like 7 horses in this race..hell yaaa, win that race Nicky.....
Scratches:  Slambino, Wesley, Boots Ahead, Alma D'Oro and Sleven
Jockey off mount, replacement Castellano Javier
Ragsy 26 Nov 2010 12:18 PM
Meant to say Johhny V off Nicanor, and Castellano Javier will ride our beautiful Nicanor...
Ragsy 26 Nov 2010 12:20 PM
But, Johnny V is riding in the stakes races at Aquaduct today...hasn't scratched any of those....yet...
Ragsy 26 Nov 2010 12:45 PM
Just hope Nicanor has gotten use to a sloppy track. But if the jockey remembers to keep him in the lead, Nic won't have to worry about collateral mud slop.
Kathy 26 Nov 2010 1:47 PM
Godspeed Nicky-Knocks.  We love you!!!
Bonnie3 26 Nov 2010 2:20 PM
TVG reports that Johnny V is off all his mounts today.  Going to get Xrays.  Back hurts after yesterday's spill.
Marigold 26 Nov 2010 2:22 PM
Good luck Nicanor. Have a safe and winning ride.
Penny in TX 26 Nov 2010 2:57 PM
3rd looks just fine....
Ragsy 26 Nov 2010 3:16 PM
Bonjour Nicanor!
I again watched you race live on TVG. I couldn't help but scream "go, go, go Nicanor" and
clapping my hands.
Great race Nicanor!
You were second for most of the race and came in third (3).
At least you are "in the money."
Keep practicing and you will win a stakes race.
Hang in there.
Where is Lentenor? No race for him?
Lots of love to you, Lentenor, Margano, the new baby, Mr. Matz, and Mr. and Mrs. Jackson.
Lise from Maine 26 Nov 2010 3:22 PM
Yay!  Our Nicanor got third.  He made it into the money this time.  I am so thankful this race came at this time as my husband passed away four days ago, and I'm trying very hard to keep busy and no matter how Nicanor did,( I haven't even got to see a replay yet).  Perhaps a bit later I'll write something a little better.
Bless all of you out there as well the Barbaro family and everyone concerned with it.
Zowie 26 Nov 2010 3:41 PM
I am so sorry about the Husband.  Please accept my condolances
MJ 26 Nov 2010 4:16 PM
Zowie: I am so sorry to hear of your loss, especially at this time of year. It sort of puts things in perspective. Glad Nic got in the money, but jock seemed to be holding him a bit tight for a bit too long. Also, what was goin on in the gate? My hiccupy connection showed the gate guy going back in front of Nic for some reason. Anyway, Nic seems safe, might do better at a mile than longer, but is definately just in his prime. These dang Dynaformers! Hope he races into 5.
diastu 26 Nov 2010 4:20 PM
I am so very sorry for the loss of your Husband, grief is really hard to deal with sometimes..stay strong, your with friends here...
my mom is 95,end stage Kidney disease and the company came and took her hospital bed,bedside commode and wheelchair because they said she had died..she was sitting up in bed when they came and removed it...whatcha think about that!!
Ragsy 26 Nov 2010 4:21 PM
Dear Zowie,
My deepest sympathy for the passing of your beloved husband.  It's always difficult when a loved one passes away but it's esp. hard when it's around the holidays. God bless you and your loved ones and comfort you during this difficult time.
Chris K 26 Nov 2010 4:23 PM
Watched the race on TVG and I didn't like what I saw.  Nic sitting down in the gate, slow start, jockey trying to rate him again and then the whip, six whacks the first time and then at least four the second time.  It's a wonder he came in 3rd.  Don't those jockeys know that our boy HAS to be in the lead, he does NOT rate and it's a NO NO with the whip.  As far as I can see there are only a few jockeys that know how to ride him and none of them were on him today.  Happy for our Nic's placement but if things had been done right he should have been second or first, just thankful he came home safe as well as the others in the field.
lobieb 26 Nov 2010 4:29 PM
This comment is for Zowie.  My deepest sympathy to you and yours for your loss, believe me I know how hard it is.  May our Nic's placing help you through the tough times.
lobieb 26 Nov 2010 4:31 PM
Zowie, I am so sorry for your loss.  Please remember you have friends here.
Just saw the replay on Bloodhorse.  I think Nicanor did well considering he was acting up in the gate and literally sat down.  I thought he wanted to drift to the rail in the stretch although he had two horses in his way.  May be it's the camera angle. Given how he ran, the "sit" does not appear to have harmed him.
Still waiting for them to shorten him up to a mile.
See a small equipment change in the device that comes down and Y's into the sides of the bit.  Don't remember what it's called but it's to keep the bit in place. Seattle Slew raced in one.  Nic's looks like it may be a bit more and waiting to see pictures.
Horsefirst 26 Nov 2010 4:35 PM
Zowie, I'm so sorry for your loss, but I understand how Nicanor's race fits your need at this time. I am not sure why the mere fact that horses like Nic exist can provide such comfort to us, but it certainly does! Is it just that these horses are so wonderful that they can effortlessly take your mind away from absolutely anything else?
"To see the wind's power, the rain's cleansing and the sun's radiant life, one need only to look at the horse."
(Author Unknown)
Kitei 26 Nov 2010 4:39 PM
SO, Ragsy, do you mean that she was in the bed when they were trying to take it??  Don't know whether to laugh or cry at the image this leaves in my mind.  Did they leave the equipment?  How is your Mom now?
Zowie -- I'm so terribly sorry about your husband.  Bless his heart...and yours.  Don't postpone your grief -- better to get it out AMAP ASAP.
Marigold 26 Nov 2010 4:52 PM
What on earth would make a horse sit down in the gate?  Who did what, to Nicanor to cause that....I saw, I thought, Nicanor rearing up or bouncing around, then sitting.... must of been that------.
Ragsy 26 Nov 2010 4:56 PM
My mom was sitting up in bed and they told her she had died 2 weeks ago and they told her they must return all equipment asap and my brother had to practically carry her to the living room and set her in a chair while they took apart the hospital bed and removed everthing.  thats insurance and medicare for you....
I can't believe it...but it happened...
Ragsy 26 Nov 2010 5:06 PM
Zowie--So very sorry to hear of your husband's passing.  I'm glad that you are able to find some joy and comfort from watching gorgeous Nicanor out there.  Horses--any horses--are just very healing creatures I think.  And you are right--a third is a third and that is great for a Stakes race.  I think he didn't have a great ride today and that compromised his chances at placing higher--but he is safe and sound and will be back to fight another day.  
HSLewis 26 Nov 2010 5:31 PM
I just wanted to say thank you everyone for your kind words.  Also I kind of forgot a bit of what I was going to write.  Anyway, I'm glad that some of you confirmed what I thought I say, a) problem in the gate, 2) jockey to to hold him back and 3) too much whip and 4) not being on his favorite surface.  Phew!  after all of that it is amazing that he got third.  Well, a new year is coming perhaps it will be better for all of us.  Also to Ragsy, Sorry to hear about your Mom.  I know that in just the last few days there have been a few instances of things that got me a bit vexed and somehow they seemed to come just when I was really really low and between instances like that and keeping up with the Brothers Barbaro I think I'm doing about as good as I can right now.  I hope these things work for you too. I almost forgot again.  Let's all hope that next year is better and there will another baby in the Barbaro family and that perhaps later in the year we may get to see all three of our boys race and win.
Zowie 26 Nov 2010 5:38 PM
Nicanor did not look happy coming the stretch his head was all over the place.But 3rd is a good solid run and he was the most handsome horse in the race(no I am not prejudice-well maybe a little).They will hopefully find a jockey that understands him and will get to see his potential on a consistent basis.Love you Nicanor and as always very proud of you!
Tracy 26 Nov 2010 6:01 PM
Zowie, you are so brave and strong to be sharing your grief on this blog and you have my utmost admiration as well as my sympathy for your loss.  It is so true that focusing on the horses, especially these horses, can help to get us through really tough times.  If our comments can help to ease your pain and see you through this tough time, I hope you'll keep coming back.  Hang in there!
Ragsy - unbelievable story about the miscommunication - your poor mom!
txhorsefan 26 Nov 2010 6:14 PM
Excuses, excuses, excuses.
Brut Al Fobio 26 Nov 2010 6:19 PM
I honestly think Nicanor was trying to break through the gate prematurely but the efforts of the jockey and the gate handler drew him up so abruptly that he fell backwards on his backside.
Ragsy, write your Congressman or Senator. That episode should never have happened.  I had an outrageous Social Security matter come up and I wrote to my senator ("Di Fi") and she resolved it for me.  Your experience with your mother and Medicare was so outrageous -- your Senator should have a field day resolving it for you.
Marigold 26 Nov 2010 6:23 PM
Zowie, I am really sorry to hear your sad news.
Marigold, that is exactly what happened--Nicanor tried to break through the gate and got stopped and ended slipping onto his bum.  I was surprised they didn't back him out and check on him.  He misjudged the start--it happens a lot.  He still got away in really good order.
Mary, I couldn't disagree with you more about how much "care" Johny V took of Life at Ten.  Johny V took care of Johny V by not getting Pletcher mad at him and taking him off Pletcher's horses.  He was obligated to bring it to the attention of the commission vet.  He didn't, probably because he would have lost mounts from Pletcher.  Everyone messed up badly--Johny V, Pletcher AND the stewards.  The betting public was royally screwed and Life at Ten was put in a great deal of danger.  If I had been the owner, I would be removing all my horses from Pletcher's care.  It is obvious he will risk a horse in order to get to that big race.  Based on the owner's letter, they weren't prepared to take that risk.
JAJ 26 Nov 2010 7:25 PM
Watch the race, peeps.
Nicanor is a plodder.
One speed.
Gonna be an unplaced graded 5YO.
Brut Al Fobio 26 Nov 2010 7:30 PM
Zowie, so sorry to hear about the loss of your husband.May God bless you and your family and hold you in His ever loving arms. And this blog and reading about Barbaro's family is certainly an inspiration, it has been for me, ever since I lost my dear cousin to a horse riding accident a few years ago.
Ragsy, sorry to hear about what happened with your mother. Whoever picked up the bed should have immediately contacted the responsible persons to let them know this was an error. I have been in the medical field 30 years now and find this shocking. I hope that both you and your Mom are doing fine.
Sweet Nicky! Glad to see you home safe, LOVE YOU!
I remember reading, hearing that when Nicky started racing, he did not like the whip. Was the whip used inside the gate?
sandieh 26 Nov 2010 7:32 PM
I don't know where to put this exactly, but Bloodhorse really needs to do something about the page refreshing by itself while you are trying to watch a race. I was really into the Clark Handicap and the stupid page refreshed.
LyndaP31 26 Nov 2010 7:36 PM
Zowie, I am so very sorry for your loss. I am glad that Nicanor brought you pleasant feelings.
He is a beautiful horse and I wish that they would find a jockey that would let him run "his" race. If they are being told to hold him back, I can't imagine why.
Linda/Maryland 26 Nov 2010 7:53 PM
I just went back and looked at the race again!! WHAT did they do to Nicanor to make him go down on his butt? I can't imagine this happening. Shouldn't someone figure this out?
It should not have happened.
Linda/Maryland 26 Nov 2010 7:58 PM
Marigold, Sandieh
My niece is an attorney and she has all under control and the company came back a couple of hours ago and replaced all equipment after a lawsuit was filed today.
Sweet beautiful Nicky, what a day you have had...
Ragsy 26 Nov 2010 8:23 PM
No one did anything to Nicanor- he did it to himself.  I'd like to think he learned a lesson because self-taught is the best way or making it seem like that.  But he's stubborn so I have my doubts.
I would not get on any jockey's case without knowing what they have been told to do.  I do not agree that just letting Nicanor do his thing is good for him or the others in the field.  You have to have adequate control of the horse, even if he's going to the front.  If the horse isn't on the inside and cuts over, it can cause a bad spill.  Ditto if the horse is on the inside, breaks slower, and tries to bull his way to the front.
Everything I see tells me they are still trying to find a way to get Nicanor to listen when he's racing.  I think his need to be on the front and speeding is why he needs to be cut back in distance.  However, running style aside, you MUST have control of the horse in the race.  It's far better for Nicanor to learn that because he'll race a lot longer and better if he does.
Horsefirst 26 Nov 2010 8:49 PM
Linda/Maryland, I agree.  He should immediately have been  scratched.  
I don't know what the handler and the jockey did to him, but to see a horse go down like that in the starting gate and not make sure that he is okay by taking him out of the gate and checking him out, is no doubt about it unconscionable.
Shame on everyone involved for not taking care of Nicanor. This could have been a tragedy.
Mary 26 Nov 2010 8:57 PM
Yes, Mary that is exactly what I meant. No one even looked at him. I was shocked. He could have been hurt. I was not blaming anyone. I just thought he should have been looked at before he was allowed to race.
Linda/Maryland 26 Nov 2010 9:12 PM
Horsefirst, did you see what happened in the gate.  Horrible, he should have been scratched.  I can't wrap my mind around why he was not scratched or at least taken out of the gate when he went down to make sure that he was okay.
Some horses cannot be rated, and Nicanor is one of them.
The way Nicanor was treated today is unconscionable.  After what he went through, I have come to the conclusion that Nicanor is a great horse.  Barbaro would have lost this race.    
Mary 26 Nov 2010 9:13 PM
Ramon said that Nicanor is "intense", so in my mind Ramon hit the nail on the head, he has an innate understanding of Nicanor. Instant respect.  
Mary 26 Nov 2010 9:20 PM
I'm so sorry to hear about your husband, my condolences to you and your family.
horsenut23 26 Nov 2010 9:20 PM
JAJ, I agree with you about Pletcher, but JV said before the race on national TV that there was something wrong with Life at Ten.  
JV knows Pletcher, so he made the decision to let her race, but JV did take care of her.  He simply let her gallop around the track.
I am not a Pletcher fan at all.  JV is a great jockey, so I don't think that he is solely dependent upon Pletcher for financial support.
Like Nicanor today, Life at Ten should have been scratched. Bad judgment calls on both. Luckily they both are okay.
Mary 26 Nov 2010 9:41 PM
Sorry to hear about your husband Zowie. My condolences.
Nicanor, considering the turf, considering landing on your butt in the gate; which I am sure was embarassing for you, (I know it would embarass me), considering being rated which you detest, considering the horses, which apparently are pretty doggone good and considering a jockey that thinks using the crop is going to make "YOU" go faster; HAH crazy guy, third place isn't bad at all.
I have watched all of Nicanor's races and crops may not hurt him, but using them certainly doesn't appear to make him go faster. It appears to have the opposite effect on him.
Congrats Nicanor!! Enjoy the warm weather down in Florida.
Kathy 26 Nov 2010 9:56 PM
Mary, I understand your point, but I respectfully disagree.
Something was terribly wrong with the filly.  Letting her break from the gate was not taking care of her.
Pletcher talked about a reaction to Lasix.  I know exactly what he is talking about, having had something like that happen to one of my horses during a breeze--he was pulled up and we had a cardiologist come to the track with an EKG machine to check the horse out before we did anything more with him.  We missed the stake race he was being pointed to.  That is taking care of a horse.  Allowing a horse that is really off to break from the gate is not taking care of the horse.  If he even suspected that, he OWED it to the horse, the owners and the bettors to contact the stewards himself.
What would have happened if it was a reaction to Lasix and the filly had raced?  I would guess a heart attack would be a very strong possibility.  (Lasix strips fluid from a horse--along with gallons of fluid goes a lot of electrolytes.  Electrolyte imbalances have been implicated in arrhythmias, some fatal.)
What if it was an injury?  Breaking from the gate, even just letting the horse fall out of the gate is pretty hard on a horse--it is not without risk.
It turns out she was ill--and galloping around a racetrack is a very bad thing to do when the horse is sick.  Depending on the virus, it can settle into the heart and do permanent heart damage.
No, JV did not take care of the filly.
Certainly, JV will continue to make a decent living riding top horses without Pletcher, but few trainers have as many top horses as Pletcher has.  JV did not want to tick of Pletcher.  I'll concede that JV was caught between a rock and a hard place and was in a no-win situation.
I once had a trainer scratch a horse of mine just before walking over to the paddock.  The horse had somehow gotten a very small scratch/cut on her leg.  She was the favorite in an allowance race.  The commission vet agreed there was no compelling reason to scratch her (small superficial cut), but let the trainer scratch out of the race if he wanted.  The trainer decided he didn't want to take any chance with the filly. I was not happy he scratched her but I did respect him for doing it.
JAJ 26 Nov 2010 10:21 PM
I interpret what I see a bit differently than you do.
Jockeys use whips to keep a horse going when they might, given the choice, slow down.  You don't know how much using the whip actually keeps Nicanor going.  He might have ended up at the back of the field if his rider had simply hand ridden him across the finish line.  I don't know either.
My gut feeling is that Nicanor is giving his all and the whip has little to no affect on the outcome.
Jockeys are obligated to do everything, and appear to do everything, they can to win the race.  If they appear to not be riding as hard as possible, they will be called in front of the stewards and asked to explain themselves.  They might even be suspended or worse for not riding to win.
A horse that doesn't like a whip usually shows it in a pretty obvious way.  They may swish their tail, or sulk.  Nicanor doesn't do any of that and since the jockeys all use a whip on him, it would appear that Matz doesn't see a problem, either.
I think what everyone is seeing is a horse that is trying his best, but is losing the race.  I don't know if the whip makes him try harder or not, but it certainly isn't making him go any slower.
JAJ 26 Nov 2010 10:30 PM
JAJ, did you witness what happened to Nicanor in the gate?  Did you watch the race? Everything you said is irrelevant, Nicanor should have been scratched.
Mary 26 Nov 2010 11:08 PM
JAJ, I get it.  You are right, Life At Ten should have been scratched.  JV and Pletcher did not have her best interest at heart.
Mary 26 Nov 2010 11:16 PM
I will make this brief since I just got home from fighting the traffic in New York and on the George Washington bridge, I am tired! I will have more tomorrow, but, a few thoughts on todays race:
1.Nicanor came out of the race in fine order, like he hadn't even raced.
2.Nicanor should NOT have been scratched from the incident in the gate.  It really was no big deal and had no effect during his racee.
3.Considering how the race unfolded, I will take a third place finish.
4.MEMO to ALL jockeys that ride Nicanor in the future, listen to your instructions and let him take the lead, you will not get a maximum performance from Nicanor if this doesn't happen.
If he runs HIS race in the lead and then loses, I am fine with that. When races are run like today's was, it is just plain frustrating. He wants the lead from the get go, while I know this isn't usually the best way to run a turf race at over a mile, it is the only way Nicanor will perform at his best.
Overall, it was great meeting up with everyone and Nicanor looked great and did himself proud, bravo!
Greg J. 27 Nov 2010 12:15 AM
with what happened to Barbaro at the Preakness in 2006 (springing prematurely from the gate) I am livid that more care wasn't taken for Nicanor after his gate incident. the Assistant Starter and the jockey restrained him and caused him to fall back on his butt, but he might have been hurt and no one checked to make sure he wasn't hurt.  I find that inexcusable and alarming.  His jockey fought with him the entire race and it must have been exhausting for Nicanor and discouraging.  His resilience and willingness to come back and keep trying attest to his character and spirit.  I adore this horse and will commit mayhem if  something bad happens to him.
Marigold 27 Nov 2010 1:07 AM sorry to hear about your husband. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. Please know all of us here on the web site will be thinking about you and yours during this Chtristmas season. So glad Nicanor and all the brothers give you a little bit of joy at this time.
I was so hoping Nic could run his race today.  I was worried sick after the incident in the gate. So glad he came out of this race unharmed. I'll certainly take 3rd after all he went thru to get to the finish line.
Greg you take care and get some rest. With you having been sick this trip must have taken a lot out of you. Please take care and only write when you feel better. We can all wait.
Hope every one had a very nice Thanksgiving and didn't get stompted on if you braved Black Friday.
Lou in TX 27 Nov 2010 2:13 AM
Yes, I did see what happened at the gate and, yes, I did watch the race.  Why do you think Nicanor should have been scratched at the gate?  There was obviously nothing wrong with him.  I agree and have stated earlier that he should have been pulled out and looked over by the starting vet.  If he had been, he would have been checked over, reloaded and the race started.  He wasn't and no harm done.  Those sorts of decisions happen all the time, you just aren't used to seeing them.
Marigold, horses doing stupid things in the gate is pretty common--that's why it is the most dangerous place to be in a race.  Usually you don't get such a clear view of it.  Nicanor was eager to break and tried to break before the starter hit the button.  That happens a lot and in itself is no big deal (I repeat, he really should have been unloaded and checked).
Nicanor's trying to break through the gate--and I'm not even sure he did since he was stopped pretty easily and instead ended up in a tangle and slipped--has absolutely nothing to do with Barbaro's Preakness incident.  No extra care will be taken by the gate crew or the rider because of what happened to Barbaro.  They are completely separate events.
Greg, your point #4 about allowing Nicanor loose on the lead--did Matz tell you that was his instructions to the rider or is this your own opinion?  I have to agree the ride left a lot to be desired unless he was specifically instructed to rate him.
JAJ 27 Nov 2010 5:22 AM
Greg:  After closely looking at your pics I see Nic was not wearing his figure 8 and had something else on this time with the big coin like thing on the side of his mouth.  Any idea as to what it was.
lobieb 27 Nov 2010 9:04 AM
Zowie, my sincere sympathy ♥.
Your reality is a reminder to us all to be kind to each other and all the horses, etc because this is a grand game that all get to play.
Rachel 27 Nov 2010 9:06 AM
Yay! Nicanor got 3rd! :D
Mrglassoniongirl 27 Nov 2010 9:17 AM
Life At Ten's life was  jeopardized because of pletcher and JV no doubt about it...the whole situation sucks...
GregJ thanks for your observations of Nicanor which are greatly appreciated.
Ragsy 27 Nov 2010 9:51 AM
I had to do some looking to figure out what Nic's new bridle accessory is called.  The only other horse I remember seeing that on is Seattle Slew--I'm sure there are many that use it though.  It is called an Australian noseband.  It's primary use is on horses that are strong pullers (not Nicanor??!!!) and horses that get their tongue over the bit.  He did not wear his figure 8 noseband--that design was also to stop him from opening his mouth and evading the bit--a strong puller could do this also.  So it was just another piece of equipment designed to help him--it was referred to as gentle and effective in what I was reading.  It is primarily a y-shape (the round donuts along the bit keep the bit from sliding through his mouth and the "stem" goes up and attaches to the top of the bridle.  
HSLewis 27 Nov 2010 10:37 AM
Zowie, I am so sorry for your loss. Just know we are thinking of you. Like you this blog means a lot to me, it helps to have somewhere to go and talk to friends. My brother nearly died July 1st, spent 2 months in ICU and the day before Thanksgiving got released from the hospital to a skilled nursing unit. It has been quite stressfull in addition to taking care of his house and bills.
Ragsy, so sorry that happened to your Mom. I work in that business and once it was verified she was alive, they should have never taken her equipment. On the back of her Medicare card call the number listed for families and call the social security office because this could affect her checks. This does happen occassionally. Find another supplier also, one with heart.
I too noticed Nicanor seemed upset in the gate. To me it seems if he does not take the lead, he tends to stay in the same position. Anyway he is one handsome horse, looks so good running.
Penny in TX 27 Nov 2010 11:31 AM
Zowie, my condolences and prayers.  My brother-in-law was just buried on Wednesday and I know how tough it is for a death to occur at a holiday time.
Let's stop fighting with Nicanor and let him take the lead.  Just glad he's safe and still running.  Should we give Edgar Prado another try?
Jackie in Ohio 27 Nov 2010 12:20 PM
Nicanor seems to have the same running style as Presious Passion. I wonder if it took jockeys a long time to figure out PP wanted to run on the lead and nowhere else.
CV 27 Nov 2010 1:04 PM
The noseband is used to keep the bit up.  It may be used to prevent things like entrapped epiglottis and that sort of trouble.  It is made of rubber.  I noticed he didn't wear his shadow roll.
JAJ 27 Nov 2010 1:12 PM
JAJ - It is not Greg's opinion on the instructions. Those are the facts. Until such time that Nic changes his running style, the orders are to let him get up front and then rate if possible.
ekdeutsch 27 Nov 2010 1:21 PM
I must agree with you, people will have a greater part of the nation against them if they hurt one of the Brothers....
Could not believe that "Iam a Wild and Crazy Kinda Guy" just ran at Caulder and came in last again...wonder when Bill Kaplin will give up and let him retire..before he gets hurt....
Ragsy 27 Nov 2010 2:25 PM
Greg I believe I have been remiss in thanking you for all the info you give us on the Brothers Barbaro and especially for the lovely pictures of them.  Especially now, your story was even more like gold.  I know things will be pretty quiet for a while, but am eagerly awaiting the new year, the new racing season and the new colt/filly.
Zowie 27 Nov 2010 2:52 PM
JAJ:  Lentenor is the one that still wears the shadow roll.  To be honest did Nic wear one, can't remember that is what happens when you get old.
lobieb 27 Nov 2010 3:54 PM
Greg, what happened to Nicanor in the gate was "no big deal".  With all due respect, I must pose the following question to you: Why would you say something like that?  It was a big deal.
Not checking the horse for injury is IMO unconscionable.  Sometimes, people who live and breathe horses, I suppose become accustomed to a horse going down in the gate.  I will never get used to seeing something like that, horrifying.
I just can't wrap my mind around the fact that Nicanor was not taken out of the gate.  Not doing so showed complete disregard for this beautiful horse's safety and well-being.  
Mary 27 Nov 2010 4:26 PM
Carol, waay back up the list of posts, are you the adorable lady from the "I love you Lentenor video" of last year?  If so, I heard the gang met you yesterday and welcome to the fold!  We've been wondering who you were and have accused one of our other members of being you.  LOVED that video!
Marigold 27 Nov 2010 4:31 PM
Mary, I agree with you!  He should have been checked.  Fortunately, for all concerned, he was fine (it appears) but there must have been some reason for that to have happened.  Nic had been uncharacteristically and exceptionally calm while being saddled -- usually he's a little fractious.  What changed? Why?
Marigold 27 Nov 2010 7:19 PM
Oh goody, folks "Brut Al Fabio" is here again!  The most ridiculous pseudonym cloaks the most obnoxious writer on the blog. (BET he's really 2time TVPlayer in disguise!)  What is your purpose for coming here - to stir things up??  Fabio - Ciao.  Get it?
Marigold 27 Nov 2010 7:41 PM
Watched an entire gate full of horses unloaded and reloaded today -- then they went on to race.  Why was Nicanor not taken out and checked?  The very bare minimum of what should have been done, was not done.  One horse. THey'd already saved time by not having to load 5 of the horses who'd scratched.  Inexcusable.
Cal Gal 27 Nov 2010 7:45 PM
And I thought reading through the comments on a Zenyatta article were frustrating.  It really is a miracle you can find your keyboards under all the cats.  Bravo!
emeraldway 27 Nov 2010 8:00 PM
No, Nicanor never wore a shadow roll.
Mary 27 Nov 2010 8:30 PM
Does anyone have a video link to the race?  I would love to see it.  Thank you!
Dawn 27 Nov 2010 9:15 PM
Can you say JERK?
Mike Relva 27 Nov 2010 9:49 PM
I looked up the meaning of FOBIO. And all I can say is that my parents said never to pick on easy targets. And trust me when I say, all of you should follow suit.
Kathy 27 Nov 2010 11:20 PM
Hats off to Greg J., this isn't ABR. I can say my piece.
5 racing years and not a single graded placing.
Congrats to Matz.  
Brut Al Fobio 28 Nov 2010 12:32 AM
Rolene 28 Nov 2010 1:37 AM
First, it still confuses me why people would come to a blog that is intended for fans of Barbaro's family and write nothing but negative comments? To each their own, I guess (BTW, it is "peace" not "piece").
Second, technically, you are wrong in your facts.  You say, the brothers have been racing "5 years", sorry, try less then 34 months.  Less then three years is not "5 years".
Lentenor has been on the track less then one year since his debut(10/31/09-10/16/10), while Nicanor has been on the track less then 22 months(01/31/09-11/26/10).  Those numbers also include a break of 10 months for Nicanor and a break of 5 months for Lentenor.
Lastly, while you are correct that neither has had a "single graded placing".  That list only includes three races though, with Lentenor hitting the board in the Grade I Florida Derby.  Nicanor has hit the board in three out of five stakes races.  It is called patience "Brut",  something you obviously don't possess.
You and others can continue to write negative comments, that is your perogative.  Why?  Starved for attention?  Looking to incite a reaction?  Whatever the reason, it still makes no sense to me at all, lol.
Greg J. 28 Nov 2010 2:11 AM
You stated that you can "say your piece", I can certainly say mine and  you don't have a clue what class is,knucklehead! You should go somewhere!
Mike Relva 28 Nov 2010 3:03 AM
1) It is my piece.
2) 5 was intentional.  It would force another to acknowledge 4 racing years (Nic 3 and 4yo, Len 2 and 3yo) w/o a graded placing.
$150,000 a pop.
Can't find a jockey.
Can't find a venue.
Can't find a surface.
Can't find a race.
They are the Chicago Cubs of racing.
Likeable losers.
Who could possibly argue?
Brut Al Fobio 28 Nov 2010 3:07 AM
Greg J,
In racing terms, Lentenor and Nicanor have raced a total of four years (Lentenor at 2 and 3, and Nicanor at 3 and 4).  Any start in a year is considered a year of racing--it is just how it is done.  When I look at the race record of a stallion that had one start in December of his 2-year old year and one start in January at three, it says he raced for two years, not two months.
My understanding is that Nicanor's 3rd place was the first placing in a stakes of the brothers.
Being 4th or 5th is not hitting the board.  A fourth-place finish is an unplaced finish.  There is some purse for 4th and 5th (usually 11% and 6% respectively), but they are still unplaced.
JAJ 28 Nov 2010 3:15 AM
Bravo Greg couldnt have said it better!
Gehana 28 Nov 2010 8:37 AM
All due respect, the term "hitting the board" technically means the horses whose numbers appear on the tote board in order from first to fourth place, that is a fact.  "In the money" and "hitting the board" are not the same term, one is finishing in the top three, the other is finishing in the top four.
In Nicanor's case, he has "hit the board" in the Three Coins Up Stakes(3rd), Labeeb Stakes(4th), and the Sussex Stakes(3rd).
Also, when it comes to the age and racing experience of a horse, I don't take the liberties that the horse racing world does, that is just me.  If a colt has one or two starts at the end of the year, I don't count that as a whole year, it makes no sense.  To me, a horse that has twelve starts in a calender year compared to one that has two at the end of a year cannot both be considered to have the same experience.  In this aspect, I go by the calender.  Technically, you are right going by the liberities taken by the racing industry, factually, I believe I am right.
Greg J. 28 Nov 2010 9:30 AM
Brut AL Fobio:-------are you sure you are not Draynay under an assumed name.  You sure sound a lot like him.  And we followers of the Brothers take what you say with a grain of salt but to each his own with his or her opinion, so if you plan to disrupt this forum you have another thought coming with most of us. People follow certain horses whether winners or losers, that is their choice and we follow the Brothers, that is our choice.  
lobieb 28 Nov 2010 9:49 AM
Truth is, it is amazing to me that Nicanor managed to come in 3rd after being so hard held.  It leads me to believe that if he had not been rated, this would have been a very easy win for him.
Mary 28 Nov 2010 10:17 AM
You would think that some of these track workers would be fired.   Lets see if we have it right, the country is run by a bunch of crooks and every horse race track is run by a bunch of crooks.      What are racing fans crying about , the people who run the race tracks dot not care what the betting public thinks.    New York horse racing is like the train business a big money loser for taxpayers.   Close all the horse race tracks.
JOE 28 Nov 2010 10:20 AM
Congratulations to our Nicanor.  He ran a great race and did his best.  Most important is that he finished safely inspite the fact that he fell on his gluteus maximus in the starting gate.
To all the naysayers who come to this blog to stir things up for us, we, the FOB's come to this blog to celebrate Barbaro's legacy and to cheer his brothers on as they race.  It's not about winning or losing.  Of course we want Nicanor and Lentenor to win (who doesn't want their horse to win), but whether they win or lose they are loved unconditionally.
Chris K 28 Nov 2010 10:37 AM
Ouch, wake up on the wrong side of the bed?  Take a deep breath and relax, "close ALL the tracks", aren't we being a little harsh this morning?
Greg J. 28 Nov 2010 10:51 AM
JAJ, Barbaro and Lentenor wore the shadow roll when they raced.  Nic never has when racing.  
Greg, seems to me the Racing Industry has some arbitrary and not entirely understandable rules, which we've gotten into here in heavy debate: when a horse is a half to another horse, why everyone turns a year older on January 1st, no matter when their actual birthday is. It is an industry which defies logic sometimes and tends to shoot itself in the foot in the process.JMO
2xTVplayer of the year, Fabio or Brut, Draynay, Jon, et al --  you are not constructive contributors to this board.  We are here to celebrate the "Brothers of Barbaro" and you are here to tear them, and us, down.  WHY?  
Marigold 28 Nov 2010 11:51 AM
This BLOG is for:
Friends of Barbaro and the Brothers. If you are not a friend, please go somewhere else and blow off your steam. We really do not care about your opinions. We are here to follow the Barbaro Family. What are you here for ???
Makes no sense to me.
Linda/Maryland 28 Nov 2010 12:12 PM
Hey, Fubio or Brat, whoever you are pretending to be today.  Might you not also, really be, Laser Rob???
Marigold 28 Nov 2010 12:39 PM
I welcome constructive criticism, fair enough, BUT when a comment is written with hatred or taking sarcasm to the extreme, SORRY, I have that right NOT to post it.  I don't see the point or how it contibutes to this blog.  
In the four months that I have been moderating "Tracking Barbaro's Brothers", with over 1,800 comments, thankfully, I have only felt the need to not post about 15 comments.
Thanks to everyone (well, most of you).
Greg J. 28 Nov 2010 12:47 PM
Bravo Greg. I say we ignore the negative post so we do not give them the podium they so desire.
Penny in TX 28 Nov 2010 12:48 PM
Since when did a $150K stud fee guarantee a graded stakes placing?  What did I miss?
If you think about it logically you see that these are two Dynaformer colts, slow to mature who have been given time to do that.  Clearly the decisions that MM has been making regarding their extended layoffs reflects the fact that the owners are in no need or hurry to rush them off to the breeding shed.  They are being handled patiently and with the utmost care and concern regarding their well being--mentally and physically--a good lesson for other trainers.  Nicanor has won over $100K and Lentenor is close.  That is pretty impressive given the odds and both have shown promise and ability to move well beyond those numbers.  Would another trainer do it differently with them?  Perhaps...would it be better...or worse?  Who knows and who cares.  The reality is they are in good caring hands top to bottom in MM's barn and they are lucky because of that.  There isn't any horse running at their level that has one jockey always riding them--you do the best you can with the situation.  They are a picture on the track, they are loved and well-cared for and they are being listened to and worked with to bring out the best of their abilities whatever that may be.  MM doesn't deserved to be bashed.
HSLewis 28 Nov 2010 12:48 PM
Bravo HS Lewis!  the critics who surface on this board have such low opinions of these horses and their connections -- what, exactly, would you do differently?  Never mind, don't really want to hear it.  Laser Rob, and the rest of your cast of thousands, knock it off or go away.
Marigold 28 Nov 2010 1:37 PM
As an owner, "in the money" means placing first through fifth.  First through third are placings.  I defer to you about what "on the board means."
As a breeder and owner, fourth in a stakes race means nothing other than the purse money earned.  It doesn't appear anywhere on the mare's catalog page which is where it counts.  In other words, fourth in a stakes race doesn't get any mention in the horse's "resume" or his mother's.
Greg, I asked before about your comments about the jockey following instructions.  Do you know for a fact what instructions he gave the rider?  I'm just curious.  I was less than thrilled with Nicanor's last ride.
Marigold, I disagree with your comments that the racing industry has arbitrary and unintelligible rules about things.  The terminology is standardized within the industry so everyone (within the industry) has a clear understanding of what is being said.  Once you get the hang of it, it becomes less confusing.
HSLewis, I'm sorry if I am a bit more of a realist than the rest of the group here, but your comments about the owners being in no hurry to rush them off to the breeding shed don't make a lot of sense to me, not in the current state of affairs that the breeding industry finds itself in.
These two colts, much as I think it is great that they have such a loyal fan base, are not good stallion prospects in today's market.  They have some talent but have not shown anything close to brilliance. Their only claim to fame is that they are full brothers to a pretty darn nice horse who broke down after very few starts (and half to other moderate stakes winner or winners).  Dynaformer is not known as a sire producer.  The breeding industry is moving away from unproven stallions to proven stallions.  The stallions business is contracting.  It is not a good time to be trying to get a freshman stallion off the ground.  I can't see anyone being interested in investing in them as stallion prospects.  I don't say that to be mean or denigrate the two brothers--it is just how I see the market right now.
JAJ 28 Nov 2010 2:37 PM
Hope your holiday went well. Contacted Hollywood Park yesterday and was told Lanes End will attempt to do something so fans can see Zenyatta. That's the rumor as you probably know that already. Hope your holiday was a good one! I agreew/ you regarding certain individuals that only post here to spew hate.
Mike Relva 28 Nov 2010 2:39 PM
Yes I am mad when I had Pavlov's Dog yesterday to win and the jockey takes him to the front and then backs off at 71/1 and then comes back on at the end and almost wins, what in the heck was that, ya another 20 feet,  ya I am mad out $8,000.00 plus dollars.
JOE 28 Nov 2010 3:43 PM
OMG, it's the resurrection of LaserRob...with a little luck, he'll be gone soon (he's worn out his welcome everywhere else he posts)!
dunebird 28 Nov 2010 4:04 PM
hooray for nicky... we are all so
pleased to see him "in the $$$"
since he is hard headed about how
he races put him in shorter races
and turn him loose... now for
lenny.... wasn't he scheduled to
run on sat... i haven't seen any
mention of it or anything else
concerning him... what's up?
nmh 28 Nov 2010 6:13 PM
Marigold said:
"Greg, seems to me the Racing Industry has some arbitrary and not entirely understandable rules, which we've gotten into here in heavy debate: when a horse is a half to another horse, why everyone turns a year older on January 1st, no matter when their actual birthday is. It is an industry which defies logic sometimes and tends to shoot itself in the foot in the process.JMO"
Marigold, in an industry where there can be hundreds of horses with the same sire, it may seem illogical, but the significance of the mare reigns supreme in the designation of whether a horse is a half-brother or sister- or not.  In this case, in order to simplify and perhaps in a hats off to the importance of the mare, the mother is the prime for relationships.  In pedigree research, you of course are going to pay close attention to how many times a sire and his decsendents appear. But, a mare a couple times is unusual.  So think of it as an homage to the importance of the mare. For in the brother/sister thing, the stronger relationship is who's your mama.
(It does not mean anyone cares any less)
As for every horses birthday for official purposes as January 1, that's because it would be prohibitive to keep track of who is eligible when to race or to show.  For simplification and to keep things from getting too confused, breed organizations do that.  Now, in reality, you'll note that the people who buy these horses and/or race them will often refer to them as an early foal or late.  I believe Lookin At Lucky was called a late foal and the importance of that was how he ran even so.  At that young age, a few months can make a difference.  So people do pay attention to the horses real age.  But it would be a nightmare to administer all the dates as to when a horse could run in a three year old race, for example.  It is why in the breeding industry mares are put under lights so they will cycle earlier in the year to be bred earlier for the earliest foal possible, especially in the racing industry. A mare carries the foal 11 months, normally. A foal who arrives too late in the year is not one that will get to the races very soon, in fact, may get looked over because of the age deficit.  
It isn't about making sense or reality- it's about administering the organizations in a way that helps prevent a really big paperwork problem.
But administering paperwork that way does not mean people don't pay attention to when a horse was born or who's in their pedigree. That date is on their registration papers.  It's industry nomenclature of a sort and has been that way in most of them for all of my, not short by any means any more, life.
Horsefirst 28 Nov 2010 6:17 PM
Thank you Greg! We have learned a lot about racing and horse care from this blog, we have also made "friends away from home" here. This blog is like family to many of us. I appreciate everyday being able to communicate with fellow FOB's who have watched the Brothers grow from the time they were foaled.
Roy and Gretchen Jackson, what a treasure that you have, and we are lucky, lucky that you are willing to share with us! This shows that win or lose, you know how much we adore these boys! (and of course Mom and Dad)!  
sandieh 28 Nov 2010 6:38 PM
Haters go somewhere that you don't have Zenyatta to bash...don't follow us here. WE are looking for the positive side of racing and rooting for the brothers provides us with that and each others encouragement. Nicanor and Lentenor are already above average...they are WAY BETTER THAN THE GREEN MONKEY! HA! The average racer has only a shot of making it to the post, then winning A race, then maybe working through their conditions (non winners of one, two, three...etc) these guys have already shown they can run and hit the board in stakes. You don't like it...go jump in a cold lake...lots here in Ohio ready for you...
GoldenBroom 28 Nov 2010 7:33 PM
My comment regarding the owners not looking to rush them to the breeding shed is in reference to how they have been handled.  I think there are many horses that are raced more aggressively and sometimes more frequently in order to pick up a placing in a graded stakes or any stakes because the owners know that they will not be looking to race them for another 1 or 2 years.  I think the pattern of training and time off for the brothers just shows that not only is MM willing to take his time and be patient, but so are the owners.  In another scenario Lentenor may not have had such a long break this summer....but it is obvious there was no rush for him.  Same with Nicanor--I don't think his injury probably required as much time off as he had, but again there was no rush.  The trainer is taking some heat here for not getting things done, but he is really just showing patience and gift of time that many others don't get.  Whether getting them to the breeding shed is a logical step or not was not what I was saying---just that they are being handled in a more patient manner and it's obvious that is not the short term goal.  
HSLewis 28 Nov 2010 10:48 PM
Haters?  Give examples.
Go elsewhere? Remember, this isn't ABR.
BloodHorse is footing the bill here.
Brut Al Fobio 28 Nov 2010 10:54 PM
You see, I don't think that the Jacksons and Matz have done anything out of the ordinary with the care of these two horses.  They have taken care of their horses as good horsemen and women do.
I'll agree with you that some don't take care as the recent debacle with Life at Ten in the Breeders Cup so aptly illustrates.
JAJ 28 Nov 2010 11:20 PM
Golden Broom,
You might think The Green Monkey was a failure, but I can assure you the people who sold him at the last sale for some ridiculous amount--was it $16 million?--sure thought he was a winner!  There are different standards for evaluating what a successful horse is.
That said, I agree with you--the brothers are certainly better racehorses than The Green Monkey ever was.
JAJ 28 Nov 2010 11:27 PM
As I have stated and also ekdeutsch made a comment at 1:21 p.m. on Saturday.  Specific instructions were given and for whatever reason, they were not followed in the race, those are the facts.
Greg J. 28 Nov 2010 11:29 PM
"The Green Monkey",
My take on the Green Monkey.  Yes, The name is not the best, but, The Green Monkey was/has a very good pedigree and incredible conformation.  He is the son of Forestry, whose colts were commanding a hefty price, and his grandfather was Storm Cat, one of the most heralded stallions of all time.  After his test run at 1/8 of a mile, an incredible 9.4 seconds.  He was thought to go for 3-4 Million.  You had, Demi O’Byrne, a  agent representing Coolmore, and bidding against him, John Ferguson, the bloodstock manager for Darley Stud and Sheikh Mohammed.  Well, after going in one million increments, he finally sold for 16 million!  Contrary to beliefs, he was injured a few months later, he fell while training at Churchill Downs, the fall resulted in a spine injury.  He was never the same, after three races,  one was in the money – a third place finish in his first race at Belmont.  Now, almost three years after he was retired, he will make $400,000 this year in Stud Fees,  we will find out if that 16 million pricetag was way too much, BUT, most likely that sale price will be a bargain.  Let's say his offspring start winning (we won't know until end of 2012/beginning of 2013), then his asking price will easily go up.  I have a strong gut feeling that he might be a bargain down the road.  His pedigree and conformation are just too good to not believe that.
Greg J. 28 Nov 2010 11:33 PM
Thanks Greg for everything.
Your patience is very much appreciated and you're doing a great job.
Mr and Mrs Jackson are the owners, Michael Matz is the trainer and we are looky-loos. Don't know why that's so hard for some fans to understand. I haven't seen any article with them complaining about the pre-race treatment of Nicanor. Ergo, Greg must be right!  It was no big deal.
For those of you that are so concerned about the Jackson's money and the way they handle THEIR horses, I say "get a life".
By the way, Eric the Ram by Holy Ground, ran today in the sixth at Hollywood Park and came in third. Congrats to the connections and maybe he'll break his maiden next time. The owners are so proud of him and his connection to Barbaro's family. Yes, I saw and heard them say so on TVG a few weeks ago.
Is anyone going to be at Hollywood Park for Zenyatta's farewell on December the 5th?
Stay loose Greg, You're the Man!
Dona 29 Nov 2010 12:30 AM
Horsefirst, thank you.  I understand much more clearly now why those two issues are regarded the way they are.
Brut/Laser Rob,  you and your alter egos come here to unload your negativity and what you believe to be clever quips.     In my opinion, your remarks are inflammatory and insulting to the connections and to the horses.   Nicanor was NOT retired last year, was he?
Marigold 29 Nov 2010 2:07 AM
Thank you so much Greg for everything you do for the FOBs.  I don't post often but read every thing on this blog and on Alex Brown. I appeciate that you do not post things that are especially mean and hateful. Constructive criticism is fine but when it is truly crosses the line it has no place on this blog which celebrates the family of Barbaro. It is just that simple.
MONTANA 29 Nov 2010 11:48 AM
I don't know where you got the number that the Green Monkey will earn $400,000 in stud fees this year.  He only has 8 mares reported bred for 2010 as of October 13th and the Reports of Mares Bred are due August 1.
The Green Monkey is going to take a long, long time to repay his initial cost.  He hasn't been bred to enough mares to ever make it as a stallion unless he has the kinds of results that are off charts.
In 2009, The Green Monkey bred 40 mares with 25 live-foal reports.  If 100% of those mares produce foals, his earnings for 2009 will be at most $200,000.  He has costs associated with him being a stallion--advertising, board, vet, insurance, etc.  Not every mare will be a paying mare--the owners will support him and try to breed really good mares to him in order to give him the best chance of being a success.
In 2010, he has 8 mares reported bred to him for a gross maximum income of $40,000.  Again, some if not all will not be paying customers.
Traditionally, you try to get out on your stallion in the first three years BEFORE they prove to be dud studs.  The worst time to breed to a stallion is in his 3rd (and 4th) year at stud, which is the year his first foals are yearlings.  Your foal will be born the same year the stallion's first foals hit the track and prove whether or not he is a good or bad stallion.  If you are lucky, you got a really good deal on the stud fee (in the 3rd year) and you hit a top freshman sire and are able to sell your foal as a yearling for a big profit.  More than likely, the stallion proves to be mediocre at best and you sell at a loss.
Most stallions, no matter how good the pedigree and race record, are failures at stud.  Up until then--the third year at stud--you can still sell your foal based on hopes, dreams and good looks.  After his foals start racing, the truth about the stallion's siring ability becomes known.
Even if he is the next coming of Northern Dancer, The Green Monkey doesn't have the number of foals to make any impression on breeders.  Sire lists are based on earnings by a stallion's progeny.  If a stallion sires over 100 foals a year, his foals will likely have earned substantially more than the stallion who has few foals.  It is a numbers game, and he is starting from a bad position (the owners didn't support him to ensure he got off to a good start).  It will be really difficult for him to get himself out of this hole even if he is a decent stallion.
JAJ 29 Nov 2010 1:06 PM
After reading the totally irrelevant comments by brut, my personal opinion is that he is on here simply to stir up trouble.  People like him want to turn the focus on themselves, however they can and that, quite frankly is pathetic.  That being said, I will ignore him and focus on Nicanor, Lentenor and Margano, after all,   this blog is ALL about them....
Texjoy 29 Nov 2010 1:13 PM
I am very proud of Nicanor and his showing in the race Friday.  He did a good job, he just needs to relax...  Keep plugging, Nicanor...
Texjoy 29 Nov 2010 1:15 PM
Our sincere gratitude to Greg for the outstanding job of moderating this blog, especially with balancing mature well-reasoned comments against those that are from the other side of the street. I certainly could not do it as well as Greg does and I am sure all the FOBs, Jacksons, and Blood-Horse appreciate it.
ron mitchell 29 Nov 2010 1:25 PM
Ron Mitchell, we DO appreciate Greg and all the information you brought to us when you were running the blog.  AND Amanda Duckworth and Claire Novack.  We appreciate every piece of information we are able to get on the brothers of Barbaro and wish the negative types would leave us alone.  But, if that's not to be, we'll just pretend they don't exist and try to make Greg's job a little easier.
Marigold 29 Nov 2010 2:30 PM
Just an FYI for all Zenyatta fans. She will appear at Keenland on Dec 6th before leaving for Lane's End. Wish I could be there.
Greg thanks for all you do in keeping all the FOB's informed about the brothers. We really appreciate you moderating this blog.
Thanks Ron for supporting Greg. I'm sure your comments meant a lot to him. It's not easy watching over this site. There are a lot of nay-sayers that try to really get us going. I think we're doing very good at ignoring these people. Thanks for keeping this site open for us.
Lou in TX 29 Nov 2010 5:12 PM
On a much lighter note than all the back and forth that has been going on for.... However many comments were included in that....
Where are the pictures?! :P
Arem 29 Nov 2010 5:38 PM
Ron Mitchell
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy day to give Greg J. a pat on the back yes, he does a great job, Thanks Greg....
Now, can we get back to Nicky the intelligent,beautiful brother....Without Mr.Mrs Jackson and their generosity we would not see the Brothers..Thank You!!
I must look up Eric The Ram by Holy Ground.....thanks Donna...
Sandieh,Lou In Texas where are you, missing ya...
I will surely go to Kentucky to see Zenyatta esp. if Lane's End will allow fans to visit..kiss'es and hugs to Zenyatta...I sure love her...I have her between Rachel and Barbaro with Rags2Riches and Curlin smilling down at them...and to think I owe all of this JOY to Barbaro!!!
Ragsy 29 Nov 2010 5:43 PM
Ron, it is a warm welcome and good to see you post with recognition to a much deserved, hardworking Greg. We sincerely appreciate Bloodhorse and Greg and the Jacksons for keeping us updated on the Brothers as well as giving us the opportunity to discuss other horses.
Ragsy, Rags to Riches and Curlin =Megahorsey! The little one must be getting big now. Time to hunt up a picture!
How is Margano doing in school? It would be great to see a recent picture of Margano.
Love, carrots and mints to the Brothers, and respect to everyone!
sandieh 29 Nov 2010 7:34 PM
Thank you for the kind words, greatly appreciated!
Thanks, of course, to everyone for your nice words also!  I am writing about something that I have a passion for, and Barbaro's family makes that very easy to do :)
Look for a new blog entry tomorrow (I hope) looking at Nicanor's race.  Also, I decided to do videos this time while I was at the track, hope everyone enjoys them.  I have a few photos, but, my friend Elaine's photos are much better, they will be posted along with the videos.
Greg J. 29 Nov 2010 7:40 PM
To Greg:  
**high five**
Audra 29 Nov 2010 8:03 PM
THANKS A MILLION Greg for all that you do. WE DO Appreciate it very very much.
Every word and every picture is a special treat to those of us who are far away and cannot see them ourselves.
Linda/Maryland 29 Nov 2010 8:28 PM
Oh thanks Greg. Will check back first thing in the morning.
Lou in TX 29 Nov 2010 10:30 PM
Stallions are as good at stud as the mares that they are bred too.  I don't care what they did on the racetrack.
Mary 29 Nov 2010 11:17 PM
Thanks Ragsy,
Eric the Ram by Holy Ground was named after Eric Dickerson, the great half-back for the Los Angeles Rams. He was big, fast and very intense.
I had season tickets for the Rams during that time (he was drafted in 1983) and boy were they special. Twenty-five yard line, eleven rows up, isle seats 101-102, I loved it and then the Rams moved, bummer. That was a great sporting time for Los Angeles, Sanita Anita and Hollywood Park were both humming with large crowds. Sweet.    
Dona 29 Nov 2010 11:40 PM
Did it ever occur to you that you could have a thought or an opinion but not express either?
There is a time & a place for everything--& may I observe that at best you show a profound lack of good judgment, not to mention a jarring lack of discretion.
Pazzo Pupo 30 Nov 2010 8:30 AM
Talking about conformation and breeding prospects...pardon my yawn! I could go back and dig out some of my old Breyers horse figures and have more fun. Nic and Lenny are above average racers and beautiful to look at...and they are trained by a good guy and owned by a lovely family. Keep the info and pics coming! Still hopefull for a late cigar like career (yeah, that's a bit much but so what...)...
GoldenBroom 30 Nov 2010 10:02 AM
Thanks Donna
Its just great to learn some history behind a horse.
Ragsy 30 Nov 2010 10:22 AM
     I take offense to you and asking people to not comment or go someplace else.   Me and my family had are picture taken with Barbaro in the barn area when doing the tour.    Everybody has a right to talk and who are you to say such a thing anyway.
The horses mouth 30 Nov 2010 12:16 PM
Did I hear someone mention that photos would be posted? :P
Looking forward to it! My desktop needs a new Nicky photo. ;)
I did enjoy the videos, Greg J! (found them during my google search for race videos) Thank you for taking them.
I was extra appriciative of them when it appeared that one of yours was the only video of the race.
Looking forward to tomorrows post! (Is it tomorrow yet? lol)
Thank you for doing this blog!
Arem 30 Nov 2010 4:20 PM
I agree, its not all the stallion that beautiful mare has a big part to play....I hope Mr.Mrs Jackson own a mare that fits the bill...I sure love the Jackson Boys!!!
Ragsy 30 Nov 2010 6:18 PM
Horse mouth
Linda/Maryland ???
What part of the comment did you not understand??
Ragsy 30 Nov 2010 7:13 PM
The horses mouth:
You had better go back and read what I wrote.
It definately was not what you just posted.
Linda/Maryland 30 Nov 2010 7:30 PM
Thanks Ragsy!
Linda/Maryland 30 Nov 2010 7:31 PM
GoldenBroom, I'm hoping for a Cigar kind of career for the boys too.  You never know!!
Mary 30 Nov 2010 7:38 PM
The horses mouth...I think you misunderstood what Linda/Maryland was saying. We have had some very negative postsers on this site lately. If you care to go back and read further up in the postings, I'm sure you'll see what she is posting about. Of course people like you are more than welcome on this site. All of the bloggers really love the Barbaro family and welcome anything you have to say. It is your opinion and you do have the right to express yourself. You just took what she wrote out of context.
Lou in TX 30 Nov 2010 7:59 PM
Your welcome
Linda/Maryland I am sick of people that try to change what others say, right is right and wrong is wrong!!!it is not interchangeable...
Ragsy 30 Nov 2010 8:21 PM
 Go back to Linda/Maryland post of 28Nov.12:12PM. Where she is talking to anyone who doesn't say what she likes. Her comment was
"We really do not care about your opinions"
 She is not the blog author. I believe its still Greg and if he doesn't like what they say. He will not post it.
 It's not the first time she or some others have said it.
Barry 30 Nov 2010 10:04 PM
Thank You Barry,
I did go back and read that statement and I believe that you misunderstood what she said when you "keyed in" on that one statement which was, it appears to have been taken out of the above note from "Lou In Tx" seems to me she "gets it."
I agree with Linda/Maryland and Lou In Texas....
Ragsy 01 Dec 2010 9:33 AM
 Your welcome and thank you. What Lou in Tx is saying I mostly agree with. This blog is not entitled Friends of Barbaro and Brothers. It's called Tracking Barbaro's Brothers. While most people are friends, not everyone is. And they have the right to post as long as it is not Hatred or Sarcasm. Greg will omit those comments.
 My opinion of Nicanor is to put him in turf races of 5f - 1 mile and just let him go. No holding back, and lets see what he does. He certainly has very good early speed.
Barry 01 Dec 2010 5:18 PM
I agree with Barry that this is a blog called Tracking Barbaro's Brothers.  It does not need to be a blog only for the sometimes over enthusiastic fans of Barbaro.
Now, Barry, I don't agree Nicanor should be shortened up to 5f.  He is pretty quick out of the gate, I just don't know that he is 5f quick.  I would like to see him at 7f to a mile.
JAJ 01 Dec 2010 7:07 PM
Perfectly stated...
I agree, 7 furlongs to a mile is Nicanor's perfect distance, 5/6 furlongs is too short.
Greg J. 01 Dec 2010 7:21 PM
I hope Michael Matz read Jay Hovdey's article in the DRF today. He talks about Native Diver and Bayakoa and their running styles. Seems like they might have a lot in common with Nicanor. Both were very fast, had to be in front, could not be rated, reserved, or covered up and when seriously hooked, they would lose interest. Now if that running style was good enough for those two, Maybe Nicanor would be best served to let him go at it. I agree Greg, 7 furlongs might be best for him but boy there are some really fast horses in that group. Maybe 6 1/2 furlongs, too long for 5 furlong specialists and too short for most 7f runners. It is a very difficult distance but just might be right for him. Mr Matz ?    lol, like he needs us.  
Dona 01 Dec 2010 10:44 PM
 That was a thoughtful comment Barry and I agree to a degree...I guess one thing about a blog is that one can agree to disagree to any statement,doesen't matter if you like it or not...kinda like if you don't like just keep trucking...
I just love the Brothers and can't wait to see them in person...
Ragsy 02 Dec 2010 4:52 AM
Tracking Barbaro's Brothers, is the name Barry and JAJ.  Yep, I have been here since the beginnning and love to look at the beautriul horses...since, I am not a trainer or owner of racehorses like jaj I dont really enjoy the jargon.  I like the pictures, story's and intersted in the pedigree of Princequello and his early life.
Oh, well it's been a long,hard night "all have a great day"...
JAJ glad your still hanging around...
Ragsy 02 Dec 2010 6:53 AM
Jargon, racetrack or other, is just language that is used to convey information.  If you don't understand the jargon, you don't understand the meaning behind what is being said.
I think our industry is so full of jargon that is makes it next to impossible for anyone on the outside being able to understand what is going on.  I've been very active in the business for more than a decade and I still sometimes have to ask my trainer or farm manager what the heck they are saying.  Look at my misunderstanding of what "hit the board" meant.  Pretty basic betting jargon that I didn't understand.
I hope that the FOBs on the blog have benefited from some of my in-depth explanations of what different terminology (jargon) really means.  Don't you remember how confused this group was about the all the different nuances of the word "breeze"?
JAJ 02 Dec 2010 7:59 AM
JAJ...we enjoy your information and your opinions. I'm glad to see you understand that some will have to "agree to disagree" with some of your opinions. But glad you're here and keep coming with the information.
I too, am here just for the Barbaro Family. I don't own, train or even care about betting. I just love all these horses and appreciate that the Jackson's put up with us that live and breath for these horses. Greg is so great about keeping us informed. We owe him alot. If it hadn't been for my Granddaughter's love of Barbaro, I probably wouldn't even be here on this site. But we all have one thing in common  "Barbaro" and I'm soo thankful I got to know about him from soo many on this site.
This is an exciting time for the Barbaro Family because we have another Babynor to love and keep up with on the way. Hopeing it is a filly because we know the Jackson's want one soo bad. But if it's not we'll love it just as much.
Greg, have you heard anything about how Margano is doing at the Stephens? Any news at all would be deeply appreciated.
Hope everyone has a great day!
Lou in TX 02 Dec 2010 10:47 AM
I love this blog.  One mile for Nicanor.  Ragsy, you and I have a lot in common.
Mary 02 Dec 2010 10:48 AM
Calling all FOB's
We only need 5 more Barbaro shirts to place an order.
Would make great Christmas gifts to your fellow FOB's. Check it out!
Lou in TX 02 Dec 2010 11:04 AM
JAJ, I have learned a lot from you, among others and appreciate anything you are willing to teach me. It makes watching the races so much more exciting when you know some of the jargon that is being used.  Thanks to everyone for the help.
Penny in TX 02 Dec 2010 12:50 PM
Yes JAJ,
Seems like such a long time ago that we were discussing breezing and I am certain we learned mucho from you.  Your tiem is apprecieated and respected..thank you, now, I must shower and go to bed..I cant think or write...
Mary and thakn you for your kindness it is greatly appreciated, it is nice to see things one has in common with another....Thank You
Ragsy 02 Dec 2010 4:16 PM
I think you are directing unfair blame to LINDA/MARYLAND. She cares alot about Len and Nic. You are way off!
Mike Relva 02 Dec 2010 10:59 PM
You always show a great attitude.
Mike Relva 02 Dec 2010 11:00 PM
Well, You All...
Musta dreamed about The Green Monkey!! so, searching pedigree's I found a horse, a broodmare by the name of Plucky Liege and she was called the most important mare of the 20th century...2 of her son's were the leading sires of America; Bull Dog( love his name) and Sir Gallahad the England,France and Ireland her son's Bois Roussel and Admiral Drake were the leading sire's..interesting
but, I found in Barbaro's pedigree there was a horse by the name of Red God, 1954, this horse is Blushing Grooms father. Red God is the most beautiful I have ever seen..the write up stated Red God was very mean..wonder what causes a mean horse?
I love The Green Monkey's pedigree and believe there will be numerous winners in his offspring. I think I will track them if possible..
Isn't this the most FABulous blog!!
Ragsy 03 Dec 2010 10:03 AM
  Thank You, for YOU!!!!!
Ragsy 03 Dec 2010 10:07 AM
I think very few horses are born "mean."  But, they can have an attitude or tendency that may push them that way if not handled right.
Please keep in mind that a race horses life is not natural.  Now, no domesticated horse really leads a natural life- but in a good situation, the horse can go out, preferably with access 24/7, with shelter, of course, and in the company of at least one other horse.  They are herd animals and naturally want that company, most of them, any way.  Once the horses get to training for the track, they don't get that kind of living environment.
Then, when horses like stallions retire to the breeding shed, they are kept isolated.  Horses around them but not with them.  That's pretty much the life of most stallions besides thoroughbreds, but a lot of stallions still do work or have more of a "life" outside of the breeding shed.  Some horses adapt just fine and others, especially if they weren't handled right from the beginning, can develop "attitudes."
I was just reading on another blog about stallion behavior and from a friend who is a good handler of stallions, the best scenario I've read and seen is as follows:
Yearling stallion prospects with big ideas get turned out with a group of pregnant mares.  A pregnant mare will set a young stud right pretty darn quick and teach them a lot of manners.  Keep in mind that in the wild, it is the alpha mare that leads a herd, not the stallion.  His job is to provide semen, when the mare is ready- not before- he's going to learn to court the mare, and to protect the herd.  Most people who do this find that the mares have already taught the stallions a BIG lesson.  If you hand breed a stallion, you teach them from the beginning manners, who's boss (The handler), and who says they're ready. (The mare)  In the off season, stallions can an do go out in bachelor herds, which can even include geldings who can often be the boss- not the stallion. Or, the stallion pasture breeds, learns manners from the mares, and in the off season, has his herd to be with.  Provided the human handlers have reinforced those manners the mares taught and instilled respect for the handlers too, most stallions do quite well.
However, a stallion is always a stallion and even if mostly a saint, you have to step up your watchfulness a notch. And I am of the firm opinion that only certain people have any business with a stallion. I don't think just anyone can do it, myself included.
With thoroughbreds, it's mostly the stallions who get the reputations and there is a lot of debate that much of the issue is how they are kept- which won't change with so much money on the line.
I've also heard, and I wonder if JAJ could elaborate, that trainers don't want the horses making friends (However, that came from an owner at a regional track) because the grooms changed so often; and that trainers want the horses to act aggressively thinking they will be that way on the track, too.  I just can't think that at the bigger barns, however, that that is the case.
I have known horses you couldn't trust and there was a line of TB horses in the region I used to live that had a reputation for having a screw loose. Again, though, that might be the difference between a "pro" horse and an "ammy" horse.  The pro will want that horse with attitude and can handle it, because it will be more competitive, as a rule.  But if it gets into an ammy's hands, it can be a disaster and sets up a downward spiral for the horse.
Hope that helped.
Horsefirst 03 Dec 2010 10:39 AM
Ragsy I agree about this blog being the most FABulous blog, I love to read it and appreciate everyone who has helped me understand a little bit about this sport of Kings, and I love Nicanor and Lentenor..  They are down south now, do you think they would ever race at calder??  I think we are short on Lentenor races
NancyC 03 Dec 2010 11:33 AM
Horsefirst, your post reminded me of Nicanor's "intensity" and stubbornness at this time in his life and how, before he'd ever hit the racetrack, Michael said he was "very competitive, the whole family is".  Well, Nicanor receives a lot of love in MM's barn, so will be interesting to see if he becomes as 'difficult' as his Daddy is.  How did Dynaformer become so difficult?  Anyone know?
Marigold 03 Dec 2010 12:14 PM
WOW, Horsefirst you can really break it down. Thanks for the information.
Penny in TX 03 Dec 2010 3:17 PM
I second that WOW! I would not blame any race horse if they bite anyone, it must be awful to live that way...bless their hearts..
Thank You
Nancy C
It sounds like a Florida vacation is in order. Bet Nicanor will run if they find a race for him..
Anyone ever see Fred Stone's picture of Rags2Riches beating Curlin in the Belmont 2007, it is really priceless..the look on his face..
Ragsy 03 Dec 2010 8:04 PM
I think HorseFirst hit the nail on the head when she talks about the social problems facing intact males that do not face mares and geldings.  As HorseFirst said, horses are herd animals.  They develop very strong friendships within a herd, and they remember those individual horses for years and years.  Breeding stallions live very isolated lives and it would be expected to have some psychological problems with a few.
My gut feeling is that most stallions live very, very frustrated lives.  I don't know about other breeds, but the current practices for Thoroughbred stallion management will see them live without ever having a friend.  During breeding season, they will be under constant stress.  They will be housed in a stallion barn with other stallions.  Their paddocks will be beside the other stallion's paddocks, but separated by a road so they can't touch each other.  There will be mares in the area, but out of reach.  They know when a mare arrives to be bred and when another stallion is doing the breeding.  It is not unexpected that some will be quite nasty.
I don't think there are very many intact males of any species that can be handled without a fair amount of care and often difficulty.
Of all the animals used for work, almost no one uses an intact male.  All the camels you see are females (the males are eaten), elephants are female, I think oxen are either female or castrated.  In general, you just don't want to mess with a breeding male of any species that weighs five to ten times or more than you do.
Young colts have a tendency to bite.  Regularly biting the groom is not conducive of a good, loving relationship.  Colts are also a lot lighter with feet than geldings or fillies, too.  They strike and rear more.  They aren't going to get the love and attention that the sweeter-tempered horse gets.
I'm a big believer in letting a horse be a horse and giving them turnout with a friend, but you can't do that with a fit racehorse.  (Jonathan Shepherd is the exception, but he is in a class by himself.)  The standard treatment for a 2-year old in training is to get limited turnout (rarely with a friend) until they start breezing.  Once they are fit enough to breeze, it can be quite dangerous to turn them out.
HorseFirst, I can't imagine a trainer or owner not wanting a good fit with their groom.  My own trainer puts a lot of effort just keeping her horses happy because an unhappy horse doesn't run well.  I know many think that an aggressive horse with an attitude is a better racehorse, but I would think that Zenyatta would have put that old wives tale to bed.
Marigold, I'm not sure I agree with your comment that Nicanor is stubborn.  I know many on the list refer to his "stubbornness," but here really isn't anything I've seen or read to make me want to put that label on him.  I don't consider a horse refusing to rate as being stubborn.  To me stubborn is when they will not do what is asked when they understand the problem and are capable of executing the request.  He seems to be well mannered and does what he is asked to do.  He strikes me as being a bit hot tempered, which I think is causing him grief pre race.  Don't confuse his innate temperament with subbornness.  By hot, I mean he is a bit more excitable than many.  Yes, he is intense as are most hot horses.  Being competitive just means he wants to win and trains aggressively.  You want that in a horse.
JAJ 03 Dec 2010 8:26 PM
A Dr. bought an unraced Storm Cat son at auction for only 16,000. in Tulsa, his name is Awesome Cat and I was standing beside his stall and he towered above me, he was huge,red and beautiful guess, he was at least 17 hands.  He must be 19 now and he looked so much like Secretariat, I am so glad the bloodline continues.
His new people had to teach him how to breed a mare naturally which I could not believe because he had so many mare's in foal..
Ragsy 03 Dec 2010 8:27 PM
I have been on this blog since the very beginning... I have followed it for a few years now. Before that I was on the site of New Bolton Center every single day following the progress of Barbaro. I watched all of Barbaro's races. My heart broke at the Preakness here in Maryland when he broke down. I have about every picture of Barbaro I could purchase. I have Oil Paintings of Barbaro, Nicanor and Lentenor painted at my request.
I have watched every race by Nicanor and Lentenor. I love all of the brothers dearly.
I certainly enjoyed this Blog up until receintly when these people have come on here attacking the Brothers.
I state and I mean, that I cannot understand why anyone would come and post on this blog if they don't feel the same as the rest of us about the Barbaro family. That is all that I meant. Yes, anyone can post here if they want to. I just don't understand why someone who doesn't love the Brothers would bother to come "HERE" to voice their rude objections and sarcastic remarks about the Brothers.
Case Closed, as far as I am concerned.
Linda/Maryland 03 Dec 2010 9:23 PM
I would think trainers would want grooms to be friends with the horses too.  This was one person's take on their trainer at a regional track and I would hope it was an exception.
I know a little about horses. Lots of people know much more.  The example I gave of probably the ideal situation to "teach" a stallion a friend also used.  Those stallions were mannerly and respectful of the trainer.  Those that were raised there were kept in a bachelor herd in the off season. (One aged stallion brought in was not treated that way because he hadn't been raised that way) But, come breeding time, each to his own pen because every time a trailer turned into the driveway, they were each calling, "Mine!"  I've known some stallions  that were safe to pet and some that never got over nipping.
But, I'll reiterate again, lots of horses get bad reputations and become bad actors because they are "too much horse" for the person who has them.  And the horse knows it, they always know it.  That's why I and others are careful on this blog when people want to adopt a horse when they have little experience.  It can turn out bad not only for the owner, but the horse, too.
I don't think Nicanor is "stubborn" either, not just because of how he wants to race.  But, given what I've read and just with race horses in general, who are very, VERY fit animals, it's necessary to have experienced and capable people handling them.  There is also a difference between high spirited and mean.  
Horsefirst 03 Dec 2010 9:24 PM
JAJ, a horse that refuses to rate is stubborn.  Nicanor does not want to do what is asked of him, which is to rate; he wants to do it his way.    Nicanor has been described by his trainer and jockeys as a bit difficult to handle and intense.  Your statements about Nicanor are IMO contradictory.  He is no ordinary horse.
Mary 03 Dec 2010 11:00 PM
Ragsy, Plucky Liege and La Troienne are two of the most influential mares of the 20th century.  The Green Monkey bred to the right mare, who knows.
Mary 03 Dec 2010 11:15 PM
MMatz is the one that stated Nicky was stubborn last April.  Seems like he stated, due to Nicanor's stubborness he would compromise and allow Nicanor to go to the lead and if possible rate him to slow the pace, it was an article in DRF, bet GregJ would know.
Ragsy 04 Dec 2010 12:34 AM
New Bolton,Tim Wooley,ABR, here. People were going ape wanting information about Barbaro, I remember the agony of not hearing anything.  I never caught 1 update on the tube .. And I cringe when I read ugly posts about him or the Brothers..
Why is that?  Cause I love them..
How the Jackson's held it together so well is unbelievable to me...
thats why I donate to Laminits research January 29, and horse rescue's.
Ragsy 04 Dec 2010 1:22 AM
I don't think you understand the subtleties of what is being asked of Nicanor when you ask him to rate.
He needs to relax to rate.  He may not be capable of shutting down.  His innate temperament may not allow that.  Oh, they've tried, but failing doesn't necessarily mean there is anything wrong with the training or the horse.
Competitive horses in the middle of a race are not as pliable as a riding horse.  The horse that you can put anywhere in a race at any time is truly special and extremely rare.
Lots of horses are difficult to handle but are not stubborn.  Hot horses can be especially tricky.
JAJ 04 Dec 2010 7:13 AM
In a racing barn, there is an hierarchy amongst the grooms.  The top groom will generally get whichever horse/s s/he wants.  Since they are paid a bonus when their horses win, they will obviously want the "big" horse in the barn.  The trainer has to keep all the grooms happy, so must spread the good horses around and not give them all to one groom.  They also have to spread around the 2-year olds who more often than not don't run often or make any money.  Remember, grooms count on a bonus they get when their charges win races, so most 2-year olds are not really desirable.  If the horse and the groom aren't a good fit, trainers will move them around.  Sometimes grooms ask for horses sight unseen that they know are coming in off the farm.  That is the way I've seen it work.
I've been reading some recent papers on keeping stallions in bachelor herds outside the breeding season.  Unfortunately, most Thoroughbred stallions are worth too much to risk getting hurt--colts and stallions play very roughly as you know.
Your friend's training protocol of allowing the yearlings to run with the mares wouldn't work out in the Thoroughbred world for a variety of reasons.  As a mare owner, I do not want my mare harassed by any yearling colt.  I would go nuts if I found out they were letting a yearling colt run with the herd.  Again, there is a very big risk of the colt being hurt by one of the very annoyed mares.  Any colt good enough to be considered a stallion prospect as a yearling is worth too much to risk gettining hurt.  Most very valuable yearlings go through the sale as yearlings, and superficial cuts and scars matter to the final price.  The Thoroughbred business model does not value the foundation of good stallion behaviors.  Sale prices and race records are what count, so anything that will jeopardize yearling sales prices or racing success will not happen.  It just doesn't make economic sense.
I agree with you that many "bad" horses are created by inept or misguided handlers.
JAJ 04 Dec 2010 7:53 AM
I agree with JAJ.  In general, you see no stubbornness from Nicanor.  A "difficult to handle" and "intense" horse does not imply stubborn.  Those are traits of a high spirited, nervous, anxious horse.  Stubborn would mean that in almost all aspects of working with the horse, he balks. Nicanor is just the opposite of balking.
IMHO, he's difficult to handle because of the other traits I just mentioned. I don't see a stubborn horse racing- I see one so wound up and eager, that his brain is not tuned into anything else.  I don't see this horse racing relaxed- that head is always up and neck inverted.  That is not a relaxed horse.  I believe that's the biggest issue with Nicanor, getting him to relax when he runs, really relax enough to conserve energy and listen to the rider.  You'd have to be a really great horse to overcome that kind of nervousness and the only one that comes to mind is everything I've read about Man O' War and the pictures I've seen.  Maybe Seattle Slew, he was supposed to be "tough."
A stubborn horse would not set foot on the track, much less in the gate.
That's why I'd like to see Nicanor in jump races, at least for a while.  It might be a natural, self-taught of a sort, way to get him to thinking about something besides just RUN.  "Ooops, better gather myself and get over this jump...darn, here's another one, better think about more than just RUN.'
Horsefirst 04 Dec 2010 8:10 AM
Interesting comments Mary,Horsefirst and JAJ.  Could not find that article and it sure isn't in the DRF..musta been the NYTimes, or somewhere else...who knows.
Ragsy 04 Dec 2010 12:01 PM
In the case of Dynaformer, do you think grooms vie to be his groom or do they have to draw straws to be his groom?
I of course am being a little silly, but I mean when you have Case Clay of Three Chimneys Farm say in an interview that Dynaformer is as mean as a snake, I would think any groom would have to be really experienced, Dynaformer would have to tolerate him and the groom would have to be given way extra. The groom would also have to fit into the flak jacket and helmet during breeding season. Yes, the FOB's have mentioned this also.
Incidentally, I recently read something from one of the FOB's where Dynaformer in the past has been waylaid by mare's hooves so often that now before he mounts the mare, he talks to her first, just to check out her mood. It seems that the mares have put Dynaformer in his place and he acts the gentleman when he is with them.
Kathy 04 Dec 2010 2:01 PM
What a great story about our beloved Dynaformer..he really must be a mean fella except when down to business with the Ladies.. What a wonder one can't stand within 20 foot of him..
Wonder what made him a mean Jack rabbit, his lack of understanding humans?
Ragsy 04 Dec 2010 2:21 PM
I don't know anything about Dynaformer's temperament as a racehorse.  As far as handling him on the breeding farm, I expect they have the person who will be able to handle him the best and the safest for all concerned.  No one wants to work with a dangerous stallion--they do on occasion kill people.  It takes a very special person to handle a stallion.  I'm with HorseFirst on this--I'm not one of those special people and I have absolutely NO desire to become one.
I doubt Dynaformer has been kicked by many mares.  Everyone involved in the breeding does everything possible to prevent it.  Besides the obvious risk of life-threatening injury to the stallion, they can also become quite reluctant to breed if they keep getting hurt by the mares.  Hobbles for the mare are very common.  If hobbles aren't used, one of the handlers dealing with the mare will usually pick up one of the front feet--the mare can't kick when on three legs.  Great lengths are taken to protect the stallion.
Before breeding, the mare will be teased by a teaser stallion.  Teasing will go as far as mounting, so they already know she is receptive.
I've only worked around one truly dangerous horse (a gelding) and hope I never meet one like him again.  Like everyone else in horses, I've been kicked a time or two, but I've never had one try to kill me the way this one did.
JAJ 04 Dec 2010 2:39 PM
Mean As A Snake, no definition that I could find.  Although, one site stated that it was from the Bible but gave no verse nor chapter.
This was an advertisement:
Mean As A Snake,Quick As A Cat and Loose As A Goose...
take Wellbrutin and Xanax...
Ragsy 04 Dec 2010 2:45 PM
It is really too bad that horse owners do not share more information about their horses. Like I've heard that AP Indy is very manageabe, but Dynaformer isn't, but why this is the case is only conjecture.
As I recall, someone on this blog a couple of years ago said that mares are the best indication as to how their foals turn out as they hang with their mom for a time and follow their lead.
I remember a few years back that when Dynaformer was acting up, they woould bring Smarty Jones out in his place when someone wanted tos see the "Big D." I wonder who they bring out now when since Smarty Jones is no longer available.
Kathy 04 Dec 2010 3:51 PM
I think Nicanor is a whole lot better than people are giving him credit for...he really showed calmness and maturity in those video's and his pictures tell a story..viewed at ABR.
 Thanks GregJ..
Ragsy 04 Dec 2010 3:56 PM
JAJ, as I have no firsthand knowledge about Nicanor's temperment, I just repeat what I read.  I think Michael and the DRF referred to Nic as "somewhat stubborn".  He's resistant to being rated and wants to go to the front and has done so, VERY rapidly and eagerly in a couple of his races.  I vividly remember Michael referring to him as "very competitive" and indicated that the whole family is that way.  What do you suppose the problem is with his jockeys who (with 1 or 2 exceptions) weren't able or willing to let him take the lead when he so clearly wanted it. This last race was so hard to accept because Nicanor was in striking distance for the major part of the race, but wasn't permitted to go until the other horses began their runs.  He could have and should have won that race at Aqueduct, IMO.
Marigold 04 Dec 2010 6:41 PM
Oh I know that you won't find young stallions out with pregnant mares on a TB farm.  
In the case I know, the horses were not TB, bred first specifically for temperment, and the owner could watch out the kitchen window to see how things were going when introducing any colts to the mare herd.  And, it was their herd of mares, no outside mares brought in for breeding were ever turned out with them.  So the liability was with this person's own horses.  The horses were so people oriented and socialized, the biggest problem was trying to pet and scratch them all at once.
I agree, this wouldn't work in all situations.  But this person did have the best behaved stallions I've ever been around.  This was a stock horse breed and as I said, temperment was the first priority in the breeding program.
Horsefirst 04 Dec 2010 7:32 PM
Nicanor has been described by his trainer and jockeys as intense and  difficult to handle.  In my mind, Nicanor is a stubborn horse, but I guess in the horse racing world, the definition of "stubborn" has a different meaning.  I don't know.  
I thank you JAJ, Horsefirt, and Marigold.        
Mary 04 Dec 2010 10:52 PM
Yes, I know you know.  A lot of what I write is for others who don't have an understanding of the industry or horses in general.
JAJ 05 Dec 2010 7:51 AM
Would the scary gelding been even more scary had he not been gelded?
From what I've read about Dynaformer, even he is manageable.
You must tell us more about this gelding. Was he big or small? Did he actually race? Was he any good as a race horse if he did indeed race? Was anybody able to handle him?  Was he a looker. Remember, you opened the can of worms and now please spill the beans for us.
Kathy 05 Dec 2010 3:18 PM
Good Luck Zenyatta. Sorry I can make it down to HP to see you off. I'll be visiting your website on a regular basis. Please keep it updated...pretty please!!!
Kathy 05 Dec 2010 3:19 PM
And check out ABR under horse racing for pictures and updates inre to Evening Attire and Tacticianor (Tac). They are half brothers and get along wonderfully. Tac was rescued from a kill pen earlier this year and now spends time with his big (half) brother EA at Aikendale Farm. It is just a wonderful story.
Kathy 05 Dec 2010 3:26 PM
I was working as a groom to try to get hands-on racetrack experience and this absolutely beautiful horse came in.  He was one of the more beautiful horses I've seen but very nasty.  Lucky me got him.  Everyone was careful when I went in to the stall, sometimes the trainer would come in to help.  Thinking back now, the trainer was right there if I so much as raised my voice at him in the stall.  I wonder if he seriously hurt someone and they never told me.  He was that scary.  He was full of hate.  I don't know if he was abused or not.  I suspect he must have been--I certainly didn't rough him up, but I imagine many did.  I worked with him trying to get him to come to the front of the stall for treats and to learn a little trust in people.  If he came to the front of the stall, I could get hold of his halter without opening the door.  Once he was tied on the wall, you could work around him if you were very, very careful.  I remember him firing a shot at my head after I had cleaned a back foot.  I was impressed at the speed of the kick and that he didn't break his foot.  Usually when horses try to kick you, they don't try to kill you.  This one tried to kill you. He would try to strike you when you walked him in the shed row.  If he couldn't strike you, he'd try to cow kick you.  It was almost comical with him trying to get you with his front legs, and if that failed, trying with his back legs.  He'd bite, of course, too.  I hope he was put to sleep.  He was just a very, very dangerous horse.  He ran cheaply.  He would have been impossible not gelded.  I don't even remember his name--it was a long time ago.
JAJ 05 Dec 2010 9:15 PM
Thank your for your insight. I suspect this scary horse was indeed abused. Take a normal yearling and abuse him and there you have it; a 1200-1300 killing machine. I suspect that unbroken mustangs are probably easier to deal with than a cranky thoroughbred who has been abused.
I find it kind of interesting that someone would put a non-seasoned groom in with a crazy horse. And for you it must have been a traumatic experience. My hat, if I wore a hat or not, is off to you.  
Kathy 05 Dec 2010 10:46 PM
JAJ...I feel sorry for this horse you are talking about. I bet he was abused and therefore had no trust in people. It's a shame what trainers use to do to these beautiful creatures. Thank goodness most of their techniques have changed thru the years. Love can get you a whole lot further than being mean to an animal. That goes for all animals. Sorry you had to experience such a thing. I bet you learned alot from that situation. Glad you didn't get hurt. Thanks for sharing.
I got to see just a few minutes of Zenyatta being walked around today at HP. Brought a tear to my eye. I just hope she can adjust to her new life. She's so use to all the attention and love from her people. Glad her groom will be traveling with her and staying for awhile. Kentucky sure gets cold in the winter so I hope her stall with have some kind-of heating. She sure won't be use to the cold weather. I do hope her fans will visit on Sundays and continue to do so for a very long time. I wish only the best for her at Lane's End.
Lou in TX 06 Dec 2010 12:34 AM
Lou in Tx,
I can't be sure that abuse made him the way he was.  You can't rule out some sort of neurological problem.  He was suspected of having Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis and was under treatment for it.  At the time, there was no reliable test for EPM and you just treated if the horse showed EPM symptoms.  Maybe he didn't have EPM, but some other undiagnosed neurological problem.
I once saw a YouTube clip of a horse intentionally flipping that turned out to be a brain tumor.  The rider must have been thrown in the post parade and was getting a leg up.  The horse didn't just rear and fall over backwards, he leaped over backwards.  I've never seen anything like it in my life.  He was later put down and an autopsy showed a brain tumor (according the the YouTube comments).
I wasn't completely green handling horses, but one of the two least experienced in the barn.  If I remember correctly, the horse was given to a 17 year old kid with a lot of experience, but the horse scared him so I ended up with him.  I just hope he didn't seriously hurt anyone.
JAJ 06 Dec 2010 8:43 AM
That story of Evening Attire and his little bro, Tac, was one of the most moving things I've ever read about horses -- the  photos were, too.  We wondered if Nic and Lentenor recognized one another and I'd bet they did after reading this story.  Thanks, Kathy.
Marigold 06 Dec 2010 11:47 AM
Lou, I too wondered how Zenyatta would adjust after all the attention and her love for racing. She has such a beautiful spirit. Hopefully she will enter a new era in her life with motherhood and this will give her a new focus.
Any word on how Margano is progressing? Good thoughts of LVR since it was around this time last year she lost her foal. I hope all is well with her.
Penny in TX 06 Dec 2010 12:18 PM
About the cold and Zenyatta-
I would imagine that if she doesn't have the coat for the weather, she will be wearing a blanket.  The only down side is if she is turned out with other mares- sometimes other horses think someone's blanket is a nifty toy.
A thought about abuse and corrections.
It can be very easy to correct a horse the wrong way if you don't understand the horse.  Of course, some people just go too far no matter what.  I tend to find success with the John Lyons rule that for a major infraction, and only immediately after the infraction, you have 3 seconds to make the horse think it's going to die for what it did. (And what that takes varies with the horse)  Nothing beyond that does much good and if taken beyond that can cause the horse to react to the punishment and make things worse. Horse don't usually know 15 minutes after the fact that they did something wrong.
Here's what I mean by knowing the horse-  I had a young horse that would just melt and die if you even looked cross eyed at it. It so wanted to please and was just devastated if you raised your voice too much. No 3 second rule for that one, it was too much.   Another I had, had better have had a good thwack with the reprimand, good candidate for the 3 second rule.  If you didn't react that way, the horse would just try again, no lesson learned. (This one I didn't have from a youngster although someone did teach manners pretty well)  It was the type to test you again four months later.  Nothing too serious but you always had to remind it who was boss.  Some are like that, even if they get good training, they will test the boundaries once in a while.
Horsefirst 06 Dec 2010 3:00 PM
Thanks for sharing such an interesting event with a horse..very good..
Ragsy 06 Dec 2010 3:37 PM
Where on ABR do you find the story on Evening Attire?  Must be cold here I could use some..
Ragsy 06 Dec 2010 6:23 PM
Here are a couple of links to Evening Attire and his recently rescued half brother, Tacticianor.  
Quite amazing, Enjoy
On Facebook, click on the photos to see their story unfold.
Greg J. 06 Dec 2010 6:56 PM
Greg, I weep.  They are beautiful; gifts from GOD.  I miss Barbaro.
Mary 06 Dec 2010 11:26 PM
So right you are Mary..well losing Zenyatta to the breeding farm, the Brothers to Florida whats a fella to do?  Then along came Tac and Evening Attire..
GregJ many thanks for the information. I believe I will send them a donation for wonderful work done..I too think the brothers know each other.  very heart warming..  
Ragsy 07 Dec 2010 12:56 PM
Hey FOB's. Happy Holidays to everyone. Did anyone check out the video footage of Zenyatta getting off the horse van at Keenland?  Whoever is doing the video, is filming Zenyatta and the Mosses.  I believe Michael Matz walked up to Jerry Moss and shook his hand and watched them unload her.
Deby 07 Dec 2010 2:09 PM
The pictures and story about Evening Attire and Tacticianor are both sad and joyful at the same time. You can see the brothers have such a connection. What a great story!
Penny in TX 08 Dec 2010 11:58 AM
Deby, where can we find this video?
Marigold 09 Dec 2010 11:44 AM
I have a question for Horsefirst or JAJ or anyone else who might know.  On a commercial on TV (don't remember which one) I saw a brief glimpse of a horse with two ropes attached to his bridle -- one on either side and each going to the side of the horse.  Why would a horse be tied this way?  I've seen it before, though I don't remember where.
Marigold 09 Dec 2010 11:55 AM
Sounds like side reins, running from the bit to the saddle or surcingle (band around the horse where the saddle would be).  They are used for many differing reasons.  They could be used to get a horse used to the feel of a bit.  They might be used during lunging to encourage a horse flexion.
JAJ 09 Dec 2010 1:07 PM
Hi Marigold.  The video that I saw was on bloodhorse, one of their "featured clips."  It was only 2 minutes long.  Just Zenyatta in the van at Keeneland with her groom getting ready to be unloaded. Ann Moss was filming her own video of Zenyatta and Jerry Moss and the Sherriff's standing next to her.  Mr. Matz walked up to Jerry Moss and shook his hand.  Someone else was shooting the video footage of everyone.  I keep trying to check out the Keenland video again but it says it is unavailable and try again later.  Regarding the horse tie ups, I have seen horses get groomed this way.  Leads attached to both sides of the bridle or halter and are clipped onto something stationary while they are groomed.  Not sure if we are talking about the same thing or not.  Have a great day!
Deby 09 Dec 2010 1:37 PM
Like JAJ said, sounds like side reins.  If you have seen a circus horse in the ring, not working at liberty, probably for riders who are vaulting on/off the horse and doing stunts on its back, you've probably seen them in side reins.  When you are lunging a horse- having the horse on a long line working around you- it helps to control the horse, helps teach them to accept the bit, and begins to teach them to come under themselves a little bit.  But this only works if the horse does not just present a "frame", but also brings his rear end under himself more and raises up through the shoulder and withers.  Some horses will go in a frame or are taught just to bend their neck and head but still do not use their back end properly.  One of the goals of dressage is to teach the horse to collect, come under itself more and use the impulsion in more of an uphill manner than flat out.  Pretty much the opposite of a race horse.
Deby- what you are referring to are cross ties.  Having both sides tied helps keep the horse from swinging it's rear end around too much.  However, horses have to get used to them and you need quick releases if problems come up.  Well, ditto that for any situation the horse is tied up in.
Horsefirst 09 Dec 2010 8:10 PM
To All
Just wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
While things are slow with news about our Family I'm glad we have found something to chat about. Queen Z sent out a news letter on her new home and what she's been doing. Check out Zenyatta .com. Hopefully she will ajust nicely into her new home. She has 8 new friends in her barn. There is snow on the ground but she has a special grass are for which to graze upon. Her connections are still there with her helping her settle into her new stall. She's getting first class treatment. Nothing's to good for the QUEEN!
Greg, hope things have settled down for you and you're able to get some long needed rest. Thanks for all you do for all us FOB's. Have a great weekend everyone.
Lou in TX 10 Dec 2010 1:40 AM
Hey FOB's, Just an FYI. There's a place on ABR if you would like to contribute to a Christmas breakfast for New Bolton Center Staff and the animals there that help the staff. Thought this was something really nice to do for those helping the sick animals at NB.
Lou in TX 10 Dec 2010 1:48 AM
Here is the link to the video of Zenyatta at Keeneland on Bloodhorse:
Also, here are some great videos of Zenyatta at Lane's End, on her Facebook page:
Zenyatta at her new home:
Zenyatta checking out the snow:
Zenyatta and her new barn cat:
Greg J. 10 Dec 2010 7:44 AM
Hi Greg,
All the pictures I could get to were beautiful, but the link for Zenyatta and her new barn cat came up empty.
Thanks again for letting us know about the photos.
Kathy 10 Dec 2010 8:48 AM
Thanks Horsefirst!  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!
Deby 10 Dec 2010 9:16 AM
Umm, I'm searching for the video of her arriving and coming off the van -- I wanted to see MM there.
Marigold 10 Dec 2010 12:46 PM
Thank you, Greg for the info on Zenyatta. What a beautiful (Huge) horse! It will be exciting to see her first foal. One day, we will also get to see "Little Nicky", "Little Lennie". Ok, I am dreaming way ahead!
Everyone, have a good weekend!
sandieh 10 Dec 2010 3:42 PM
Hey JAJ,
Did you get the Bloodhorse Edition on Zenyatta, I did and noted that John Sherriff(sp) the trainer of Zenyatta liked and looked for the Factor X and stride length in racehorses, being that he is a well known trainer and highly respected, if he was interested sounds like many others could be too.. the spookey factor x and stride!!!Interesting!!!
Ragsy 10 Dec 2010 7:06 PM
Ragsy, Zenyatta has a beautiful pedigree. In her pedigree, there he is, the greatest of sires, Princequillo, who passed his large heart on to all of his daughters.  His most famous daughter was Somethingroyal, dam of Secretariat.
Zenyatta big and strong, like Princequillo, who by the way was  likely the greatest long distance runner of all time.  
Mary 10 Dec 2010 9:52 PM
Where does it say that?  (Page number?)  Thanks.
JAJ 10 Dec 2010 10:32 PM
Did you see this video of trainer Barry Abrams visiting Zenyatta?
He obviously knows where those pressure points are on a horse.  I knew of a few, but nothing like Abrams!  Have you ever seen a book on where those points are?
JAJ 11 Dec 2010 9:26 AM
I went looking for what you said John Sherriffs looks for in a horse and came up with nothing, other than he doesn't want a sprinter.  If he said anything like that, I would really, really like to see it.
What page number was it on?
JAJ 11 Dec 2010 1:48 PM
This is rattling some brain cells but the main one I saw him use was under the lip.  Most of what I saw was someone who knows how and where to scratch a horse.  There is a point behind the ears on the poll where you can apply pressure to get most horses to drop their heads.  Back when I've used a little holistic-type pressure but I don't remember all the points.  Think there is one around the ears on the side at the base- you don't press, you stroke.  I have not seen a book about it.
I think the guy just knows what horses like, how they like it, IF they like it, and he's able to do it to Zenyatta better because he's a big guy and can reach those spots.  Most horses kinda like their mouth played with but as you'll note in the video, it can make them want to get a little nippy.  He knows there is a gap between the front teeth and the back (I know JAJ knows but some might not) so if he's careful, he can stick his arm in there like that.
Horsefirst 11 Dec 2010 7:22 PM
did you get the Bloodhorse Edition on the mighty Zenyatta, look on the back page of the book.
That Princequello was a great horse..yeah, that pedigree is loaded with royalty, wonder how many crosses with that big heart.
If, you don't have the book look up, the horse kitalpha.
Ragsy 11 Dec 2010 7:28 PM
what do you think about AP Indy and Zenyatta possible breeding?  Would that not create one great match? I love Seattle Slew.
Ragsy 11 Dec 2010 7:47 PM
Ragsy, I could not ask for a better sire for Zenyatta than AP Indy.  They both have such wonderful pedigrees.
I will look up the bloodhorse edition on Zenyatta.  I do recall Sheriffs talking about the x factor.        
Mary 12 Dec 2010 1:02 AM
If you find anything, make sure you give me the page number.
As I and others keep trying to tell you and others on the blog, the mysterious x-factor as written about in a book by a JOURNALIST is not based on science.  Some trainers do have people look at heart scores of yearlings, but not many.  They aren't looking in the pedigree--they are looking at the horse in front of them.
I will be very sad if after reading the Zenyatta issue cover to cover I find no mention by Sherriffs of heart score and discover, instead, that Ragsy just made it up to start trouble.
JAJ 12 Dec 2010 6:02 AM
Not trying to make trouble, it is just Fascinating and besides it was Avelon Hunter talking anyways..not the famous trainer of Z.
Ragsy 12 Dec 2010 10:22 AM
Ha, I got the terminology again-
Look up "Acupressure" for horses.
(And a warning to others- anyone can post on the Internet so you'd want to read a few and shy away from those that depart from the norm or use force)
Horsefirst 12 Dec 2010 3:46 PM
JAJ...Ragsy isn't the kind of person to start trouble. Please don't go there.  Everyone seems to be getting along just fine at the present. Lets keep it that way.
Lou in TX 12 Dec 2010 5:24 PM
In Zenyatta's case, she was bought at the bargain price of $60,000.  The main reason they got her so cheap is that she had a skin rash so she didn't look so good as a yearling.  Jerry Moss said in an interview that he bought her because he liked her pedigree, specifically he liked her broodmare sire.  That's a fact.
So you may be right about trainers not looking at pedigree, but Jerry Moss did, and look what he got.  Zenyatta is likely one of the greatest horses of all time.
Secretariat's owner, Penny Chenery also looked very closely at his pedigree and liked Secretariat's broodmare sire, Princequillo.
Secretariat sprinted 1 1/2 miles in the Belmont and won in record time.  Come on, he obviously could not have done that without a big engine, his heart.  I really don't think Secretariat was an anomaly.
The Australians have been researching the large heart in race horses for a very long time.  There are many articles about it on the internet.  
So if a trainer just looks soley at what is in front of him, then such trainer is just plain stupid.    
Mary 12 Dec 2010 7:33 PM
I disagree that Secretariat was not an anomaly.
He was as much an anomaly as Man O' War.  Both ran long and both sprinted.  MOW was a little less suited for that but he did it any way.
MOW won races after acting up for long times at the barrier, running with his head up and fighting his rider to be let go.  The only time this wasn't so was probably the race with John P. Grier, and we know now from Dorothy Ours book that he fell at the start.
Horses don't run the Belmont like Secretariat did.
That's why you can only point to two of them in the last 100 years.  They are what they are- great- BECAUSE they are an anomaly.  Otherwise, they are just very good like some others.
They are an anomaly because everything necessary came together at once.  That would be very rare and counts as an anomaly.
Again folks, if the X factor thing really, really worked, there would be more MOW's and Secretariats.
If it really worked it would be a gold mine business in horse racing to measure heart size.
There may be more stock in the genetic studies now being done to identify what makes for speed and endurance, than there ever will be in the X-factor.
But, it sold books and romanticized the idea that a "big heart" is all it takes.
Well, it is true that a big heart is all it takes- but it's not about the size of the heart and never was- it's the try and determination.  
Horsefirst 12 Dec 2010 8:36 PM
Lou in TX, you are right, Ragsy is not a trouble maker.
Mary 12 Dec 2010 8:45 PM
When I wrote, "They aren't looking in the pedigree--they are looking at the horse in front of them," I was referring to the evaluations of the HEART.  The heart evaluations are done on a specific horse in the flesh, not on conjecture in a pedigree.  Decisions based on heart scores are made by the physical heart in front of them, NOT on a pedigree.
I hope I made that clear.
I wasn't trying to deny that some put a lot of emphasis on heart scores.  I was trying to differentiate between the actual measured heart score of a horse that was tested and the supposed "x-factor" based on speculation.
Pedigree matters, there is no doubt about that.  I would never suggest pedigree doesn't have a major importance in the making of a classy racehorse.  Trainers care deeply about pedigree.  Breeders care more.  Of course Penny Chenery liked Princequillo as a broodmare sire since not only was he a top stallion, he was one of the top broodmare sires for many, many years.
There is so much that goes into the making of a racehorse.  You need the mechanics to be able to put the stride together in an efficient manner and avoid injury.  What good is it if a horse is lightening fast over a distance if it can't physically cope with training and keeps getting injured?  Or, if the horse has incredible cardio capacity but an inefficient stride?  There is the will to win.  I don't know where that comes from, but some horses have it and some horses don't.  It is called heart, and shouldn't be confused with the physical heart of a horse (which I think Ragsy did when she made her comments I was asking about).  Most horses lose that really strong will to win after a few years, but there is that very rare individual that just lays it down for every race.
And luck.  Don't ever underestimate luck in the racing game.  It was lucky that Zenyatta ended up in John Sherreffs' hands.  He did an amazing training feat to get her to the races, keep her sound and enjoying the game for as long as she did.  It was a masterful training job.  I have little doubt that there would be no Zenyatta as we know her if someone else had bought her.
Ragsy, first you said that John Sherreffs made some comment about the supposed "x-factor" and now say it was Avalyn Hunter.  I am a member of a Thoroughbred breeding on-line discussion group with Avalyn as a member, so was surprised at your your interpretation of what she wrote.  Can you supply me with the quote and the context?  You said you read it in the Zenyatta issue--I'm almost finished it and still haven't found it.  What page please.
JAJ 13 Dec 2010 6:11 AM
Good Morning everyone.  On our local OTB channel this past Saturday, Mark and Mike interviewed John Shirreff. They asked him which stallion was going to be bred to Zenyatta.  He said AP Indy and Bernardini are being mentioned.  I haven't heard one word about Rachel's date with Curlin.  Has anyone else?
Deby 13 Dec 2010 9:32 AM
The breeding shed doesn't open until mid February, so you won't have heard anything about the breeding of Rachel Alexander and Curlin until then.  I understood that Jesse Jackson has decided to breed her to Curlin, so there wouldn't be anything to report until March or so when (if) she is pronounced in foal.
Right now, everything will be done to get Rachel and Zenyatta cycling and ready to breed in mid-February.  Mares in Kentucky do not normally cycle in mid-February and are put under lights to trick their bodies into thinking it is spring.  Getting that January foal is not as easy as you might think.  Mother Nature does not want foals born in the winter.
Zenyatta's team may choose not to breed to A.P. Indy even though he might be their Number 1 choice.  His fertility is questionable.  On the other hand, they may risk his lower fertility because it is unlikely he will be breeding for very much longer and it may be their only chance to breed her to him.  It likely is now or never.
Bernadini, a son of A. P. Indy, is a first year stallion which means his oldest foals are just 2 years old.  He is currently #3 on the First-Crop sire list and in the top 10 on the juvenile (2-year old) list.
JAJ 13 Dec 2010 11:52 AM
Trainer Barry Abrams, on the youtube video referenced above, said on camera that Zenyatta was to be bred to Street Cry, and (I quote), "That is why she was retired."
FYI.  Don't know if it's actually true or not, but thought it worth noting.
rams2050 13 Dec 2010 12:30 PM
So sorry to upset you, but I did re-read Zens booklet 5 times expecting to find what set me off and I could not.  Now, I am not on alcohol nor drugs, only Zyrtec so, please, excuse me.  It is rather frightful for me, in that I worry about stroke, TIA or something.
I don't normally dream up stories, but I am intrigued by the University Of Kentucky study on the X Factor. The fact Marianna Haun( a writer) was the spokesperson and collector of information for the group of geneticist for her book.  
I really hope they have found the marker for the X Factor.  Other facts:  that Dr. Steel an Australian in 1950 coined the term "heart score" in his search of the X Factor. (which to me is part of the X Factor)
And, Internationally renouned equine cardiologist Dr. Frederic Fregin found the X Factor to be 100% consistant, a rairty in scientific research.  
Ragsy 13 Dec 2010 12:57 PM
There is currently an AP Indy colt in T. Pletcher's barn who, though 2 years old, is still unnamed.  He is out of Madcap Escapade and is a truly spectacular looking colt.  He used to be Munnins running partner.   Anyone here know anything about him?
Cal Gal 13 Dec 2010 1:09 PM
Thank You
Mary and Lou In Texas
I really did think I read something which thrilled me..guess, to much ugly going on in my life right brother dying, my mom seriously ill and now, I seem to be losing it!!
What about Pocahontas?  
Ragsy 13 Dec 2010 1:09 PM
As A.P.Indy is a couple years younger than Dynaformer, is Dynaformer one of those exceptions to the rule that at soon to be 26, continues to create a lot of foals, considering his age.
And from what I've read, people who have visited Three Chimney's Farm say they are told, that Dynaformer is not mean to the mares; grooms yes, mares no.
And you may poo poo this notion, but I suspect that the reason the broodmares require a second visit to Dynaformer sometimes is because Dynaformer has figured out that less semen on first visit means more future conjugal visits.
I believe Dynaformer to be highly intelligent which is most likely why he doesn't like humans.
And keep in mind, Dynaformer had damaged, but not killed humans. He is a dangerous, but also very smart old feller.
If I get the chance, I wouldn't mind visiting him. I don't shy away from cranky "Kodak" moments.
Kathy 13 Dec 2010 4:40 PM
Thanks JAJ.  I was wondering when Curlin and Rachel's date was going to happen.  Thanks for clarifying the February breeding season.  I didn't know that.  I hope everything is going ok with LVR.  I'm still hoping/thinking pink.  
Deby 13 Dec 2010 4:57 PM
Mr. Abrams was talking about Lethal Heat being bred to Street Cry, not Zenyatta.  The question the lady asked him was, "Why did you retire Lethal Heat, I loved her".  Mr. Abrams was Lethal Heat's trainer and is a part owner of her.
Greg J. 13 Dec 2010 7:34 PM
So sorry to hear about your brother and mother, my prayers go out to you and your family.
Greg J. 13 Dec 2010 7:36 PM
Here is another wonderful video of Zenyatta doing her dance in the snow at Lane's End, enjoy:
Greg J. 13 Dec 2010 7:44 PM
Ragsy, the Australians have been researching the large heart in race horses since the 1950's.  I am familiar with Dr. Steele.  Sorry that you are going through so much right now.  I wish you well.
Mary 13 Dec 2010 8:11 PM
Thoughts and prayers to you and your family.
Horsefirst 13 Dec 2010 8:52 PM
Greg J,
I saw the video of Zenyatta walking in the paddock.  I'm sure glad I'm not on the end of that shank!  She is just ready to explode.
JAJ 13 Dec 2010 9:11 PM thoughts and prayers are with you. Keep your chin up, you know you can count on us any time. Just talk and we'll listen. It's hard to loose a family member, I lost my Mother in 1998. We're all pulling for you. God Bless You and your family.
Lou in TX 13 Dec 2010 9:12 PM
Greg...thank you soooo much for the video of Queen Z. She stole my heart. Of course, she is second in line to the Barbaro Family. But you can't help but smile when you see her. There will never be another like Queen Z just like there will never be another Barbaro.
Want to wish each and everyone one here on this site a Very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year in 2011.
Thank you Greg for taking over this web site and thank you BloodHorse for having him do this job. We are the lucky ones!!
Lou in TX 13 Dec 2010 9:23 PM
Greg, thank you. All of her connections got lucky when they found Zenyatta; she got lucky too.
Ragsy the University of Kentucky has done a lot of research on the large heart gene.  Like I said before, Secretariat sprinted a mile and a half in record time; so someone explain to me how a horse could do that.  I will tell you; Secretariat's broodmare sire, Princequillo was one of the greatest endurance runners of all time.  
Secretariat had a big engine.  By the way, Zenyatta's sire Kris S. is out of a Princequillo mare Sharp Queen.  Secretariat's dam, Somethingroyal is also a Princequillo daughter.
Mary 13 Dec 2010 9:38 PM
Merry Christmas to all.  Ragsy, Pocahontas was one of the most influential thoroughbreds of all time, male or female. Even though she was a roarer, she produced three great sons, Stockwell,  Rataplan, and King Tom.  It is believed that she may have carried the x factor, a gene mutation for large hearts.  Okay everyone jump on me for mentioning the large heart gene.  
Mary 13 Dec 2010 10:14 PM
Dear Ragsy,
Our prayers and thoughts are with you.  We're all here for you. It's always difficult to lose family esp. around the holidays.  Stay strong.
Chris K 13 Dec 2010 10:26 PM
Ragsy, sorry to hear about your family. I don't think you're losing it, you just have a lot going on and a lot of sorrow and grief on your mind.
You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
Kathy 13 Dec 2010 11:23 PM
And JAJ, I was just being silly. I think Dynaformer is smart, but I don't think he is that smart.
Kathy 13 Dec 2010 11:24 PM
Great video of Zenyatta. Thanks for sharing.
Kathy 13 Dec 2010 11:25 PM
You and Ragsy keep mentioning the mysterious x-factor for a large heart.  Show me a study, any study that finds it.  The genome for the hose has been mapped.  Nowhere has anyone found a gene for large hearts.
I hate when conjecture is passed off as fact, and the more often you repeat it, the more people hear it, the more likely they will believe it.  Then, people who don't know the facts, having heard it a kazillion times will pass it off as fact and it will become part of common knowledge.  It works the same way as brain washing does.
Think about some of the current false information that you (SHOULD) know is false but many people believe to be true.  Here's one:  the 9/11 terrorists all came from Canada.  That is false--not one did, yet even US diplomats have recently been quoted as saying this even after it has been proved to be false.  Here's another:  Obama was not born in the US.  That's another falsehood, yet there continues to be a "birther" movement.  What seems to have started as a dirty political trick to muddy the reputation of a politician has taken on a life of its own.  (Note to Greg--if you don't want to put this paragraph in, just edit it out.  I can appreciate why you wouldn't want it on the blog.)
Yes, there is genetic research looking for what makes one athlete superior to another.
Think logically on this--do you believe one gene would have an effect like that?  Either the horse has it or it doesn't?  Do you not think that these supposed double copy mares would have been pretty obvious to their breeders?  Selection by the breeders would have purified this supposed gene.  That doesn't seem to have happened.
Not only is this JOURNALIST suggesting the existence of a gene that will create this dramatic effect on a heart, but she has also located it on one chromosome (the x chromosome) without the benefit of any science.  She took an idea and cherry picked her historical data, then wrote a book that sounded good and people bought it.
If there is a gene that is as simple as you suggest, that has such an impact on the athlete, believe me they will find it pretty soon.
JAJ 14 Dec 2010 6:56 AM
Kathy,Mary, Lou In Texas, Chris, Horsefirst and GregJ
You guys are the greatest and I really appreciate your kind healing words.  
This is where we agree to disagree, when the study is completed I will believe what the University Of Kentucky and the scientific community proves or disapprove reguarding this theory, everyone knows where you stand on this issue,(I will never mention it to you again.). If other persons want to discuss it,
"so be it".
When I saw that picture of Pocahontas and foal made me wonder whether it was a colt or filly and the fact that they bred her and she had a baby foal at 25 years old broke me ole heart. For 15 years she was pregnant, what a way to treat a lady.  
Ragsy 14 Dec 2010 9:19 AM
Video of Z dancing is great.  Maybe when she gets out with her other roomies she will teach them all how to do the two step. (S)
lobieb 14 Dec 2010 9:22 AM
Here is a stunning photo of Dynaformer in the snow at Three Chimney's farm, enjoy!
Greg J. 14 Dec 2010 10:31 AM
You said:
".... when the study is completed I will believe what the University Of Kentucky and the scientific community proves or disapprove regarding this theory...."
My point exactly--there is NOTHING proven.
What study is being done at the University of Kentucky?
JAJ 14 Dec 2010 11:48 AM
why is it that nicky and lenny are
raced only twice a year... given
more of a chance they could be
very good race horses...
nmh 14 Dec 2010 4:50 PM
Maybe this is what Ragsy is referring to...
Kathy 15 Dec 2010 6:54 AM
That is just the same old same old that Ragsy and Mary are presenting as science.  That whole article is a JOURNALIST's hypothesis without any science to back it up.
Ragsy talked about a study done by the University of Kentucky.  I wasn't aware of such a study, and would be interested in reading what is actually being studied.  I am a breeder and try to keep abreast of the latest research in things like that.
JAJ 15 Dec 2010 10:58 AM
I was perusing some stuff at the University last night at work,but my eyes got tired. I will do some more investigating today. If it is there, and believe me it is not out in plain sight, I will find it. I'll let everyone know what my findings are.
Kathy 15 Dec 2010 2:26 PM
Sorry, Greg.
I didn't hear the first part.
Thanks for your sharp(er) ears!
rams2050 15 Dec 2010 4:06 PM
Ragsy,sorry to hear of your Brother and I hope that your Mother is getting better. May you keep your spirits up with God's love. You have a good heart and I wish you the best.
Greg, thanks as always for all the info that you provide us horseaholics with! And Dynaformer! Da' Man's still  got it!
Ragsy, Lou in Tx, Marigold, Greg, EVERyONE, Have a very Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas also to the JACKSON FAMILY, and thank you for the greatest gift by sharing what is surely dear to you! You know that we have the deepest love for the Brother's and are grateful for all the news that BloodHorse and Greg provide to us!    
sandieh 15 Dec 2010 5:12 PM
Thanks, Kathy!
JAJ 15 Dec 2010 5:14 PM
Sandieh, Lou, GregJ( thanks for the Dynaformer picture and videos) and Everyone
Have a Blessed Merry Christmas. And Thank You for the kind words..
JAJ- Kathy,
I have searched the University Of Kentucky today and I am unable to come up with any study in the genetic research section relating to the x chromosome, where the x factor is supposed to be on the mutated gene.
 There is stated, documented research from 1977 by Dr.Steel and Dr. Stewart from Australia, but haven't had the time to find it yet.
I did find a question/answer article on True Nicks Bloodhorse dated 9.11.2009 (in the comment section) was quite interesting pertaining to x factor..
Ragsy 15 Dec 2010 7:34 PM
Okay everyone,
Hold onto your seats, I found something and it is current. One of the projects at the Gluck Equine Research Center at the University of Kentucky does involve heart size in thoroughbreds, although, it doesn't list anything other than Linkage disequilibrium study of equine chromosome X markers
for heart size in Thoroughbred horses.
Linkage disequilibrium is a phrase DNA scientists quote and it apparently means "association between a pair of linked markers."  
And other than the projects this scientist is working on, including the one associated with the heart size of thoroughbreds, she doesn't list a dissertation on the subject. My guess is that people at the Gluck Center have been working on some X marker project or another for sometime, but they are not willing to go public on their findings yet. I am no expert, but I would presume that if someone figures out the X marker scenario, this will change the dynamics of the thoroughbred racing industry forever.
And as the thoroughbred industry makes foals the old-fashion way, one can only assume thoroughbreds, standardbreds and quarterhorses will be given ultrasounds at an early age to determine the size of their tickers. And it wll be interesting to find out what happens to the horses that don't make the grade.
Here is the link:
Kathy 15 Dec 2010 8:01 PM
Thank you Ragsy for doing all that research on the x-factor.
Alan Porter (of True Nicks wrote) in that Sept. 11, 2009, blog:
"I think that the hypothesis that there is a single mutated gene on the X-chromosome that significantly and positively determines heart performance and subsequent race performance is a bit of a stretch."
JAJ 15 Dec 2010 9:22 PM
Ragsy, yes the Australians and Dr. Steele have been researching the x factor or large heart gene for a long time.  JAJ, if you are indeed a breeder, it is hard for me to believe that you have not done any form of research on this.  Keep an open mind girl.
In a Sports Century documentary Penny Chenery, the owner of Secretariat, talked about his large heart.  A sire is only as great as the mare he is bred to.  Man O' War, Secretariat, etc. produced some great daughters.
Mary 15 Dec 2010 11:20 PM
Indeed, I am a breeder, a small (one broodmare) breed-to-race owner/breeder with a small racing stable.
Yes, I have done a lot of research on breeding.  My research leads me to believe the author of the book (a JOURNALIST not a scientist) wrote a catchy book full of total rubbish.  That's what my research shows me about the x-factor.  Did you read Alan Porter's opinion of the supposed x-factor on the True Nicks blog he writes?  Do you not think that perhaps Alan Porter might know a thing or two about breeding race horses?
It is not as simple as you think it is.
There are a lot of other breeding theories that I think are total nonsense and are not backed up by science.  This isn't the only one.
JAJ 16 Dec 2010 11:42 AM
Any news about Margano?
Is he in training yet in Florida?
How about some photos of Margano?
Thank you!
Lise from Maine 16 Dec 2010 2:08 PM
what do most horsemen look for with regard to the bloodlines of thoroughbreds?  Breeding seems to be so critical to predicting the future success of TBs.  I am totally uneducated about horses but am fascinated by bloodlines and pedigrees, more than performance.  Am I naieve?
Cal Gal 16 Dec 2010 3:22 PM
Mary,JAJ and Kathy
What I had read was the study was on going the total number of horses studied last article was 1000 by Cardiologist Dr. Fregin from Va.  but I have not been able to find an abstract on the subject..what Kathy has found might well be what needs to be explored.  I did send an email to the genetics dept re: our spooky elusive subject, with the holidays one never know if an answer will be sent. so will try to monitor and give an update if any ever recieved.  
The comments were very informative in the  question/answer section on true nicks and one must remain objective due to the fact that no education in genetics by Alen Porter.
This could become very interesting..and I am intigued by the x factor.  
Ragsy 16 Dec 2010 3:39 PM
Mary,Kathy and JAJ
If the investigation is on going no info will be available to see.  Dr. Gus Cochran from the University Of Kentucky has moved to Texas A&M and was listed with Dr. Fregin as participating with  this study, along with other geneticist and may well be too soon for info..
Ragsy 16 Dec 2010 4:02 PM
To be fair, one must also mention that the author of the articles on the X factor is also not a geneticist.
Plus, Porter has the predigree and breeding experience and Haun, I believe that is her name, does not to my knowledge.
Kathy wrote:
"Linkage disequilibrium is a phrase DNA scientists quote and it apparently means "association between a pair of linked markers."
Would love to get an explanation of this in layman's terms- cause at the moment it almost sounds contradictory.
I would hope if any study is done, it includes a control group so that any analysis could determine that IF there is this factor, does it mean anything at all?  For example, would the horses run, on average, better than the norm. Because right now you have only a few really great horses. The odds are, that it happens once in a great while and has nothing to do with an X factor and more to do with the gene pool mix all coming up just right- and the odds of that, I'd think, are astronomical and why you don't see a Man O' War or Secretariat more than once or twice in a hundred years.
Horsefirst 16 Dec 2010 4:17 PM
Just remember that some if not most of the people commenting on the True Nicks blog have absolutely zero involvement in the breeding industry.
How many on this particular blog  who are commenting on the x-factor are active in the Thoroughbred industry?  In other words, which ones of you have actually invested in a Thoroughbred?
Then go one step further and find out who amongst those commenting on the x-factor are in any way involved in the breeding of Thoroughbreds?  I don't mean being the ex-wife of a breeder, but who here on the blog is investing money to try to breed themselves a racehorse?
Do you see what I am getting at?
JAJ 16 Dec 2010 4:40 PM
I just wrote a post to Cal Gal and it disappeared into cyberspace.  If it was sent, my apologies.  I'll try to recreate it below.
Cal Gal, that is the 64 million Dollar Question!
When looking at a pedigree, one has to be cognizant of one's goals in either breeding or racing.
First off, pedigree doesn't get you a racehorse unless the horse is there as well.
Some look for a fashionable pedigree that will sell well.
Some people look for a pedigree that suggests the horse will mature early.  A precocious 2-year old early in the year will usually beat a 2-year old who turns out to be an all around better horse at 3 and beyond.
Others looks for a pedigree that suggests the horse will be a classic-type horse.
If you go to the Stallion Register (on line in Blood Horse), you can get a lot of statistical information of what that stallion has produced.  (The following is referring to what the foals of a stallion have done, not the stallion himself.)
If he has at least one crop foals of racing age, you will get a stallion's Average Earnings Index so you can compare the average earnings of the foals of one stallion against that of another stallion.  Beside that average earnings figure, will be the Comparative Earnings Index, which puts into a number the average earnings of all the foals of the mares bred to that stallion when bred to other stallions.
Complicated, right?
There are statistics that have the average winning distance of a stallion's foals, the number of stakes winners, the percentage of stakes winners, winners, 2-year old starters, 2-year old winners and 2yo stakes winners.  You can get the average price of the stallions yearlings sold at auction.  You can look at a list of his top performers with a brief summary of their big wins.
Every mare will have a catalog page that lists the important babies she has produced, their earnings, stakes wins or placings, wins, and years racing.  She is known as the first dam.
Her mother is the second dam and she will be listed with all her foals' earnings, wins, stakes wins, etc.
Then you take everything and make a judgment of what the result of this breeding is likely to do on the racetrack or the breeding shed and hope for the best.
Clear as mud, right?
That's why you hire a blood stock agent!
JAJ 16 Dec 2010 5:32 PM
Greg, thanks for the picture of Dynaformer in the snow and videos of Zenyatta. I loved the one of her dancing in the snow, she is such a star! Everyone have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. If you are traveling, stay safe!
Penny in TX 16 Dec 2010 5:40 PM
Cal Gal,
Forgot to mention--you look at the broodmare sire.  He has statistics, too.
JAJ 16 Dec 2010 5:47 PM
Horsefirst & JAJ
Of course, Allen Porter is very educated in those facts.  Yes, I do agree with both of you.  If a study is actually done one has to wait and see what happens and that may take years to determine.
I think, it will require more than a large heart to achieve greatness,look at John Henry, a heart score of 140, without that one trainer, he may never have achieved greatness. So many combinations of behaviour/health/attitude/
enviroment/nutrition etc.  so many factors in each individual horse's life that may help lead to greatness...
Isn't it a joy to see that one that has been rewarded with Greatness..
Ragsy 16 Dec 2010 6:01 PM
I know JAJ, you are talking about me.  I'm the ex-wife of a breeder.
My ex husband bred Island Sand to AP Indy twice; he kept the AP Indy colt and sold Island Sand in foal to another AP Indy colt, which IMO was a huge mistake.  I would not have sold her, but instead bred her again to AP Indy in the hopes of producing a filly.
By the way, my plan next year is to purchase a thoroughbred.  I'll let you know how things turn out.
I know that there is so much that goes into the making of a great race horse, pedigree is the most important thing, but the trainer who develops an understanding of the horse, and the jockey who knows how to ride him; they all play a huge role. It is an enormous team effort, contingent upon an undying respect for one another.
For a brief moment in time, we all witnessed the making of another super star, Barbaro.  I don't want anyone to forget that Barbaro ran the last 1/4 mile in the Kentucky Derby as fast as Secretariat.
Mary 16 Dec 2010 8:12 PM
I don't care so much what the stallion has produced, unless it's a filly.
Mary 16 Dec 2010 8:17 PM
(Disclaimer: I am no expert. This is just a hypothesis.)
I am of the mind that no, there probably isn't any easy way to explain Linkage Disequilibrium.
Wikipedia say...
linkage disequilibrium is the non-random association of alleles at two or more loci, not necessarily on the same chromosome.
Wikpedia says...
An allele (pronounced /ˈæliːl/ (UK), /əˈliːl/ (US); from the Greek αλληλος allelos, meaning each other) is one of two or more forms of the DNA sequence of a particular gene.[1][2] The word is a short form of allelomorph ('other form'), which was used in the early days of genetics to describe variant forms of a gene detected as different phenotypes.
Last time I check, humans have 46 chromosomes in each cell, 22 pairs of autosomes, and 1 pair of sex chromosomes If you use this as an example, what I believe UK is trying to do is to see how many times a marker shows up in a chromosome(s) in a horse that has a large healthy heart.
Wikipedia say,
The level of linkage disequilibrium is influenced by a number of factors including genetic linkage, selection, the rate of recombination, the rate of mutation, genetic drift, non-random mating, and population structure.
All in all, it appears to me anyway that the scientists at UK are trying to narrow down why this trait appears in a horse by using genetic linkage, selection, the rate of recombination, the rate of mutation, genetic drift and non-random mating. And they are doing this by checking how many times the factor show up on the horse's chromosomes.
How weird is it that both Secretariat and Sham raced each other in the same Triple Crown? The odds must have been astronomical for this to happen.
My question would be if this is the X factor, is there a marker on the Y factor or any of the autosomes in a horse?
My next question is why do professions such as Science, Computer, Law, and the field of horses come up with these weird-a.. terms that are so hard to decipher?
And please keep the comments like you are so wrong Kathy to a minimum. At least I am giving it the old whatever try.
Kathy 16 Dec 2010 8:20 PM
Where did I say,
"And please keep the comments like you are so wrong Kathy to a minimum. At least I am giving it the old whatever try."
I appreciate your time and efforts in trying to find any information based on scientific studies and really appreciate your efforts to try and put some of this in layman's terms.
I apologize if I said that or sounded like it but it certainly wasn't meant that way.
Horsefirst 16 Dec 2010 10:11 PM
I wasn't trying to single you out in a bad way, just point out that not many on the list have actually put up the money to pay for a stud fee or the training fees on a horse.
Writing those checks gives you a whole different perspective--you become less likely to go off on a tangent following a jounalist's unproven theories that she presents as scientific fact.
JAJ 16 Dec 2010 10:34 PM
Mary, your wrote:
"I don't care so much what the stallion has produced, unless it's a filly."
Mary, I don't understand that at all--can you elaborate?
JAJ 16 Dec 2010 10:54 PM
Link on definition of alleles.
Essentially, an allele is a variant of a gene that carries a trait.
An alele resides at a specific spot on the chromosome. If two alele match, they are known as  homozygotes. If they do not match, they are known as
Kathy 17 Dec 2010 8:40 AM
Hi Horsefirst,
No, I wasn't referring to you or anyone special. When I start trying to figure out stuff, I don't alway hit the target dead center the first time. I usually get nailed by someone who doesn't blog much and then I have to go oops.
I've been doing some more reading on the subject of linkage disequilibrium. Anyway, this little alleles have their specific loci on this chromosome and that chromosome and they either match or they don't match. If they match, they are homozygous and called homozygotes. If they don't match, they are heterozygosity and called heterozygotes.
The Univeristy of Kentucky along with a 100 or so scientist around the world completed the genome map of a horse in April of 2006. In July 2007, the Marianna Haun, The X Factor: A matter of heart.
Secretariat had daughters who were winners, but not all were winners and none were as spectacular as him. I have a suspicion that in Secretariat's and perhaps Sham's cases, the X factor was only partially responsible for their enormous hearts. I read yesterday, where a normal horse heart weighs about 7 pounds. Sham's was about 2.5 times larger that and Secretariats was 3 times larger. In theory, you would have thought one of Secretariats daughters and he had many could have won the triple crown. Ladys Secret did extremely well and then became a baby-making machine where she died at the age of 21 having the gelded Cool Valley Cowboy who made 6000 and change. Only one of her babies, Good Looks made over 500,000. Even with X factor, which is apparently recessive, it is almost a shot in the dark to match X factor up with another X factor and then you probably will still have mixed results involving the size of the heart. If Sham had raced any other year besides 1973, we would have had another Triple Crown winner in our midst.
When I have a chance, I will dig some more.
Merry Christmas everyone.
Kathy 17 Dec 2010 9:45 AM
Horsefirst, I chuckle when I reread my post. I can see now why you thought I was pointing fingers at you. Sorry about that. The disclaimer was an afterthought and I didn't even think about addressing the note to you. And thank you for finding my posts good reads.
Kathy 17 Dec 2010 10:35 AM
Kathy, Secretariat produced some great daughters, Weekend Surprise and Terlingua come to mind.  
JAJ, a horses pedigree is like a kaleidoscope, all so many different colors, and you turn it and so much glass and color that it boggles your mind.
In my mind, I have to narrow a horses pedigree down.  I like the Nasrullah line (sire) and the Princequillo line(mare).
I just think that the mare plays a more important part in the creation of a great colt than the sire. In the case of great fillies, like Zenyatta and Rags to Riches, it was all about the broodmare sire and sire, respectively.
I could go on and on about Secretariat and Sham..  Kathy you are right, in another year Sham likely would have been the triple crown winner.
JAJ, AP Indy, Secretariat, Man O War, they all produced some great daughters.  They passed on their large hearts to their daughters.  It is all about genetics.
Mary 17 Dec 2010 10:54 PM
Don't become so enamored with a pedigree you forget to look at the horse in front of you.  Flesh and blood horses do the running on the racetrack.
JAJ 18 Dec 2010 6:55 AM
If everybody would take two minutes out of their busy schedule and look at this item on E-bay, it is for a GREAT cause and would be a great keepsake for any Fan of Barbaro.  Only 2 1/2 days left to bid, Thank You in advance!
WOW! Barbaro Beanie Baby in mint condition, with his saddle cloth signed by those who loved him: Michael Matz, Edgar Prado, and Roy and Gretchen Jackson. Donated in order to raise money for rescued racehorses at 100% of the proceeds help our horses. Will ship overnight for an extra fee for Christmas delivery if desired. Thanks for looking and bid with your hearts.......
Greg J. 18 Dec 2010 9:42 AM
Hi All,
I wanted to bring to your attention a horse rescue that I just read about on ABR. It is about Dyna Bank, a 13 year old horse, son of Dynaformer and Rekindled. He was found in bad shape at a place called the DogPatch outside of Tucson. Heart of Tucson has rescued him and has pictures at the website below.
This is the ABR link.
As bad as his physical condition is, his feet are his biggest problem as will see by the pictures. Heart of Tucson is doing him good. The rescue could probably use some help with his care.
And they've renamed Gifted. He is special because he can be hand fed.
Kathy 18 Dec 2010 9:56 AM
and anyone interested look at Who's Hot,Who's Not>> Kitalpha A Big Heart In Kentucky.  Horse never raced and has a heart as big as Secretariat.. written 1-4-09 dont know if this link works or not ,if not google and it comes up..Thanks for the above info Greg!!
Ragsy 18 Dec 2010 10:38 AM
Greg... thanks for the info.  That is really a nice thing going. Would be honored to help the cause.
Thanks to JAJ and Mary for getting along on this web site. Christmas spirit must be in the air.
Lou in TX 18 Dec 2010 10:43 AM
Hey Greg
I bid on the Baby Barbaro but site isn't showing up the current bid..hope lots bids for a horse rescue site..
Ragsy 18 Dec 2010 11:32 AM
Hey FOB's here's a great article about Rosie:
Glad to see she is doing so well. Just thought you all would enjoy this article. Hopefully she'll get to ride more on our brothers next year.
Lou in TX 18 Dec 2010 5:37 PM
Rosie...I was betting on the Barbao beanie also. It finally just got too expensive for me. Glad to see the bidding is going so well. Hope they make a lot of money for a good cause.
Lou in TX 18 Dec 2010 5:40 PM
JAJ, Lou In TX, Ragsy, Kathy, thank you so much for all of your comments.
JAJ, you are right, and I promise you I will look at what is in front of me before looking at the pedigree.
Kathy, keep writing.  Love your posts.
Lou in TX thank you.  JAJ knows horses, no doubt about it.
Ragsy, thank you so much for the  Kitalpha website.  I'm going to look at it in the morning.
I'm intent on getting that Barbaro beanie.      
Mary 18 Dec 2010 10:07 PM
Can I ask about your future racehorse?
Where will you be racing?  What are your goals?  A "little guy" like me can have a lot of fun and success by buying horses that fit into a regional program.  My own regional program is very, very lucrative with MSW races restricted to Ontario-sired horses worth almost $60,000 plus owner awards of something like $1500.  There is a 20% bonus to the purse for all previously unclaimed Ontario breds, too.  A MSW win at Woodbine is worth more than some stakes races in Kentucky!
Are you looking to buy into a syndicate/partnership, or bite the bullet and get something all for yourself?
Make sure you set a price range you are comfortable with and stick to it.  It costs just as much to keep a cheap horse as it does to train a good one.
Do you have a trainer picked out?  I've been lucky to hook up with a couple of very honest individuals who were honest with me about what I had and what to expect.  I think it is critical to have a trainer who will tell you to your face early that your horse has no talent and to find it another job.  Not all trainers will do that, stringing you along for the day rate which is more than most people earn.
Are you looking for a yearling or a horse in training?  Although I understand how to make money claiming horses, it isn't something I will have any fun at.  I worry about them.  I'm too much of a pet owner to succeed there, so I only focus on allowance-type horses knowing I will end up with a claimer when those horses run through their conditions.
Prices for middle and lower-end horses have plummetted, with good horses not even getting a bid at the sales.  The good horses, the ones people say "tick all the boxes," are always a lot of money.
A newcomer to the business has a hard time getting good, solid advice.  There is a culture of secrecy and sometimes an acceptance of unethical behavior which is why so many new owners leave the business.  (Charlie Whittingham is famously quoted as saying, "I treat my owners like mushrooms.  I keep them in the dark and feed them plenty of manure.)  I like to think that mentality is changing.
I would be happy to talk to you privately if Greg will forward my email address to you.
JAJ 19 Dec 2010 7:19 AM
Mary, Lou and all
did you look at the Beanie Baby Barbaro and see his saddle blanket has 132 Kentucky Derby on it...sure do miss that fella and right now I am having a Nic attack..sure miss the Brothers...
Ragsy 19 Dec 2010 8:13 AM
that article about Rosie was super and
Kathy keep'em coming, there great articles...
Ragsy 19 Dec 2010 8:52 AM
Greg, I noticed that the beanie baby has gone into the semi ouch phase price of $152.50. I even asked my sister, who actually put in a bid before it got too high to give it for me for Christmas...alas that won't be the case...because it is in semi ouch phase...but I am happy for the rescue. I will instead ask her to send a donation to Gifted (Dyna King)...poor baby, to help in his recovery. Don't tell my sister, but I'll be sending in my own donation as well.
Kathy 19 Dec 2010 9:50 AM
I should have started my post with a statement something to the effect that I don't expect any answers!!!!
I was just giving you questions for you to think over.  Finding a horse is a process.  It is not as simple as it at first appears.
JAJ 19 Dec 2010 4:22 PM
The Barbaro beanie is going to cost me, but it's for a good cause.  I'm the highest bidder, but someone else wants him as bad as I do.  I have not decided yet what my limit will be.  
Mary 19 Dec 2010 5:11 PM
JAJ, I live in south Louisiana near New Orleans.  I am definitely looking for a yearling.  I don't want a claimer, because like you, I love animals.  Steve Asmussen has a barn in New Orleans, so he would be my choice of trainer.  I work for the Louisiana legislature, and have a friend, a former legislator, who has helped the racing industry down here in Louisiana, so perhaps he can help me.
I know nothing about buying a race horse, so if Greg will give me your email address I will contact you. Your help would be much appreciated.  I also plan to talk with my ex husband.
By the way, I'm thinking about a partnership with my daughter and a good friend of mine, but going it alone would work as well.  
Mary 19 Dec 2010 5:41 PM
Mary, how exciting for you.
In picking a trainer I suspect you want someone who will welcome in the barn in the mornings.  I love being at the barn in the morning, watching, helping and learning.  Not all trainers feel that way.
A trainer can make all the difference to your experience.  A successful trainer with many barns spread across the country and one in Canada may not be your best choice.  In those kinds of barns your horse will just be a number.  Asmussen will spend his time organizing his operation with special attention to the Rachels and the Curlins in his barn while his assistants do the day-to-day training and deal with clients.
The other risk with very large operations is that they sometimes don't care as much if they use up a horse since they have a lot more waiting to fill the stall at some training farm.
My gut feeling  is you will be happiest with a smaller trainer who will value your business of one horse.  You want to find a good horseman.
My own trainer trains her own horses as well as a few clients so she understands the costs of a racehorse.  She thinks that is really important for a trainer to have a personal stake in the business so they understand things from an owners perspective.  You don't want a trainer wasting your money.  
I look forward to continuing this conversation privately.
JAJ 20 Dec 2010 8:28 AM


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