Yes, Nicanor will once again be doing his best impersonation of Zorro, wearing his black blinkers for the first time since maiden and first-level allowance wins at Delaware Park in 2009. A definite sign that Ramon will take Nicanor straight to the lead, and, hopefully, never look back. I love this decision by Mr. Matz, while it is obvious Nicanor hates wearing his blinkers, he is more focused when he runs with them. The trick will be getting the blinkers on prior to the race, I am sure Nicanor will do everything in his power to make this very difficult for Mr. Matz to accomplish!
Here is a video I shot of Nicanor prior to his race at Delaware Park on June 17, 2009. As you can see, Nicanor is a hand full while getting his Zorro blinkers put on (sorry about the quality of the video, it was raining and I had my not-so-good camera!):
While Nicanor's race back in September was run at a slightly longer distance (1 1/16 miles), this race should (I hope), play out the same way. Take Nicanor to the lead, establish moderate fractions (look for splits at each quarter mile around :25, :49, and 1:13), and then see if Nicanor can hold off the field coming down the stretch. Nicanor has an ideal spot, breaking from the two hole, so I honestly think he can get the lead and have the race play out like I mentioned.
Here is a replay of Ramon and Nicanor back at Belmont Park in September:
Here is the field for the Island Sun Stakes:
1. (#2) Lubash, ridden be Jose Lezcano, trained by James Ryerson, morning line of 8-1 odds.
2. (#1) NICANOR, ridden by Ramon Dominquez, trained by Michael Matz, morning line of 3-1 odds!
3. (#1A) Beau Choix, ridden by Alan Garcia, trained by Barclay Tagg, morning line of 3-1 odds.
4. (#3) Zifzaf, ridden by Alex Solis, trained by James Toner, morning line of 7-2 odds.
5. (#4) Flat Bold, ridden by Javier Castellano, trained by Thomas Albertrani, morning line of 12-1 odds.
6. (#5) Krypton, ridden by Eddie Castro, trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, morning line of 3-1 odds.
7. (#6) Right One, ridden by Rajiv Maragh, trained by Christophe Clement, morning line of 5-2 odds.
(Nicanor and Beau Choix are a coupled entry, Nicanor owned by The Jacksons (Lael stable), Beau Choix owned by Belle Meadows Stable & Lael Stable).
I will have a full breakdown of this very evenly matched field tonight (since I am off to work this morning and don't have time right now to post my thoughts on the field, thanks for your patience!)
Some photos of Nicanor at Belmont Park on September 24th: