The long awaited return of Nicanor happens today on opening day at Keeneland, race #8 with post time about 4:42. After almost eleven months since his last race, a fourth place finish in the Island Sun Stakes at Belmont Park on May 12, 2011, this will be a very tough test for six year old Nicanor (can't believe he is six years old!). Rajiv Maragh gets the mount for the first time on Nicanor in this very talented field of nine, a $65,000 Allowance race at seven furlong's on the All-weather surface of Keeneland (the first time Nicanor has run on this surface). TVG will be carrying the race live, and like I mentioned, post time is about 4:42.
After his last race, he was given a vacation by the Jackson's for basically a mental break, the first time Nicanor has been allowed to have such a break since he started his career back on Jan. 31st, 2009. Yes, he did have a break for almost eleven months back in 2009-2010 after he sustained a hind injury, but this break had nothing to do with an injury, just some time to be a horse. It was up to Nicanor if he was going to return, by his attitude and more then ten published works, he has shown that he wants to return and is ready for that return. This will be the first race under the guidance of the Delacour's since Nicanor was transferred to their barn. The Delacour's are known to have well conditioned horses in their barn, and have a very good record with their horses after a long break, and with first timers in their care.
What can I say about this field? While the race is listed as a $65,000 Allowance race, it could easily be a stakes race. After such a long break and facing a very talented and tough field, it will be asking a lot for Nicanor to hit the board, even asking more for him to pull off a victory. Most likely, the Delacour's want to get a race under his belt before he returns to Fair Hill. With Nicanor's style of going straight to the lead and the short distance of just seven furlong's, he could pull off the huge upset. I will say this, this year could be the last of Nicanor's career on the track, and it really is up to him and the results he gets in the process. As everyone here, I wish nothing but the best today and in the future for Nicanor. To me, just getting the start today is a victory in itself.
A safe race for all today...
The race and field for today's race:
Keeneland April 6,2012
Race #8- 4:42pm
About Seven Furlongs. (All Weather Track)
Purse $65,000, Allowance Optional Claiming $100,000
PP Horse A/S Jockey Wgt Trainer
1 Nicanor (KY) 6/H R Maragh 118 L Delacour
2 Capt. Candyman Can(KY)6/G C J Lanerie 118 I R Wilkes
3 Hoofit (NZ) 5/G J R Velazquez 118 H G Motion
4 Steve's Double (MD) 8/G M Pedroza 118 G L Knight
5 Rescue Squad (KY) 6/H R Albarado 118 C R McGaughey III
6 Noble's Promise (KY) 5/H A Garcia 118 K G McPeek
7 Golden Yank (KY) 7/G S Bridgmohan 118 G A Thomas
8 A Diehl (KY) 7/G J Graham 123 G R Arnold, II
9 Successful Dan (KY) 6/G J R Leparoux 118 C Lopresti
*I wanted to mention, my computer died last night and I had to write this on my smart phone, not something I recommend and the reason it is shorter then normal, sorry! Also, look for the Lentenor to race VERY soon, and the return of Margano within the next month! The first time all three brothers will be on the track at the same time!
Here is the replay of Nicanor's return yesterday. I am running late for my trek down to Aqueduct to witness what should be a wonderful day of racing, great card! Wishing the best for Bourbonstreetgirl and Teeth of the Dog, hope they BOTH shock the racing world and win at huge odds!
I will say regarding Nicanor's race, it is VERY premature to say Nicanor should be retired after this race. One needs to remember, it was his first race in almost a year, his first race on the all-weather surface, and he was facing a stakes caliber field. While I don't think he would have won, but, I will say this until I am blue in the face, if Nicanor does not get the lead from the start, he is not the same horse. With that said, it was great to see him, and the most important aspects of yesterday's race are, he came out of the race in good order and he got a race under his belt after the long lay-off. Also, look for Lentenor to be entered to race VERY soon :)
Replay of Nicanor's return: