Nicanor Gets Ready for Action

Walking out onto the track for training, his curiosity gets the better of him. He looks at his surroundings, and his intelligence absorbs every moment out on the field. His rider waits patiently for him to indicate that he is ready to work. If one had never seen him and only heard his character described, you would think it was Barbaro out on the track. But it is his full brother, Nicanor, and he is a horse that everyone has very high expectations for. Trainer Michael Matz is aware of the huge shoes that are expected to be filled, but remains reserved in regard to his views of Nicanor.

Nicanor was sired by Dynaformer and is out of the mare La Ville Rouge. Another full brother to Barbaro was born, named Lentenor, but it is nearing Nicanor’s time to shine. Barbaro and his siblings were named after a foxhound painting that is owned by their owners, Roy and Gretchen Jackson. With Barbaro, Nicanor and Lentenor already named, only three more names remain, which the Jacksons want to use to complete the Barbaro legacy, namely Sereno, Calypso and Margano.

Michael Matz is known to be a trainer that does not push his young horses, and has not yet asked Nicanor for speed during his training sessions. He was withdrawn from training by Matz as he felt the colt was growing too fast, so Nicanor will be making his debut as a three year old. Matz has commented that Nicanor is a very beautiful race horse, that he is well rounded and balanced, and even though he has the competitive spirit of his older brother, his build resembles that of his half brother, Holy Ground.

His owners and trainer are realistic about Nicanor, knowing that his bloodline and being related to Barbaro does not guarantee that he will be a good racehorse, but they remain hopeful. He will be making his debut this year, and with his first race looming, training has increased in seriousness. Everyone will only be able to see his potential once he has run his first race. “I’m always hoping Nicanor will be as good as Barbaro,” Gretchen Jackson commented about Nicanor. “I’ve gone down twice to see him since he got to Fair Hill. It’s fun to be down there, fun to be around him. When I see him, there is a certain happiness and sadness combined. It’s a very emotional thing for me. When I see him, I like to rub my hands down his legs. It makes me feel like I’m back in touch with Barbaro.” Those who have ridden him believe he is a powerful horse, and those who loved Barbaro hope that Nicanor can continue where he left off.

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