Sid Fernando Sid Fernando

Sid Fernando is president and CEO of Werk Thoroughbred Consultants, Inc., originator of the Werk Nick Rating and eNicks. He has written a bi-weekly column for the TDN since March, 2018.

Taking Stock: Blame Game Is On

Claiborne Farm and Adele B. Dilschneider’s Mucho (Blame–Extent, by Pulpit), a colt bred to be a two-turn 3-year-old, has already made himself known at two after an ultra-impressive maiden win over six furlongs at Saratoga last Saturday. The ‘TDN Rising Star’ won his second start by almost 10 lengths in 1:10.19, and it doesn’t take [...]

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Taking Stock: Of ‘N’ Names, Nazis and New Beginnings

Sire lines and female families come and go through time, like political movements, oftentimes changing winds across countries. New environments, and new ideas, can lead to success, survival, revival, or failure. Sometimes there are extended periods of longevity and stability, but inevitable challenges to the status quo can cause tumult and change. To best understand [...]

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Mill Ridge Back in the Sire Game

Headley Bell, managing partner of Mill Ridge Farm in Lexington, favors long-sleeved button-down shirts and khakis, is exceedingly polite and gentlemanly, and has the unaffected air of a country squire about him. He has the pedigree to back up this image, as the grandson of Hal Price Headley, one of the founders of Keeneland, an [...]

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Wesley’s World: An Owner, Breeder and Trainer

I had no idea, back in March, that some folks in casual attire at Craig Bernick’s annual crawfish boil at Glen Hill Farm in Ocala would be on television or social media three months later in morning suits and top hats at Royal Ascot–except for Wesley Ward, of course. Ward’s name has become synonymous with [...]

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Taking Stock: The Uniqueness of Fipke

Niki McCardell was tense as Justify (Scat Daddy) rolled into the Belmont stretch, and with each stride the big chestnut took to secure his place in history, McCardell’s pent-up excitement became noticeably palpable. She started clenching her fists and raising her arms at the sixteenth pole and finally emptied her emotional tank when the colt [...]

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Taking Stock: Big Weekend for Deep Impact

Musing, I tweeted this from @sidfernando last Sunday, after Japanese-bred Wagnerian (Deep Impact–Miss Encore, by King Kamehameha) won the GI Tokyo Yushun, the 2400-meter Japanese Derby equivalent: “It’s possible that Deep Impact, who got his fourth Japanese Derby winner today, could also have the winners of the Epsom Derby, Irish Derby, and French Derby.” It’s [...]

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Taking Stock: Baffert’s Way With Sires

Back in the early days when Bob Baffert was a cowboy transitioning from quarter horses to Thoroughbreds, he took a trip to Lexington to get an education. He visited some major stud farms like Claiborne and Lane’s End to see to see what good Thoroughbreds looked like. “It was ’89–the year Secretariat died,” he said. [...]

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Taking Stock: Bolt d’Oro, Number One Draft Pick

Rocco Baldelli is part of the Tampa Bay Rays coaching staff. Before that–after playing in the MLB, mostly for the Rays–he was a part of the club’s front office involved with amateur scouting and the annual MLB first-year player draft. Rocco once told us that scouting high school and college players for the draft was [...]

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Taking Stock: Justify, Magnum Moon, and Florida

Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s April Sale of 2-Year-Olds begins next week and it’s a reminder that the Florida Thoroughbred industry in Ocala–and greater Marion County in Central Florida–made its name in its early years, in the 1950s, as the place to buy early maturing stock. The unlimited supply of sunshine and limestone-rich soil helped produce [...]

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Taking Stock: WinStar Shooting For the Moon

Kenny Troutt’s WinStar Farm won an Eclipse Award for leading owner of 2010 and another for leading breeder of 2016, but 2018 may be the year the Versailles farm eclipses those considerable achievements. Both as a breeder and owner (along with some heavyweight partners), WinStar has made an indelible mark on the runup to the [...]

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