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: Turf and Dirt Under the Microscope

First, the facts, bare and unvarnished: In 2017, 17% of the 37,483 flat races in the United States were on turf, up from 5% of 71,454 races in 1991. I wrote about this shift to turf and its relationship to the breeding industry here in March. At face value, this is a significant increase, but [...]

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Taking Stock: Grass Getting Greener for English Channel

The leading North American-based sires of Grade l winners this year are Quality Road (five), War Front (four), and English Channel (four). The latter might seem out of place among the other two, but he’s a successful stallion at Calumet Farm who’s flown under the radar for a long time, and his time in the [...]

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Taking Stock: Justify Sale Significant for WinStar and Coolmore

This year’s Triple Crown winner Justify (Scat Daddy–Stage Magic, by Ghostzapper) was moved from WinStar Farm to Coolmore’s Ashford Stud on Monday after it was announced that the big chestnut had been sold by a WinStar-led partnership to John Magnier’s Irish-based powerhouse, which also stands 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. Rumors of a pending [...]

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Taking Stock: From Retired Bleeder to Grade I Winner

“Give me your tired, your poor / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” wrote the poet Emma Lazarus. Those words from a sonnet were later inscribed on the Statue of Liberty and are synonymous with the ethos of the United States of America. They are applicable to racing here as well. The U.S. is [...]

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Taking Stock: Kumin’s Partnerships Are In Plain Sight

If it wasn’t obvious before, it should be now. Since appearing on the scene four-plus years ago, Sol Kumin’s various racing partnerships–notably Head of Plains Partners, Madaket Stables, Monomoy Stables, and Sheep Pond Partners–have become ubiquitous on weekends and astonishingly successful at the highest levels. All told, the Kumin entities have won 38 Grade l [...]

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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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