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: The Coronavirus Impact

Two weeks ago, the bombshell indictments of trainers Jorge Navarro, Jason Servis, et al., sandwiched between a volatile stock market and the spread of the coronavirus, were the talk of the industry, leading to renewed calls by some for the passage of the Horseracing Integrity Act in Congress. At the time, the doping scandal promised [...]

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Taking Stock: The Cases of Navarro and Servis

What an awful way to start the week. Sandwiched between a chaotic stock market and the spread of coronavirus, the racing industry got word Monday of a tawdry racehorse doping scandal that came packaged in four indictments against 27 defendants. These schemes were replete with instances of gutter-level language from wire taps that painted the [...]

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Taking Stock: Third- And Fourth-Year Sire Issues

There’s been a series of conversations in these pages from industry insiders lately about the woes of third- and fourth-year sires, because these stallions don’t get the patronage from breeders that first-year (and, in many cases, second-year) horses do, and this has led to all sorts of angst for stallion owners and stud farms. Many [...]

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Taking Stock: Sole Volante, Inexpensive Yearling to Classic Contender

Sole Volante (Karakontie {Jpn}) wasn’t an expensive yearling, but he announced his Classic aspirations impressively last weekend in an early Gl Kentucky Derby prep. He won the 1 1/16-mile Glll Sam F. Davis S. at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday, but sold for only $6,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling sale. He was resold by [...]

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Taking Stock: Tagg’s Classic Prospect

Barclay Tagg is a straightforward, no-nonsense type of guy who’s been training horses for close to 50 years. During his career, he had a stint as an assistant to legendary hard-boot trainer Frank Whiteley, Jr., and before that, he was a steeplechase jockey. He’s in his early eighties and has spent most of his adult [...]

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Taking Stock: Notes From Lexington

January can be cold, bitter, and snowy in Lexington, but the weather was unseasonably warmer during Keeneland’s Horses of All Ages sale, which made life easier for inspecting broodmares and short yearlings on the sales grounds and stallions at the nearby stud farms that power the industry here. Most of the major farms offer daily [...]

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Taking Stock: Coolmore’s New Year’s Gambit

On New Year’s Day, David Grening broke the news in the Daily Racing Form that Coolmore had purchased a 50% interest in the racing and breeding rights of Gary and Mary West’s homebred Maximum Security (New Year’s Day). (Disclosure: The Wests and their racing manager, Ben Glass, are retained clients of WTC, Inc.). The colt [...]

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Taking Stock: The Mare Nick

“What about the mare?” This is the response that I got recently from a breeder who was grilling me about nicks. She’s fairly new to the business and had been doing her homework. She’d run pedigree nick reports with one of her newly acquired mares, and after a while she’d realized that the nick ratings [...]

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Taking Stock: U.S. Climate for Yoshida May Be Ripe

There’s been a lot of news lately about the exportation of U.S. stallions and stallion prospects, most notably the sale of Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome (Lucky Pulpit) to Japan, which is also where another Kentucky Derby winner, Animal Kingdom (Leroidesanimaux {Brz}), and potential Horse of the Year Bricks and Mortar (Giant’s Causeway) will stand [...]

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Taking Stock: American Pharoah Alone At Top

Coolmore is a stallion maker, and its American division at Ashford Stud has a specialty for minting leading first-crop sires. Over the last nine years, this includes Scat Daddy (2011), Henrythenavigator (2012), Dunkirk (2013), and Uncle Mo (2015). There’s every chance that Triple Crown winner American Pharoah will become the Irish-based global operation’s fifth champion [...]

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Taking Stock: Constitution is New Star for WinStar

Constitution, by Tapit from Baffled, by Distorted Humor, is the new rising star in the WinStar stallion barn. As of Thursday, Constitution was ranked second behind American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile) on the first-crop sire list with less than $25,000 separating the two as the high-dollar and game-changing Breeders’ Cup races loom in a few [...]

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Taking Stock: West Offers $500,000 for Derby Study

Gary West lives in Rancho Santa Fe in San Diego, but he was back at Keeneland in Lexington last month to buy potential classic colts; or, to be specific, to try to buy a colt for the Gl Kentucky Derby–a race he’s wanted to win more than any other. Inconspicuously dressed in a long-sleeved t-shirt, [...]

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