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: Dr. Settle's Dream is a Winner

Was it divine intervention? As the story goes, sometime in late 1923 or early 1924, a Kentucky pastor, Rev. Dr. Thomas Settle, convinced some state legislators in Frankfort not to end legalized gambling in Kentucky by repealing parimutuel wagering, much to the relief of the Kentucky Jockey Club and other concerned horsemen. Most ministers may [...]

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Taking Stock: David Ingordo and Flightline

David Ingordo of Lane's End Bloodstock doesn't smile much, and when he does, it's usually a half-smile. But he does have a sense of humor. On Sunday afternoon, he was spotted at Keeneland outside the Lane's End consignment wearing a gray vest with the name “David DeVaux” embroidered on the chest, a nod and a [...]

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Taking Stock: Sikura's Hill 'n' Dale at Xalapa

What a time to be alive for John Sikura, master of Hill 'n' Dale! The farm's stallions have been putting on quite a show lately while Sikura quietly goes about the task–well, it's a labor of love, really–of restoring, modernizing, and expanding Xalapa, the historically significant Bourbon County property near Paris that he acquired a [...]

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Taking Stock: Hickey's One-Man Show Produced Buck's Boy, Lady Shirl

The news last week of P. Noel Hickey's death Aug. 8 at 94 was a reminder of how much racing has changed over the years. Hickey owned a stud farm in Ocala, Irish Acres; stood his own stallions that he patronized; bred the runners he raised and raced; and trained them, including one Eclipse Award [...]

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Taking Stock: Sharp as a Tack

Pan the camera away from Saratoga and Del Mar, where the glamorous juveniles debut one after another, and focus for a moment on two lower-profile tracks that hosted two eye-popping performances this weekend. On Saturday at Prairie Meadows, Tyler's Tribe, a 2-year-old Iowa-bred gelding by Sharp Azteca (Freud), won the 5 1/2-furlong Iowa Stallion Futurity [...]

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Taking Stock: Justify Moving Early

Coolmore America's Triple Crown winner Justify, a son of Scat Daddy, never raced at two, and he famously became the first unraced 2-year-old since Apollo in 1882 to win the Gl Kentucky Derby. Midway through July, however, Justify is already represented by a Group 2 winner in Europe and a Grade III winner in North [...]

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Taking Stock: The Phipps Influence

Last Thursday, I received an email out of the blue from someone I didn't know. Evidently Jason Brooks listens to me every Wednesday on Steve Byk's “At the Races” radio show where we discuss pedigrees among other things, and Brooks wanted to inform me that there were “21 graded stakes wins in the first half [...]

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Taking Stock: It's High Time for This Stallion

The Classic season is over. A surface reading shows that Arrogate (Unbridled's Song), Keen Ice (Curlin), and Gun Runner (Candy Ride {Arg}) got the GI Kentucky Oaks, GI Kentucky Derby, and GI Preakness S. winners, respectively, from their first crops, and proven star sire Uncle Mo (Indian Charlie), who had a Derby winner from his [...]

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Taking Stock: Intrigue From Two Derbys and an Oaks

What an excellent weekend of European Classics, which featured a sprinkling of some intriguing “what ifs” to flavor what's to come in the months ahead. On Friday, Aidan O'Brien won his 41st British Classic–yes, you read correctly–when Tuesday (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}–Lillie Langtry {Ire}, by Danehill Dancer {Ire}) short-headed the unlucky John Gosden-trained Emily Upjohn (GB) [...]

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Taking Stock: Gun Runner in Heady Company

Two weeks ago, when I wrote the column “First Crops Yield Derby and Oaks Winners,” I'd expected to write about Taiba (Gun Runner) and Secret Oath (Arrogate), the two I'd liked the most in the Gl Kentucky Derby and Gl Kentucky Oaks, respectively. I'd spoken mainly about those two on Steve Byk's popular SiriusXM program [...]

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Taking Stock: First Crops Yield Classic Winners

Rich Strike (Keen Ice), upset winner of the Gl Kentucky Derby at 80-1, and Secret Oath (Arrogate), the powerful Gl Kentucky Oaks winner, are members of the first crops of their respective sires, both of whom were late-developing Classic-distance horses. Keen Ice and Arrogate each won his first stakes race at Saratoga in late August [...]

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Taking Stock: Mo Donegal Has Character of Crawford

Affable Iowan Jerry Crawford, a longtime client of Werk Thoroughbred Consultants, runs the successful racing partnership Donegal Racing, which was established in 2008 with the specific goal of winning the Gl Kentucky Derby. That may have sounded like wishful thinking at the time, but Crawford's stable has made it to Louisville on average every three [...]

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