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: Performance vs. Stud Fee for the Small Owner-Breeder

By the time a stallion has established himself at stud, his fee is usually determined by performance, not the hype that surrounds new horses when they first enter stud. There are, of course, many ways to measure performance, including progeny earnings (which determines placement on the General Sires list), percent of black-type winners to named [...]

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Taking Stock: Champion 3-Year-Old Fillies at Stud

Champion fillies were rarely sold at public auction when owner/breeders dominated the sport for a good part of the last century. All of that changed from the 1980s onward when the industry became more commercialized and highly charged at the top end with international bidding wars for yearlings and breeding stock. Back then, folks like [...]

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Taking Stock: Yearling Averages and Unproven Sires

The bloodstock industry in Kentucky is heavily weighted to the commercial marketplace, and when the first yearlings of a stallion sell well, sometimes even experienced commercial breeders can get momentarily caught up in the euphoria. A breeder called me after the Fasig-Tipton October Sale to say that he was going to breed to such a [...]

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Taking Stock: Fifth-Year Stallions and Brody’s Cause

Much has been made lately in Kentucky on farms reducing stud fees in response to the blighted economy, but there’s a group of stallions whose fees would have mostly dropped as a matter of course even in booming times. These are second- through fifth-year stallions; frequently, fees for horses entering their fifth season at stud [...]

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Taking Stock: The Daredevil Syndrome

You know this adage well: “Sell a stallion overseas and he’ll catch fire.” The latest example is Daredevil (More Than Ready), whose remarkable first-crop daughter Swiss Skydiver put on a show for the ages on Saturday to deny Gl Kentucky Derby winner Authentic (Into Mischief) the Gl Preakness S. at Pimlico. Trained by a daredevil [...]

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Taking Stock: Keeneland Numbers Are Troubling

With a pandemic that’s led to the loss of 200,000 lives, the loss of jobs, and overall economic instability that’s affected most people except for the super wealthy that are heavily invested in the stock market, no one expected the Keeneland September yearling sale to be anything but down by gross and average versus last [...]

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Taking Stock: Nyquist Off the Grade I Mark

Spendthrift purchased the breeding rights to Authentic before the Grade l Santa Anita Derby, and the $9 million kicker it agreed to pay Authentic’s former ownership group for winning the Gl Kentucky Derby is indicative of the premium that’s placed on a stallion prospect with North America’s most prestigious Classic on his resume. A front-running [...]

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Taking Stock: Not This Time Leads Freshman Sires

The year 2020 will have an asterisk next to it in racing history, but there will nevertheless be a leading first-crop sire at year’s end, and Taylor Made’s Not This Time (Giant’s Causeway) might be the stallion atop it. As we head into September, Not This Time leads all N. American-based first-crop sires by number [...]

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Taking Stock: Bernardini is Relevant

There’s a tendency in this business–as in life–to downgrade the relevance of the aged and to push them aside in favor of youth. You see this in bloodstock all the time. Everyone wants young mares, just as everyone wants to patronize first-year sires. Old mares, even some stakes producers, are discarded cheaply, and older sires, [...]

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Taking Stock: Sires and Racing Environments

The advent of Twitter over the last decade or so has made racing results quickly accessible to fans and observers anywhere in the world, so much so that it seems that a greater number of people in the U.S. are more familiar with European racing than ever before. Back when I was a kid, we’d [...]

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Taking Stock: Coolmore’s Plundering of British Classics

John Magnier’s Irish-based Coolmore is dominating Britain. That’s not hyperbole, either. How’s this for an illustration? The Irish entity, which generally campaigns its runners under the various partnership colors of Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith, has won an astonishing 25 of the past 49 British Classics over the last decade (see the accompanying [...]

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Taking Stock: Being Inclusive in an Exclusive Game

Is it even possible to be inclusive in an exclusive game? Kudos to Sue Finley and this publication for its series on diversity and inclusion, featuring several notable individuals who’ve made poignant cases for the benefits of opening racing’s upper-echelon doors to Black people, people of color, women and other marginalized groups. However, the ways [...]

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