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: 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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Taking Stock: Young Stallions Dominate Derby Points Leaders

Led by Three Chimneys's Gun Runner (Candy Ride {Arg}), young stallions with either first- or second-crop representatives account for 11 of the 20 leading point getters for the GI Kentucky Derby, and quite a few of these stallions, Gun Runner included, have the top 12 leading points earners for the GI Longines Kentucky Oaks as [...]

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Taking Stock: Country Grammer Boosts Tonalist

Before the G1 Dubai World Cup, Country Grammer (Tonalist) was already a Grade l winner in North America, but that race that he won on May 31, 2021, the Gl Hollywood Gold Cup S. at Santa Anita, was worth only $180,000 to the winner. Since then, Country Grammer has made only two starts, both abroad [...]

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Taking Stock: Tampa Bay's Big Day Showcased Top Outfits, Bloodstock

Tampa Bay Downs in Oldsmar, Florida, is a gem of a racecourse that doesn't get the accolades it should. Owned by Stella Thayer, president of the track and a member of The Jockey Club, and her brother, Howell Ferguson, Tampa Bay Downs is expertly managed day to day by Peter Berube, vice president and general [...]

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Taking Stock: Deceased Arrogate and Laoban Strike at Oaklawn

Neither Arrogate, by Unbridled's Song, nor Laoban, a son of Uncle Mo, is still with us, but a first-crop daughter of the former and a second-crop son of the latter won graded Classic preps at Oaklawn over the weekend, underscoring the sire potential each had. Arrogate was seven when he was euthanized in 2020 and [...]

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Taking Stock: Quality of Baffert and Hancock with The Avengers

Bob Baffert is banned from Churchill Downs for two years and his 3-year-olds are ineligible for points in qualifying races for the Gl Kentucky Derby and Gl Kentucky Oaks. He may also get banned (again) from NYRA, which hosts the Gl Belmont S., which could leave only the Gl Preakness open to horses from his [...]

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Taking Stock: Constitutionality Matters

Last Friday, on the same day that Bob Baffert's New York Racing Association (NYRA) suspension hearing was ending in New York, the Texas attorney general filed a motion in a Texas federal court to join the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (National HBPA), et al., in arguing that the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act [...]

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Taking Stock: Courting Rituals of Breeders and Stud Farms

In about three weeks, another breeding season will begin, but that's the easy part for stud farms. Getting those mares was the hard part, and that process played out over the last four or five months, an annual courting ritual of farms and breeders. It includes behind-the-scenes hustling, heavy-duty advertising campaigns, and some occasional arm [...]

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Taking Stock: Varola, Hewitt Discuss Vaguely Noble & Caro

If you are a student of pedigrees, you'll know of Franco Varola and Abram S. Hewitt. If not, take my word for it that they were two giants in the field of pedigree research, and both were excellent writers. Varola, an Italian whose first name was Francesco, is known for two iconic books, “Typology of [...]

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Taking Stock: Danzig Legacy at Claiborne

Claiborne's been running an eye-catching ad on its two young sires War of Will (War Front) and Silver State (Hard Spun) that ties them to their illustrious Claiborne-based grandsire Danzig, under the heading, “The Danzig Legacy continues at Claiborne.” What really hits home about this ad is that Danzig's legacy in North America is now [...]

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Taking Stock: Notes on Medina Spirit and Breeders Hertrich lll and Fielding

As I sat down to write this column Monday, I got a text from a bloodstock agent that said, “Heard Medina Spirit broke down at Santa Anita a little while ago. Gonna be a shit storm.” I checked Twitter right away, but there was nothing yet about Medina Spirit (Protonico). I didn't have to wait [...]

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