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: 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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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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