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: 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 [...]

[ Read More ]
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 [...]

[ Read More ]
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 [...]

[ Read More ]
Taking Stock: Race Records and Stallion Prospects

Sackatoga Stable's Tiz the Law (Constitution) was a Grade l winner at two, won the Grade l Florida Derby this year, and goes for the first Classic of the season as the favorite in the Gl Belmont S. on Saturday. His breeding rights have been tied up for months, and if he does nothing from [...]

[ Read More ]
Taking Stock: Arrogate Death a Blow

The unexpected death of Arrogate (Unbridled's Song) on Tuesday was a devastating blow to his connections at Juddmonte and to the industry at large. He was the horse that Juddmonte had expected to base its boutique North American stallion operation around and he was the last great hope that his late sire would deliver a [...]

[ Read More ]
Taking Stock: TJC Applies a Band-Aid

Let's cut to the chase. The recent dictum from The Jockey Club (TJC) that North American stallions born in 2020 and forward will be limited to covering 140 mares in a calendar year is an attempt to divert mares from popular stallions to others not as in demand. It's a simplistic approach to a complex [...]

[ Read More ]
Taking Stock: Baffert and The Avengers

When the balance of power shifts anywhere, one side or another usually makes a move to regain equilibrium. It's the way of the world, the yin and the yang of natural order. In Avengers, a film based on Stan Lee characters from Marvel Comics, a guy named Nick Fury, head of S.H.I.E.L.D., acts to save [...]

[ Read More ]
Taking Stock: The Art of the Mating

Responding to the global coronavirus pandemic, people and organizations within this industry from around the world have stepped up to generate goodwill gestures every week it seems, whether it's owner-breeder Chuck Fipke offering no-fee breedings to his stallions, Finger Lakes HBPA and track management distributing $827,000 in the form of “stimulus checks” to local trainers [...]

[ Read More ]
Taking Stock: Fear Index and Foal Crops

Aside from the threats to life and health, the global coronavirus pandemic has created massive economic and socio-political turmoil and fear over a short time span. In times like this–there haven't been many quite like this in recent years, except for the economic meltdown of 2008 and the crash of 1987 (Black Monday)–it's difficult to [...]

[ Read More ]
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 [...]

[ Read More ]
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 [...]

[ Read More ]
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 [...]

[ Read More ]