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: 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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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Taking Stock: Sole Volante, Inexpensive Yearling to Classic Contender
Taking Stock: Sole Volante, Inexpensive Yearling to Classic Contender

Sole Volante (Karakontie {Jpn}) wasn’t an expensive yearling, but he announced his Classic aspirations impressively last weekend in an early Gl Kentucky Derby prep. He won the 1 1/16-mile Glll Sam F. Davis S. at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday, but sold for only $6,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling sale. He was resold by [...]

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Taking Stock: Tagg’s Classic Prospect

Barclay Tagg is a straightforward, no-nonsense type of guy who’s been training horses for close to 50 years. During his career, he had a stint as an assistant to legendary hard-boot trainer Frank Whiteley, Jr., and before that, he was a steeplechase jockey. He’s in his early eighties and has spent most of his adult [...]

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Taking Stock: Notes From Lexington

January can be cold, bitter, and snowy in Lexington, but the weather was unseasonably warmer during Keeneland’s Horses of All Ages sale, which made life easier for inspecting broodmares and short yearlings on the sales grounds and stallions at the nearby stud farms that power the industry here. Most of the major farms offer daily [...]

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Taking Stock: Coolmore’s New Year’s Gambit

On New Year’s Day, David Grening broke the news in the Daily Racing Form that Coolmore had purchased a 50% interest in the racing and breeding rights of Gary and Mary West’s homebred Maximum Security (New Year’s Day). (Disclosure: The Wests and their racing manager, Ben Glass, are retained clients of WTC, Inc.). The colt [...]

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Taking Stock: The Mare Nick

“What about the mare?” This is the response that I got recently from a breeder who was grilling me about nicks. She’s fairly new to the business and had been doing her homework. She’d run pedigree nick reports with one of her newly acquired mares, and after a while she’d realized that the nick ratings [...]

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Taking Stock: U.S. Climate for Yoshida May Be Ripe

There’s been a lot of news lately about the exportation of U.S. stallions and stallion prospects, most notably the sale of Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome (Lucky Pulpit) to Japan, which is also where another Kentucky Derby winner, Animal Kingdom (Leroidesanimaux {Brz}), and potential Horse of the Year Bricks and Mortar (Giant’s Causeway) will stand [...]

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