Sid Fernando

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 by 12 1/2 lengths in 1:04:18 to remain undefeated in three starts. He earned a 90 Beyer Speed Figure--you read that correctly--for the easy score. It wasn't a fluke, either, because in his previous start...

[ Read More ]
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 well. First-Crop 3-year-olds Gun Runner, whose first crop is three, has, incredibly, sired four individual Grade I winners so far, the latest of which is Zedan Racing's remarkable Taiba, who won the GI Runhappy Santa...

[ Read More ]
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 manager, and Margo Flynn, vice president of marketing. This was obvious on Saturday--"Festival Day 42"--when the track showcased its signature event, the Gll Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby, one of five black-type events on the...

[ Read More ]
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 barn. So perhaps it's appropriate that he won a race over the weekend--the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate--that gives the winner a guaranteed entry to the middle leg of the Triple Crown. Blackadder,...

[ Read More ]
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 (HISA), enacted late last year, was unconstitutional. Baffert had challenged his suspension, which was summarily instituted by NYRA without a hearing May 17 after the Baffert-trained Medina Spirit (Protonico) had tested positive for betamethasone in...

[ Read More ]
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 twisting or deal making, because except for a handful of elite or popular sires that breeders are banging doors down to get into, most stallions need mares, usually as many as possible to fill books...

[ Read More ]
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 long. Some minutes later, the "I heard Medina Spirit..." tweets started trickling out, and then the dam burst. Everyone had something to say, and most of it was derogatory or innuendo about his trainer, Bob...

[ Read More ]
Taking Stock: New Kentucky Stallions at $10,000

Back in March of 2009, in the Werk Thoroughbred Consultants blog, the late Jack Werk recounted a wager we'd made years earlier. This is what he wrote: "The year that Elusive Quality went to stud, pedigree expert Sid Fernando and I had a small side bet: Who was the best sleeper or long shot from that crop? Sid picked Distorted Humor, standing for $12,500, a pretty astute choice at the time. I, of course, picked Elusive Quality, who also went to stud very cheap--$10,000. "As it turns out, we both picked wisely! The top two...

[ Read More ]
Taking Stock: Misbranding Case Doomed By Fed Error

Expeditiously I be on my Grizzly Feds try to creep me somehow always miss me --Mr. Fantastik, from the MF DOOM song "Anti-Matter" on the King Geedorah album "Take Me To Your Leader" If you're not hip to the slang in the lyrics above, Mr. Fantastik is essentially saying that the Feds are after him while he's on his grind, but they can't quite get him. There's an implication in there that the Feds are incompetent, but that's more evident from Mr. Fantastik's delivery. Trainer Murray Rojas can probably relate...

[ Read More ]
Taking Stock: Liam's Map Flying Unbridled's Song Flag

We've been waiting a long time for a high-class son of Unbridled's Song to make a statement at stud and stick around to carry his name forward in pedigrees, and that horse appears to be Lane's End's Liam's Map, who got his fourth Grade l winner over the weekend. Unbridled's Song was a terrific stallion and his daughters have made him one of the best broodmare sires around, but he's had difficulties finding sons at stud as good as his daughters. He's had some that showed glimmers of talent, and...

[ Read More ]
Taking Stock: Gun Runner Flexes Candy Ride/Storm Cat Nick

Two sons of Candy Ride (Arg)--Gun Runner and Twirling Candy--were represented by three 2-year-old Grade l winners over the weekend, and do you know one thing they had in common? Each was produced by a Storm Cat-line mare. This affinity for the Storm Cat line was also an important feature of Candy Ride's own success, and breeders appear to be copying that formula with his sons. It's not surprising; it's something that usually happens when a stallion is successful with the females of another sire line, and this type of...

[ Read More ]
Taking Stock: A Weekend to Remember

Everything that top-class racing should be was on display over the last weekend. The six Grade l races at Saratoga on Saturday featured most of the leading horses in each division except older dirt males, and as a group they didn't disappoint, did they? Nor did their trainers. One race after another was dramatically decided at or close to the wire, and some of the runners-ups, including the Steve Asmussen-trained Midnight Bourbon (Tiznow) in the Gl Runhappy Travers S. and the Todd Pletcher-conditioned Life is Good (Into Mischief) in the...

[ Read More ]
X

Never miss another story from the TDN

Click Here to sign up for a free subscription.