Friday, January 02, 2009


Gate Work Pleases Matz


Lael Stable’s Nicanor, the full-brother of 2006 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Florida Derby (G1) winner Barbaro, continues to progress toward his highly anticipated career debut at the end of January or early in February.

Trainer Michael Matz reported the 3-year-old homebred son of Dynaformer worked from the starting gate at Palm Meadows Training Center last Sunday, going three furlongs in :36.50 over the fast dirt track.


“He hadn’t broken from the gate in a while,” said Matz. “He is quite good at the gate and he’s doing fine. If everything continues to go well he should be starting at the end of the month.”

The workout was the second recorded drill out of a starting gate, breezing three furlongs from the barrier at Fair Hill Training Center last June. After a break from July to November, Matz has ramped up Nicanor’s training in South Florida with five works since Nov. 16.

Barbaro was already 3-for-3 at this point in his career, halfway to his six straight wins until breaking his ankle in the Preakness Stakes (G1). The resulting attempts to save the colt’s life captivated the world. Barbaro eventually succumbed to laminitis eight months later.

Until Nicanor starts his own career, the comparisons between the two sons of broodmare La Ville Rouge will be constant. Matz, however, remains restrained.

“They both have individual characteristics at this point,” he said. “They are two different types of horses. Nicanor does look like he could do well on any surface we want to run on. That’s similar. He’s looking like a competitive horse, but he obviously has some big shoes to fill. We will just keep taking it in stride.”


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