Lael Stable’s 3-year-old Nicanor, full-brother to ill-fated 2006 Florida and Kentucky Derby (G1) hero Barbaro, made his second career start Saturday at Gulfstream Park, and fared much better than his debut as he finished second to Homewrecker Racing’s 7-10 favorite Custom for Carlos in a seven-furlong maiden race.

Nicanor stumbled at the start of his much-publicized debut going one mile on Jan. 31 and never reached contention as he finished 10th of 12. Saturday, he was away alertly under jockey Jose Lezcano, set the pace to the upper stretch, and held gamely for the place at 8-1, a length behind the winner.

Custom for Carlos, ridden by Kent Desormeaux, was making his second start after just missing when second by a head in his debut for trainer Eddie Kenneally here on Feb. 11 going 6½ furlongs. The son of More Than Ready paid $3.40 to win and was timed in 1:23:25 over the fast track. Double K Racing’s Discreet Street finished another 5¼ lengths back in third in the field of 10 3-year-olds.

Winning Jockey Quotes

Kent Desormeaux (Custom for Carlos):

“I got a beautiful trip, here...not a worry in the world. If anything, I was trying to settle him down before making that charge. I was on a very attentive horse today. He was listening when I asked. I spent the entire race just trying to slow him down.”

Jose Lezcano (Nicanor, 2nd)

“He’s still learning and you saw that today. He’s going to be a good horse, just needs to mature a little bit. I tried to break him well and put him in position, which I felt we did. But I really felt the experience factor really did us in today. He was intimidated coming around the final turn, and I couldn’t really get him to respond the way I wanted. Sometimes the public has a totally different perception from us here. It’s going to take three or four more races with him before we really know what we have here.”

Trainer of the Runner-Up

Michael Matz:

“He’s a horse that needs experience. But he’s a good horse. Jose (Lezcano) said that when the other horse (Custom for Carlos) came alongside him he sort of shied and looked at him, but then once he got outside him, who knows, maybe another furlong he might have been able to catch him. He just needs experience, but he’s going to be a good horse.”


22:83, 46:57, 1:10:55 & 1:23:25