Friday, January 9, 2009

Barbaro's Little Brother

The day was so stunningly beautiful in South Florida (72 degrees and not a cloud to be found) that I decided to spend it outdoors at a familiar old retreat, Gulfstream Park race track. While there, I cashed a $103 exacta and picked up this bit of gossip: Nicanor, a younger full brother to beloved Barbaro, the ill-fated winner of the 2006 Kentucky Derby, is expected to make his racing debut in either late January or early February. He is currently preparing at Palm Meadows training center, about 45 miles up the road.

Nicanor (pictured above) is a 3-year-old, which makes him eligible for this year's Derby the first Saturday in May. But since he's a full brother to Barbaro, meaning he shares the same sire (Dynaformer) and dam (La Villa Rouge), the anticipation is especially great even though the colt is, at this point, a mystery.

Interesting fact: Barbaro was named for one of six foxhounds depicted in the portrait "Foxhounds Meute de la Mr. Le Comte de Barral." Nicanor was named for one of the others. Letenor, another in the painting, is the next sibling in line to Barbaro, a 2-year-old full brother who is also said to be "close to the races."

If Dynaformer and La Villa Rouge continue making colts, we should also expect Margano, Sereno and Calypso to round out the family portrait.

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