On July 18, Barbaro’s younger brother, Nicanor, is running in the $750,000 Virginia Derby — AND KAREN’S GOING TO SEE HIM!
Colonial Downs discriminates by prohibiting cats from attending races, and Cats Working briefly considered staging a poop-in all over the front lawn. But the race will be shown on TVG, the horse racing channel, and Karen promised to leave the TV on for us, so we can’t complain because we’ll probably see the race better than she will.
Nicanor’s odds are 7-2 in a 10-horse field, and considered the wild card who could beat the favorite, a British horse named Battle of Hastings, who won the Colonial Turf Cup at the Downs earlier this year.
Another horse in the race, Straight Story, lost the Turf Cup by just a head to Battle of Hastings, so he may be out for revenge and make things really interesting.
Nicanor ran his first race on dirt in January and it wasn’t good. He came in 10th and hurt a hoof. But then he came in second in his next 2 dirt races.
On May 13, trainer Michael Matz switched Nic to turf and he took off, winning by 15 ¼ lengths at Delaware Park, the same track where Barbaro first proved he was a champion.
Then Nic did it again on June 17 on another turf track.
So he’s coming to Colonial Downs’ turf on a winning streak. His jockey is Jose Lezcano, and they’ll be racing against Barbaro’s jockey, Edgar Prado, now on Take the Points, and and Big Brown’s jockey, Kent Desormeaux, now on Hold Me Back.
Just FYI, Barbaro has other full brothers besides Nicanor. Lentenor is now 2 years old. There’s a new foal, and mother La Ville Rouge is pregnant again by their father, Dynaformer.