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Derby hopeful Nicanor slighty injured

Feb 1, 2009 7:57 PM
by GT Staff | There was much anticipation over Nicanor’s debut at Gulfstream Park, but a stumble out of the gate ended hopes of winning and threw a scare into his handlers.

"He is better than that," said his jockey Edgar Prado in a Bloodhorse.com report. "I’ve worked him in the mornings and he showed me a lot. He broke really fast and unfortunately grabbed his left quarter. We’ll just have to see how long it takes to heal, but I know he’s better than that."

Nicanor is the full brother to Barbaro, the 2006 Kentucky Derby winner who was euthanized as a result of complications after shattering his hind leg in the Preakness. The 3-year-old was eighth after the first quarter mile and by the half-mile point had improved his position to fifth. But, he faded over the mile distance.

Warrior’s Reward, a 30-1 longshot, won the race by a length in a time of 1:39.69. Allrightsreserved, a 19-1 shot, was second and Single Malt, who went off at 44-1, took third. Dubinsky, the 6-5 favorite was fourth. Nicanor was second choice in the betting at 5-2.

Nicanor’s trainer Michael Matz said his horse wasn’t comfortable after suffering the injury, causing jockey Prado to "just wrap up on him." GamingToday racing analyst Richard Saber featured Nicanor on his Horses To Watch list, noting that Nicanor could possibly run next week on grass. But that was before the stumble and minor injury.

Harrah’s properties lists Nicanor at 75-1 to win the Kentucky Derby. Dubinsky is 150-1. None of the three top finishers in that race at Gulfstream are on Harrah’s list.