Barbaro’s Baby Brother

Bloged in Barbaro by admin Thursday March 22, 2007

With all the racing sites happily reporting that Barbaro’s
yearling brother now has a name, Nicanor, after another
foxhound in the same painting from which Barbaro’s name
was taken, I thought I would take a look at what has
happens to the younger siblings of other great racehorses.

The truth is that a breeder is about as likely to catch
lightning in a bottle as to produce multiple champions of
the same parentage. Yet the odds against getting any
champion at all are so enormous that breeders have to stay
with formulas that have worked. And when a baby with a
successful older sibling hits the auction ring, its
relationship to a star will often compensate for some
questionable conformation.

Without doing any research, I was able to come up with
five sets of siblings who had done their parents
exceptionally proud on the track.

Nantallah and Rough Shod II’s son and daughter, Ridan and
Moccasin, were both undefeated at two, each winning seven
races. Moccasin was named 1965 Horse of the Year, and
Ridan went on to participate in one of the great races of
the 20th century, the 1962 Travers Stakes, when he and
Jaipur ran a match race for the entire
mile-and-one-quarter, to have a single nose separating
them at the finish.

1962 champion older mare Primonetta, and her full brother,
1963 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes winner,
and three-year–old champion, Chateaugay, were the
offspring of Swaps and Banquet Bell.

Wheatley Stable campaigned the champion two-year-old colts
of 1964 and 1966, Bold Lad and Successor, who were sons
of their great sire Bold Ruler and Broodmare of the Year,
Misty Morn.

And the breathtaking 1969 Majestic Prince, who won the
1969 Kentucky Derby and Preakness, and was America’s
champion three-year-old, had his brother Crowned Prince
named champion two-year–old in England after only two

The final pair of champions I could recall was Canadian
Horse of the Year in filly Glorious Song and her brother,
the undefeated U.S. two-year-old champion of 1983, Devil’s
Bag. A third brother, Saint Ballado, was a Group Two
winner in England, but his importance has been in the
breeding shed, where he sired 64 stakes winners and two
champions, Saint Liam and Ashado, before his premature
death at age 13. Herbager and Ballade were their sire and

I drew a blank after that, so I went to Google and started
searching on the names of the Thoroughbreds who were
named by Bloodhorse Magazine as the top three performers
of the 20th century. The results were most enlightening.

Man o’ War? His full brother My Play won only nine times
in four years.

Native Dancer? No siblings of note.

And finally, Secretariat. Secretariat’s dam,
Somethingroyal, produced two full siblings to the immortal
chestnut. The first, a filly, Syrian Sea, won two stakes
as a two-year-old, and became a great broodmare in her own
right. Secretariat’s owner Penny Chenery said of the
second, a filly named The Bride, “She couldn’t beat a fat
man running downhill.”

Will Nicanor be another Barbaro? No one knows, and there is
only one certainty about his career: if and when he is
saddled for his first race, he will be carrying, along
with his jockey, the hopes and memories of thousands of
racing fans.

Picture of Nicanor (Barbaro’s Baby Brother)


Pictures of Nicanor and his mother La Ville Rouge




Picture of La Ville Rouge (Barbaro’s mother)


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