Imagine if Jesus had a brother. What would the pressure be like on him? Never mind his Jewish mother always asking why he couldn’t be more like his brother, he’d have the expectations of the world on his shoulders. Anything short of being the Messiah would make his life and career seem insignificant by comparison. That’s the burden carried by Nicanor, the brother of Barbaro, who also died for our sins.
(Admit it, this could be any horse and you’d have no idea.)
You may remember Barbaro, who won one freaking race, thereby becoming the most important horse ever. His full brother Nicanor, a late bloomer, is going to run his first race in a few weeks, and already has the NEW YORK TIMES tracking his every
step gallop. Unfortunately his trainer says “he needed some time to grow up mentally,” making him seem more Raymond Babbitt than Henri Richard.
Nicanor will begin his career as a three-year old, unusual for a horse, because “he was growing so much that we decided to give him some time,” according to trainer Michael Matz. In late January or early February, he’ll take to the grass at Gulfstream Park, and surely collapse under the shadow of his older brother. He will then drop out of racing and spiral into a painkiller addiction before making his comeback on a VH1 reality show.
Still, his owner is cautiously optimistic:
“We’re really looking forward to getting him going,” said his owner Roy Jackson, whose Lael Stables also owned Barbaro. “Nobody really knows how good a horse is going to be until they come out of the gate and you can see what they can do.”
Asked if he saw any similarities between Nicanor and Barbaro, Matz said they both had a competitive spirit.
“He has a lot of his other brother, Holy Ground, in him,” said Matz, referring to a half brother to Barbaro and to Nicanor who won a small stakes race at Delaware Park. “He’s built a little more like Holy Ground than Barbaro. But he seems to be very competitive, just like Barbaro was.”
That Nicanor is a full brother to Barbaro is no guarantee he will be a successful racehorse. Many of the sport’s best horses have had siblings that had little talent.
Don’t worry, Barbaro freaks. If Nicanor doesn’t work out, there’s always 2-year-old Lentenor, a third brother, who’s on pace to run the 2010 Kentucky Derby.
Forget the performance. Is he as hot as Erin Andrews‘ sister? Neigh.