Nicanor, a full brother to ill-fated Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, showed improvement in his second career start with a runner-up finish on Saturday at Gulftream Park.

The three-year-old Dynaformer colt out of multiple Grade 2-placed winner La Ville Rouge, by Carson City, broke slowly and grabbed a quarter in his career debut for trainer Michael Matz. He finished tenth of 12 in that one-mile maiden special weight race on January 31 at the south Florida oval.

A homebred of Roy and Gretchen Jackson’s Lael Stables, Nicanor broke alertly on Saturday under Jose Lezcano and seized command in the seven-furlong race for three-year-olds.
Nicanor controlled the tempo from the inside through an opening quarter in :22.83 and a half-mile in :46.57 but was overhauled by 7-to-10 favorite Custom for Carlos in early stretch.

Lezcano angled Nicanor outside of the winner in the stretch and he battled back gamely to finish second.

Matz remains confident that Nicanor will mature into a very good racehorse.