02/15/2010 12:00AM

Nicanor training for return


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - While Lentenor will garner most of the attention this spring, his older brother Nicanor is quietly readying himself to rekindle his own very promising career.

Nicanor, a full brother to both Lentenor and 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, has not started since capturing his entry-level allowance condition at Delaware Park in June. That performance followed on the heels of a sensational 15-length maiden win over the same course five weeks earlier. Both of his victories have come on the turf.

Nicanor has been sidelined since suffering an unspecified hind end injury that kept him from making his stakes debut last summer in the Virginia Derby.

"He's doing super," trainer Michael Matz said. "He went three furlongs in 35 and 2 and galloped out a half in 48 last week and didn't even look like he was working."

Nicanor breezed five furlongs in 1:01.20 at Palm Meadows on Monday.

"If everything goes well, we should be able to run him here once before the end of the meet," said Matz.

Ribaudo fine-tuning Grand Couturier

Trainer Bobby Ribaudo no longer has Bribon in the barn, but he does still have the multiple Grade 1 winner Grand Couturier along with an up-and-coming 4-year-old filly named Qualia to keep him occupied this season. Both horses were on display here Sunday.

Grand Couturier, now 7, has not raced since finishing second in the Grade 2 Red Smith on Nov. 7. He had his second work of the winter and first on grass when he breezed an easy half-mile around the dogs in 56 seconds over a "good" course on Sunday.

"I'm planning on doing things a little differently this winter, and that's to have him ready for a race before we leave here this year," said Ribaudo. "I'd hoped to have him ready for one of the stakes, but that won't happen, so hopefully we'll find a conditioned allowance race for him before returning to New York."

Qualia won for the second time in as many starts here this winter and posted her third win in four tries overall with 1 3/4-length allowance win Sunday. Qualia went wire to wire in the one-mile race, her first time going farther than six furlongs.

"I didn't want her to be on the lead, but at least she did it right and relaxed," said Ribaudo. "I thought she'd have a little better spurt at the head of the lane than she showed, but maybe this wasn't her best distance. Naturally I'm still happy to get the victory."

Ribaudo said he's uncertain when or where Qualia would return but said it could come in a stakes.

Calabrese sees prospect sidelined

Frank Calabrese, the leading owner at the meet, reports that his top 3-year-old prospect Savemyspotimbeting will be sidelined indefinitely because of a leg injury.

Savemyspotimbeting posted a five-length victory in launching his career here on Jan. 23. A son of Vindication, he ran six furlongs in 1:08.78 and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 91.

Three weeks earlier, Calabrese unveiled another speedy 3-year-old, Tahitian Warrior, who registered a 4 3/4-length maiden special weight victory while posting a 95 Beyer Figure. He was subsequently sold to Godolphin for an undisclosed sum and was recently shipped to Dubai.

Like Savemyspotimbeting, Tahitian Warrior was trained up to his debut win by Danny Miller.

* Apprentice Brian Pedroza posted the first victory of his riding career by guiding first-time starter Fast n'Clear to an easy win in Sunday's opener. Pedroza, 18, is the son of veteran jockey Martin Pedroza.