Now a sprightly 101, Nerud is still enjoying the racing game to which he has contributed so much. As the trainer and general manager for Tartans Farm, Nerud laid the foundations for Tartan's success by planning matings that crossed and recrossed the blood of the Florida-based stallions Rough'n Tumble (who stood at nearby Ocala Stud) and Intentionally with that of Tartan foundation mares Cequillo and Aspidistra. Beginning with the great Dr. Fager and his brilliant sister Ta Wee, both members of the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame,Tartan produced a long string of stakes winners culminating in Unbridled, winner of the 1990 Kentucky Derby (USA-G1) and Breeders' Cup Classic (USA-G1).
Nerud made good use of Tartan bloodlines when breeding in his own right as well as making judicious use of outside stallions. His homebred Fappiano, for instance, was sired by Mr. Prospector out of Nerud's mare Killaloe, a daughter of Dr. Fager and a granddaughter of Cequillo. A Grade 1 winner on the track, Fappiano made Nerud a wealthy man when he was syndicated for stud duty at a reported $300,000 per share, and the colt went on to become a stallion of national significance. Nerud did not limit himself to Tartan bloodlines, however, and bred another important sire in Cozzene (Caro x Ride the Trails, by Prince John), the American champion turf male of 1985.
Nerud has never been a fan of rushing young horses to make the American Triple Crown series, so don't expect to see Final Chapter in the 2015 Kentucky Derby even though the Thunder Gulch ridgling has a pedigree that suggests plenty of stamina. Nonetheless, it looks as though Nerud may be closing out his long career in the Thoroughbred industry with a horse he can have some fun with, and that seems a just reward for his many years of service in the sport he loves.