• Quidura (7-2) scores another graded stakes win at Keeneland for Graham Motion.Posted 7 hours ago
  • Frosted is pointing to the Breeders' Cup Classic, per his connections.Posted 2 days ago
  • Erupt (IRE) at 12-1 closes to win the $1,000,000 Pattison Canadian International (G1)Posted 5 days ago
  • Al's Gal (6-1) wins the head bob and the E. P. Taylor (G1) at WoodbinePosted 5 days ago
  • Blanket finish in the Nearctic (G2) at Woodbine goes to Calgary Cat (15-1)Posted 5 days ago
  • Arella Rockstar (12-1) upsets the Matron (G3) at Belmont Park.Posted 5 days ago
  • Time and Motion (3-1) wins a three-filly photo in the QE II Challenge Cup.Posted 6 days ago
  • Undefeated Theory (3-10) kicks away to a Futurity scorePosted 6 days ago
  • Almanzor turns away Found in the Group 1 British Champions Stakes.Posted 6 days ago
  • Minding better than the boys in the Queen Elizabeth II at Ascot.Posted 6 days ago
Breeders Cup 2015

HRN Original Blog:
ThoroughMetrics's Blog

Introduction to ThoroughMetrics

Storm Cat & Young

Welcome to Thoroughmetrics!  I’ll be taking a look at various topics here, typically focusing on how statistics can be better applied to thoroughbred racing in general and to pedigree analysis in particular.  I’ll start off by revisiting some topics that I discussed when I had an independent blog a few years back.


In one post, I said the following about unraced sires:


Most horses, regardless of breeding are relatively unsuccessful on the racetrack. Certainly most are not successful enough to warrant much interest as broodmares. So statistically, you have to go on the assumption that most unraced mares would not have been good enough to be worth much for breeding. This is even more true once you consider that they may have remained unraced due to soundness issues that they could potentially pass along to their offspring. No matter how well bred, I would assume an unraced broodmare should be a cheap broodmare.


An obviously extension of this line of thinking is that an unraced stallion is NEVER worth trying out. I don't care that he's a son of Storm Cat out of a top mare. The odds that he would have been successful enough to warrant a career at stud are incredibly low...certainly never high enough to justify an expensive breeding experiment.


While looking back over the comments on the blog, I noticed that an anonymous reader then commented “There are many unraced sons of Storm Cat that are successful in the breeding shed."


I wanted to check the accuracy of that statement and how it impacts the conclusion I made in my original post.  Unfortunately I ran into the same challenge that happens so often when analyzing thoroughbred racing.  The specific information I was looking for somewhat challenging to find.  One site indicated that ‘At least 39 different sons of Storm Cat have sired stakes winners.'  I think it’s safe to say that a stallion can’t be considered successful without siring at least one stake winner, so the question then becomes how many of those 39 were unraced.


Of course, another site says “31 sons of Storm Cat have sired Group/Grade 1 winners." That seems a bit hard to reconcile.  Is it possible that he’s only had 8 sons who sired winners of Grade 2 or 3 stakes but NOT Grade 1?  Or have 39 of his sons sired stakes winners in the US while 31 have sired grade/group 1 winners worldwide?  As always with horse racing data, the facts are hard to find.


That’s actually a big part of the appeal of starting Thoroughmetrics back up as a part of Horse Racing Nation.  I’m hoping that the readers here are able to help me out as I try to answer some of the statistical questions that are so fascinating about thoroughbred racing.  So if you have any information on offspring of Storm Cat at stud (including those who are deceased), I’d love to hear from you, either in the comments here or an email to me at zelvin30@hotmail.com.



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Meet Alex Zelvin

Alex is a lifelong horse racing fan and statistics nerd. He combines those interests in a passion for statistical analysis of thoroughbred pedigrees. 

Alex is currently building a model to predict the on-track success of any real or hypothetical mating. If you're interested in keeping up with his progress in-between articles here, he'll be posting frequent informal updates at his blog (thoroughmetrics.blogspot.com), where you can also sign up for his email update list. 

He can also be reached at zelvin30@hotmail.com if you're interested in consulting with him or just discussing pedigree analysis. 

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