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HRN Original Blog:
55,000 Furlongs to the Finish

Lets Have Some Fun

Shackleford 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

Let’s all have a little fun, shall we?

 

What would you do if you had an unlimited amount of disposable income? Some people would buy a house or a fancy car. Others would travel the world to see what it had to offer. I would enter the breeding game of thoroughbred racing.

 

The “big three” foundation sire lines have become so prominent in today’s bloodstock, that finding a horse pedigree free of them is near impossible. The “big three” I am referencing are Raise A Native, Bold Ruler, and Northern Dancer.

 

Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Keeping this in mind, I’ve always tried to look at things from a different angle. So when I look at today’s breeding industry, all I see is repetition. I see insanity.

 

Everyone wants to breed the next Triple Crown winner, yet nearly the same genetic recipe is being used for every horse being run. When looking back to the radical thinkers that have established legacies of bettering the breed, there are some common elements. They didn’t have Truenicks or computer analysis. What they did have was incredible intuition, patience, and large checkbooks. And since they couldn’t fly their mares all over the world, they had make large investments to bring outcross sires to them. They offered something different to an industry that was stuck in cyclical insanity.

 

So the approach to my fantasy breeding operation would be quite simple. I want to minimize the prevalence of the aforementioned three foundation sires, and offer something new and different. I would try something that breeding experts would tell me would never work, and that I’m wasting my time and money. This wouldn’t be the first time I’ve heard that in my life.

 

I would begin my journey by combing the broodmare markets to find mares sired by outcrosses to the “big three” but still proving their worth on the track and in the breeding sheds. I would start with a total of 5 mares sired by the following horses:

 

Holy Bull: 2 mares

Leroidesanimaux: 1 mare

Invasor: 1 mare

Include: 1 mare

 

I do not have strict on-the-track performance requirements for the mares, but all must have retired sound. The breeding operation I’m starting is based on bloodlines, not graded stakes victories.

 

Foal #1: Fame and Glory x Holy Bull Mare #1

By Montjeu, Fame and Glory was a champion stayer and carries only one line of Northern Dancer in his pedigree. The resulting foal would have a plodder on the top half and speed and precocity on the bottom half. I would hope for a filly from this mating.

 

Foal #2: Yeats x Holy Bull Mare #2

Like Fame and Glory, Yeats was another champion stayer from Europe with only a single dose of Northern Dancer and no inbreeding through the first 5 generations of his pedigree. Once again I’m hoping to get a stamina infused filly with some speed genes hidden away.

 

Foal #3: Deep Impact x Invasor Mare

I would shell out some cash for Deep Impact. He’s another single dose of Northern Dancer and the reputation of already proving to be a top sire in Japan. Here I would hope for a colt.

 

Foal #4: Dalakhani x Leroidesanimaux Mare

Dalakhani has only a single dose of Raise A Native in his pedigree and has produced a champion that won at the Breeders Cup. Bred for turf through and through, I would prefer a filly here.

 

Foal #5: Shackleford x Include Mare

Bloodlines to the wind, I just really like Shack. He’s fast, a great looking horse, iron legged, competitive, and tough. I think he is the real deal, and I would love to own one of his progeny. I want a colt here.

If you really look into the stallions I have chosen you will notice Hail to Reason is present in many of their pedigrees. Some things are just unavoidable in the breeding shed today, and although he is very common in bloodlines, he still offers more dilution than the "big three." 

 

Round 2 is where I would breed some of my own horses back to each other.

 

                                    Deep Impact

            Foal #3 (colt)

                                    Invasor mare

 

Foal #6

                                    Fame and Glory

            Foal #1 (filly)            

                                    Holy Bull mare #1

=============================================

 

                                    Shackleford

            Foal #5 (colt)            

                                    Include mare

 

Foal #7

                                    Yeats

            Foal #2 (filly)            

                                    Holy Bull mare #2

 

=============================================

                                   

                                    Deep Impact

            Foal #3 (colt)            

                                    Invasor mare

 

Foal #8

                                    Dalakhani

            Foal #4 (filly)            

                                    Leroidesanimaux mare

 

 

 

Foals 6, 7, 8 would by my first real attempt to produce the racehorse of my dreams. Versitile, tough, long winded, and potentially breed changing if they prove they have what it takes on the track. I know it could take several generations before my mission begins to bear fruit, so success or failure should be determined in no less than 10 years. 

 

Remember, this is for fun, its hypothetical, and its what I would do with infinite financial resources at my disposal.

 

What would you do with an unlimited budget and a little creativity?

 

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Older Comments about Lets Have Some Fun...

Since 1979, 20 horses have won two jewels of the Triple Crown, out of 34 runnings, for a 59% near miss. In other words almost 60% of the TC's since 1979 were near misses. It would seem bad luck is the culprit, not the horses. The figures show the ability is there just not the luck needed to go with it. Think about how many of those near misses in reality should have been hits. Out of those 20 misses there were more horses with a better chance than not. I'm not going to list each horse and give a reason. Have some fun and form your own opinion.
We do not have triple crown winners any more, because of the problem Matt tries to solve here, what is more eye catching? the winner of the Derby, the preakness and the BC classic, or the winner of the belmont, the JC gold cup and the brooklyn hdcp? people try to breed the fast miler that can go 10 fourlongs, than the big strong horse that can go the big distances, the middle distances sell more than the so called "dead distances", this problem does not appear in south america, or england, because the important races are run in 2400 meters just like the belmont, so a horse that runs a mile or 10 fourlongs has no chance of being the top horse inthe country. To fix this problem here, we need some big farms to stop focusing on the big money for lets say 4 to 5 years, and start breeding stamina horses with stalliond from england or maybe argentina, to mix the offspring with milers from here and eventually in 4 to 5 crops, we'll have a horse that can run 9 fourlongs and 13 as well, its not an exact science, because if it would be everybody would be breeding triple crown winners every year, but its not a secret that year in and year out, the long distance races are won by second tear horses, not the top ones because they are not build for those races.
I would look for mares by Include,Invasor,definite Sunday Silence line mares! I would look for some Smarty Jones mares as well. I feel his contribution to the breed may expand in coming generations. The sires I would patronize would be Deep Impact for one! As well as the Australian son of Sunday Silence Keep The Faith. His calling card was speed! I as well really like Shackleford! I like Bernardini and Ghostzapper. I would also mention a few more. But I think my angle is clear. I would try to put the best mixture of speed and stamina possible in each mating.
I think it would be interesting to try Shackleford + Mizdirection. I think we'd see a tenacious buzzsaw on the sprint scene.
I would want Bold Ruler....Seattle Slew...Buckpasser...Northern Dancer lines in the Mares and breed them all to Bullet Train
I'd have some mares with Rahy, Medaglia D'Oro, and Leroidesanimaux bloodlines and breed them to Animal Kingdom, Mucho Macho Man, D'Oro, Awesome Again, Flat Out, and Curlin
Caliediscopio x Take Charge Lady, Medaglia D'Oro x Zenyatta, Include x Princess of Sylmar, Eddington x Groupie Doll, Include x Mining My Own.
Absolutely!! Lots of tough little gray Musketier babies!!
Absolutely!! Lots of tough little gray Musketier babies!!
I hope American owners came north to Adena also. I want to see baby Musketiers running all over North America :)
I hope the Canadian breeders have taken full advantage of having a treasure like Musketier in their country. Fifty starts, retired sound as far as I know. Five generation outcross to all the most common NA bloodlines. Graded winner at ages 2 and 10 and in between. Winner at 12 furlongs so has stamina as well. And Kitten's Joy has proven that a grassy stallion can do quite well here in NA with the right mares.
Musketier. Tremendous pedigree that would inject fresh German Bloodlines. You have to go back 5 generations to find Lyphard in his pedigree on his Dam sire side. Hey he is the oldest Graded stakes winner, and was sound and tough as nails. He has tremendous stamina to go with his stunning looks.
This is very true.. a new bloodline could certainly get things interesting again. Starts the mind thinking!
good article My choices would be a mixture of some of those above and ones Wendy mentions below And Sullivan makes one of the best points Breed not for sales but to race for yourself
We had a trainer from Mexico hit Hastings park a few years back and all the did was walk off with just about all the two year old contests
Maybe it is just me. But i am a bit confused.I hear many on this site bash the Merican Breeding program,it needs this or that. Yet i have been on here now for slightly more than a year. All i read about is how people love this horse or that horse.Are devastated by retirements because they lose the opportunity of watching their stars race further into their careers. Do not mistake or blame the Breeding for theses actions. They are financially motivated. The racing game is and always will be a game of cycles.Just as you lose a favorite,a nrw pet comes along. Do not for one second think that the game did not have its issues or problems in the past. But there is one undeniable difference in the eras. Back then there wer no blog sites or 24/7 internet media outlets that dissect the game to its finest form. Nothing we will ever enjoy will be 100 %. Absolutely nothing,improvements can be made. But like anythng else,once you tweek one part. The side affect can hinder another. Do you think people in the past loved the fact that Affirmed ,Big Red,Seattle Slew did not race longer. Like i sqid the only difference is that they did not have a forum to voice their displeasures.
American breeding technique is fine. We are the ones who have been making advancements in breeding, developing nicking and understanding the use of outcrosses. What American breeding needs is to restore all those people who delighted in raising and running their own horses. Now they do not breed for the racetrack, they breed for the Keeneland September Sale. I for one have been noticing how a lot more homebreds are performing better and better.
I love the sentiment here, Matt ... American breeding badly needs a new formula, or non-formula.
I like how you think, wendy.
Without sitting down and thinking way too long about this (which may still happen) I'd like to play around with Einstein, Invasor, Musketier, an AP Indy mare or two, and possibly Harve de Grace (since St. Liam isn't around anymore). Maybe throw in some Lonhro and a few German-bred mares (not by Acatenango, to avoid close inbreeding) for soundness.

Meet Matt Scott 

My horseracing journey began when I was 16 years old and my mom took me to Hollywood Park. Although I did not fully appreciate it at the time, the experience stuck with me forever. 10 years later, during one of my many international business trips to Hong Kong, I visited Sha Tin racetrack to watch the races. This is where my true passion began. 

 

Holding a masters degree in mechanical engineering, the puzzle of handicapping intrigued me. I have made a career of making decisions based on trends, patterns, and formulas, which is why I think I was initially drawn to the sport. However, I have truly learned to appreciate the horses and how magnificent they are as athletes. 

 

I currently live in San Jose, CA, and when not following racing, I like to spend time with my wife, mountain bike, and design high-speed bicycles that I build and race For reference, 55,000 furlongs is the distance from Hong Kong to my home in San Jose. Also, I have 1-year-old dachshund (aka wiener dog) that I am training to race in the annual Wiener Nationals held at Golden Gate Fields.   

 

The purpose of this blog is to help give people the viewpoint of a fan that is newer to the sport and eager to learn. I like to respectfully speak my mind, and often the ideas come out of left field, which could give a fresh perspective on a sport rich with tradition and history. hope to represent the many future fans that I wish to follow my footsteps into the Sport of Kings.