Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
I used to be a fan of two-year-olds in training sales. I used to enjoy picking out which horses I thought would turn out to be successful runners. I also liked being able to use their experience at these sales as a handicapping tool as first time runners early in their juvenile year. My thinking has changed in recent years.
I can no longer ignore what pushing these young horses to make a splash at these sales can do to the horse’s overall well being. Sure, some horses handle it just fine, but many do not. They are trained too hard, too early, and they are expected to look good by means of whatever way possible. Not to mention the fact that the accelerated training schedule, just to make them stand out for the sale, probably gives little indication of what type of race horse they might become at maturity. Maturity being the key word. These sales have no concern with ultimate potential, and everything to do with the almighty dollar.
I now look at a two-year-old in training sale as a poster child for what is wrong with American breeding. I’d much rather see a healthy four-year-old, still on the improve, rather than a youngster giving his all, way too young, for the sole purpose of turning a profit.
Please tell me why I’m wrong.