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Brinkman: Louisiana Rewarding Mediocrity

According to Jockey Club statistics, purses in Louisiana averaged more than $25,000 per race in 2009, about $10,000 more than the average 10 years earlier and almost four times the average in 1991.

Ideally, the large purses, fueled by slots revenue, will provide an incentive for breeders to produce better horses, not just more horses.

But there’s a delicate balance between breeding horses to run for large purses and breeding horses to improve the breed. Can the sport really improve if the quality of the horses doesn’t improve?

Brett Brinkman sees the issue from different perspectives. He owns Le Mesa Stallions, a Carencro breeding farm that’s the home of six stallions. The star is Yankee Gentleman, whose $5,000 stud fee is the highest for a stallion standing in Louisiana. Brinkman also is a trainer who races at every Louisiana track.

“We – I mean the state as a whole – we have rewarded mediocrity," Brinkman said...

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