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What happened to the fast horses?

Where have those 120 Beyer horses gone?


I miss them. You should, too.


When I broached the subject of this column to Andrew Beyer, he said it was going to be depressing reading.


True enough, but also, hopefully, educational.


I have questions. Perhaps, somebody has answers.

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Xtra Heat  |  Tiznow  |  Smarty Jones  |  Skip Away  |  Point Given  |  Mineshaft  |  Maclean's Music  |  Ghostzapper  |  Formal Gold  |  Drosselmeyer  |  Cigar  |  Artax
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Older Comments about What happened to the fast horses?...

Beyer himself began to understand the phrase "It is not how fast you run but HOW you run fast"
Beyers as innacurate as ever, can never be compared one season to the next.
I have to agree with Mr. Zipse. The final time of a race is probably a better ”tool” for that than a beyer rating.
Assuming "fast" and "huge Beyer ratings" are synonyms may be faulty thinking ... I am not saying that 2011 was a stellar year, but couldn't some of this be attributable to how the Beyer crew rates things in recent years? I know they have had difficulty with properly rating synthetic racing. Big Drama did get a 120 this year, and the fact that a maiden race scored clearly higher than every single Breeders' Cup race seems to show a flaw in the system.
You guys are all right. Retired too early, too much Lasix, too many spaced races. No wonder horses don't run the same big numbers.
@ghelguera. I agree completely. Horses are being retired too early and we may not be passing on the best progeny of the generations. We have to be extra thankful for horses like Gio Ponti, Zenyatta, Goldikova, Curlin, etc. who run through 5 and 6 years old and still retired to the breeding sheds.. Call me crazy, but in the next couple of decades, I wouldn't be surprised to see trends shift from the fastest 3 year old horses fetching the highest stud fees, to the horses who race into their fully developed years passing along durability traits. I hope the industry rights itself with an "invisible hand"
I vote for Lasix. Because horses race on lasix it takes them longer to recover from a race, because they are raced so infrequently they are not totally fit. No horse can perform at its best on the race track without being at the ultimate level of fitness.
I agree Cigar, but Beyer speed figures are inconsistent. The east coast horses have always gotten better speed figures that the west coast. But many horses are retired before they even hit their prime that is why you also don't see these figures go up. That is why I don't respect the new owners because they think about the money rather than racing.
I can't believe this story is not getting more press.

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