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2-Year-Old Sales and the Importance of Workout Times

How horse racing partnerships evaluate under tack workout times

It is the 2-year-old sale season and horse racing partnerships will be attending the sales put on by OBS in Florida, Barretts in California and Fasig-Tipton in Florida and Maryland. The big difference between 2-year-old sales and yearling sales is the all-important under tack workouts where horses will breeze one eighth, one quarter or three eighths of a mile. These future racing prospects will be asked to work as fast as possible with a strong gallop out.

The top-priced horses generally have posted the fastest or one of the fastest times during the breeze show so it is no wonder the consignors push these horses to run faster than they will ever have to run again. One eighth of a mile in 10 seconds is not uncommon.

But really how important is the time itself? Many feel the workout time is like throwing darts, that a good horse may or may not show his or her best on a given day. In addition, the blazing works have attracted criticism of the 2-year-old sales because the horses are pushed so hard at a young age even though studies have shown early exercise and racing as a 2 year old can be associated with increased performance and durability.

However one thing almost all agree on is the workouts are necessary at the 2-year-old sales because the workouts help buyers sort out the horses by judging one horse against the other. If not you really are back to a yearling sale.

When the Blinkers On Racing Stable team studies a workout, time is only one part of the equation. We are looking for athletic horses with longer, efficient strides that breeze the “right way” not necessarily breeze overly fast. That is why our team spends so much time on stride analysis in addition to the physical inspections and pedigree work. Remember, thoroughbred races are not run at an eighth or a quarter of a mile which is basically a drag race. Thoroughbred races are run at a minimum of five eighths of a mile and much longer as the horses get a little older.

So, yes, times should play a role in selecting a 2 year old but horses that have the fastest breeze are not necessarily the best horse and that is a fact. But, that being said, buyers will always be heavily influenced by the times which can create great value for the really good horseman. A horseman with the sixth sense to spot a fast horse that may not have the fastest time in the sale is a person you want on your team when you are buying horses at a 2-year-old sale.

For more information on becoming a partner in a 2 year old visit http://www.blinkerson.com.

 

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The Coupling of Horses as a Betting Entry

Good or bad for Horse Racing Partnerships and bettors?

Coupling horses as a betting entry in horse racing has been around for decades. The idea is if a trainer or owner is entering more than one horse in a race, he or she knows which one of the two horses is better and could exploit that fact by using the “other” horse tactically to set up the race for the “better” horse. The purpose of coupling the horses into one betting entry is to protect those betting on the other horse, so even if the other horse isn’t given his best chance of winning and the better horse does in fact win, the person placing the bet on the other horse is protected.

In horse racing the terminology used for this is “rabbit”. An example would be a trainer has a “better” horse that is a closer so the trainer enters the “other” horse to show speed to ensure the better horse has a fast pace to rally into. Basically the rabbit is sacrificed so the better horse has an improved chance of winning.

So, coupling would seem better for racing overall but there can be problems with coupling. Coupling can make the wagering less appealing because of fewer betting entries. When horses are coupled in small fields or there are multiple horses coupled in a race the betting opportunities can become far less attractive. So, in some cases, coupling is protecting gamblers to a fault.

So, aside from the casual bettor, how does this effect horse racing partnerships as owners? Assuming as owners, we know more about the horses being entered in a race and we know a rabbit is being entered. It really doesn’t matter if the entry is coupled or not, an unfair advantage has been created by “setting up” the race. Partnerships generally have a different combination of owners owning a percentage of the horse so they are not in a position to “sacrifice” their horse so another horse wearing the same silks can win for another group of owners. A single owner or group of owners that commonly own a large number of horses together can easily come up with a rabbit to sacrifice. In this case the use of a rabbit can put the partnership at a disadvantage that can be financially very costly.

This is an example of something racing can do without having to couple the entries and therefore maximize the wagering appeal of the race. First, let the stewards decide if a horse was used in a way that was not in the true spirit of winning the race and enhanced the chance of another commonly owned horse winning. They rule on all other infractions that occur during a race, including a jockey not giving his best effort in riding the race. They could disqualify the rabbit and the horse that benefited from those tactics. They could also penalize the riders, trainers and owners involved and I am sure if they were vigilant with these penalties we would have a more level playing field for horse racing partnerships and the gambler as well.

 

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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The age and level a Thoroughbred will perform at it’s peak.

Another tool for Horse Racing Partnerships.

As with most athletes, including equine athletes, the performance life cycle has three basic stages. First, early rapid improvement, peak performance in the middle of the career and a decline at the end of a career. Gramm and Marksteiner produced an article “The Effect of Age on Thoroughbred Racing Performance” in the Journal of Equine Science. Data was collected on 300 male Thoroughbreds that had raced until age 6 and had at least 45 starts. The results may have some biases but the results can be generalized beyond the sample without too much error. Information shows at 2.5 years old the horses on average ran about 9 lengths slower in a 6 furlong dirt race than they did at the peak of their careers. As expected rapid growth was seen during the first part of their careers until age 3.5 then gradual improvement (about 2 lengths at 6 furlongs) up until about 4.5 years of age which is the average for peak performance. After age 5 a gradual decline in performance was shown (about a length per year) which continues until about age 8 when the decline in performance accelerates. More detailed information can be found in this excellent article including very useful charts and graphs. There are many ways this type of information can be used by horse racing partnerships, owners, trainers and even horse players. As an example, a horse racing partnership may use this information when looking to purchase a young horse to estimate how much improvement could be expected when the horse is older. Another example could be using the information on when to retire an elite horse to stud or when to retire a grizzly veteran to a life of leisure. Unfortunately many of racing’s top stars never race beyond their 3 year old campaign so we often don’t see them reach their full potential. Just imagine American Pharoah at full maturity!

 
 

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Racetrack Clockers, workout times and their value

Horse Racing Partnerships, Trainers and Gamblers use private clocker information to gain a valuable edge.

 

There are basically two types of clockers. The first is an official clocker. This is a racetrack employee whose breeze figures are supplied to the Daily Racing Form and Equibase. The second is a private clocker. A private clocker is not just supplying workout numbers (times) but “how the horse did it”

A private clocker should actually be called a public clocker because the information is available for purchase on the Internet for the public to use for gambling or entertainment. These reports give the player a glimpse of the inside part of the game they might otherwise not get to see. For a private clocker there is much more to clocking than numbers and fractions. First, raw numbers may not be accurate. It may be someone hitting their stopwatch before the horse hits the pole or someone fudging the numbers for a gambling score. For a private clocker it is what he interprets with his own eyes. Did the horse do it easy, did they switch leads smoothly, was there more to give or were they spent etc.?

In summary, if the final time of a workout is all you have to go by it’s something but so many other factors go into how well a horse has worked. As is the case with Blinkers On Racing Stable and most insiders, we find little value in the raw data unless context is also provided so you may want to investigate one of the service providers if you are looking for that handicapping edge.

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Getting your mare ready for the Breeding Season

The process Breeder’s go through to pick the right stallion.

There are a number of questions that need to be answered before a breeder sends his or her mare to the breeding shed.

Some basic things need to be considered before looking at the list of prospective stallions. Is the goal to sell the foal or are the intentions to race? Will the foal be pointed to a state-bred program or a national program? Is there interest in future breeding stock development? Answering these questions will help narrow down the list of possible stallions. Some stallions have commercial appeal and tend to produce horses that show well and sell well at auction. Obviously important for sellers and not as important if the foal will be a homebred in the breeders racing operation.

Another piece of the puzzle is pedigree. How compatible is the broodmares pedigree to the stallions? A number of factors including sire line compatibility (nick), inbreeding patterns, dosage and so on form unmistakable patterns in the pedigrees of successful racehorses. Breeders have plenty of options with respect to pedigree analysis, nicking reports, computer programs and professional pedigree analysts just to mention a few.

With that in mind the goal is to breed a certain individual. The breeder needs to be honest about the mare’s faults. If there is a weakness in the mare’s conformation then the stallion prospect should have very correct conformation in that area. Example, if the mare is offset in the knees the breeder will look for a stallion that is very correct in the knees. Looking at the sire’s close family tree to know what traits they pass down is also important. On the flip side, a stallion may not have perfect conformation in one area where the mare is built very well so that stallion may still be considered if he matches up well overall and does not have a history of stamping his faults on his offspring. Understanding the dominant traits of the mare’s family is equally important, some families are very flexible and others throw the same traits generation after generation.

So this coming January it all starts again, the hopes and dreams of breeding a champion. And you never know when it will happen… Blinkers On Racing Stable purchased Love the Chase for the relatively small price of $30,000 at auction to race for our horse racing partnership. After her racing career with Blinkers On she was sold and eventually bred to a California stallion by the name of Lucky Pulpit for $2,500. The foal was California Chrome, winner of two legs of the Triple Crown.

Blinkers On

Blinkers On Racing Stable, a leader in thoroughbred horse racing partnerships, brings together the finest in thoroughbred horse racing expertise with the best in business know-how, and above all, a team of people you can trust, to manage your investment. We are committed to helping you experience the joys of thoroughbred horse ownership. For more information on thoroughbred partnerships visit our website or request an information package about our partnership. Keep up with horse racing in California by reading our Blog, finding us on Facebook, following us on Twitter, checking us out on LinkedIn, or visiting our YouTube Channel!

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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State of Racing

How horse racing partnerships view racing

State of Racing

 

Thoroughbred horse racing has seen strong gains in 2013 from sales average as well as attendance and handle. Thoroughbred sales and handle drive the industry from within and is what fuels the game. For those of us involved in thoroughbred horse racing syndicates, yearling sales dictate the two year old market and how difficult it will be to buy the horses we want.

Just a few years ago horse racing was in a bad way financially. There were too many small tracks, an overpopulation of horses, and handle was way down along with on track attendance. One of the first things that happened to rectify this situation was that breeders began breeding fewer horses. There was a move from quantity to quality which is very reflective of our yearling and 2 year old prices the last several years.  This is specifically evident in the driving sale each year, the Keeneland Spetember Yearling Sale (http://www.keeneland.com/sales). This is the biggest sale of yearlings each year and really helps determine what the 2 year old market will be like the following year. Again this year the auction had a gross increase, 27.6% from last year as well as an increase in total average of 17%. Based on similar results last year, an increase in the same sale from the previous year which resulted in a significant increase in 2 year old sales across the board would likely point to an increase in two year old sales again in 2014.
Sales are definitely a driving factor for owners, breeders and consignors, but wagering handle at tracks makes the purses we all run for possible. The good news is that so far in 2013 it looks there have been sizable increases in handle throughout the country and specifically in our largest annual event, the Breeders’ Cup (http://www.breederscup.com/).  This year, handle was up 11% at the Breeders’ Cup from 2012 and the 2 day attendance was also up over 5%. Now, most people would imagine that the more people we can get out to the track the better the handle will be. That is typically true, but not the only reason that handle has continued to increase year over year for the past few years in events like the Breeders’ Cup. Horse racing has made a big move to online wagering and better televised national coverage of the sports’ biggest events so that our technology driven society can bet and watch from the comfort of their homes or wherever they may be watching.

All in all, if racing can continue to increase handle year over year, maintain strong sales numbers, and breeders begin to breed more horses incrementally, horse racing will continue to flourish. Though it looks like we are headed in the right direction, horse racing will continue to hit road blocks and opposition along the way because there is not one single governing body over the game. Unfortunately, this leads to individual states making their own rules and no guidance or direction from a central entity to keep the game on a straight and successful path. It’s likely that a commissioner will never be a part of racing because of the games lack of willingness for change. So barring that, all of us in the industry will need to continue think forwardly and fight for the necessary changes.

Blinkers On

Blinkers On Racing Stable, a leader in thoroughbred horse racing partnerships, brings together the finest in thoroughbred horse racing expertise with the best in business know-how, and above all, a team of people you can trust, to manage your investment. We are committed to helping you experience the joys of thoroughbred horse ownership. For more information on thoroughbred partnerships visit our website or request an information package about our partnership. Keep up with horse racing in California by reading our Blog, finding us onFacebook, following us on Twitter, checking us out on LinkedIn, or visiting our YouTube Channel!

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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A New Era for California Racing

California Horse Racing Partnerships are Optimistic

2014 will bring many changes to California horse racing across the state. The inevitable closing of Hollywood Park is finally here, with the final racing date on December 22, 2013. This will end 75 years of history at the historic track, but also begin a new era of racing in California. Though Hollywood Park holds many memories and countless winning days for Blinkers On Racing Stable and other thoroughbred syndicates, we find ourselves optimistic for what California racing has to come. More racing at Santa Anita and Del Mar is inevitable, and who can complain about that? Sure there are logistic issues to be addressed, but overall this change should increase the quality of racing throughout California.

The plan going forward for racing in Southern California is as follows. Santa Anita will kick off the year with their Winter Meet starting on December 26th as always, but instead of ending at the end of April and moving to Hollywood Park until Del Mar in July, the Santa Anita meet will extend all the way through July 6th. This means a very long meet at one track where the meet was already traditionally long, but who can complain when you are running at the great race place every day? After Santa Anita, Del Mar will begin on July 16th and finish on September 3rd. Fairplex will then resume their annual meet in the month of the September from the 4th to the 23rd. Santa Anita will then pick back up where they always do at the end of September from the 25th to November 2nd. The biggest change will be seen in the month of November when Del Mar will have an unprecedented Fall/Winter meet from the November 5th through December 7th. There will most likely be a week or two without racing in December before the Santa Anita Winter meet picks back up again on the 26th of December.

Along with these new race dates, more changes and potential additions are coming to California racing that horse racing partnerships and the thoroughbred racing community are very excited about.  Because Santa Anita is going to have such a long meet that runs into the Summer months where traditionally it gets very hot, there are rumors that they may implement twilight racing on Friday. The rumor is that the city has approved night racing, now Santa Anita has to decide if they want to put up the money for the lights. Thoroughbred syndicates like the idea of twilight racing because it gives owners a chance to get out to the track after work, and for the horses it would be significantly cooler outside. The one road block aside from the cost of the lights would be that trainers are not too fond of having late night racing because training begins so early in the morning. Furthermore, horses don’t typically run at night under the lights so this would present a new environment that is uncomfortable and new for the horses. Hopefully, we can find a compromise for part of the Santa Anita meet that would be a win win for everyone involved. Furthermore, the stabling issue is still at large in Southern California when Hollywood Park is gone at the end of the year. San Luis Rey Downs is currently undergoing a renovation that would hopefully make it a viable option for trainers and up to about 500 horses. That still leaves about 500 horses who would need to either fall into Los Alamitos or Fairplex. The CHRB is still working with California trainers and the race track to find a permanent solution going forward.

In addition, Santa Anita is set to host an unprecedented third Breeders’ Cup in a row in 2014. Most racing enthusiasts involved agree that running the Breeders’ Cup in California is the best scenario for racing because most other tracks across the country inevitably have very inclement weather in the month of November. With that said, there have been rumblings around racing that the Breeders’ Cup may even be looking to California as a permanent home going forward. Horse racing partnerships in California are especially excited that the rumors extend to potentially holding the Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar in 2015. Apparently this Fall Del Mar is set to extend their turf course so that it will hold 12 starters instead of the current 10, which is a necessity if they ever want to host the Breeders’ Cup.  Who knows they may even look to put dirt back at Del Mar, because most East coast trainers and owners feel that it would keep racing on a more level playing field if the Breeders’ Cup were to be held at Del Mar.

With all these potential changes and additions to California racing, including the makeover currently being done at San Luis Rey Downs, horse racing partnerships in California should be excited for what is to come. Hopefully all these plans and rumors come together to help create more quality racing across the state of California. At Blinkers On Racing Stable we are excited and optimistic for the coming changes that will inevitably sustain a higher quality of racing in the state of California.

Blinkers On

Blinkers On Racing Stable, a leader in thoroughbred horse racing partnerships, brings together the finest in thoroughbred horse racing expertise with the best in business know-how, and above all, a team of people you can trust, to manage your investment. We are committed to helping you experience the joys of thoroughbred horse ownership. For more information on thoroughbred partnerships visit our website or request an information package about our partnership. Keep up with horse racing in California by reading our Blog, finding us on Facebook, following us on Twitter, checking us out on LinkedIn, or visiting our YouTube Channel!

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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