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.