The Truth of the Matter

Last June I posted some statistics on the question of whether dams were more important than sires. The statistics did NOT corroborate this supposition.

One of the reasons for that result was a flaw in the definition of “elite” sires, which for purposes of that study consisted of all G1 stakes winners (with all other sires being considered “nonelite”). At the time I suggested that a different definition of “elite” sires (not related to racing class) might produce a different result.

So I returned to this idea with a different definition of “elite” sires. This time I am using market prices to define which sires are “better” than others. Here is how it works.

I defined A (“better”) sires as those who had at least ten sales foals (weanlings, yearlings, and two-year-olds) in a given year, and those foals averaged $50,000-$99,999. I defined B (“good”) sires as those who had at least ten sales foals (ditto) in a given year, and those foals averaged $10,000-$49,999.

To even the playing field, I considered only those foals by both sets of sires that sold between $20,000 and $50,000 inclusive. So the foals by A sires in this group were at the lower end of their sires’ sales prices. And the foals by B sires in this group were at the higher end of their sires’ sales prices.

So the foals in this group by A sires were by better sires out of good dams. Call that group AB. The foals in this group by B sires were by good sires out of better dams. Call that group BA.

One of the points of this exercise was to determine which is the better buying strategy, to purchase cheaper foals by better sires or to purchase more expensive foals by cheaper sires. The AB group (sires better than dams) corresponds to sires being more important than dams. The BA group (dams better than sires) corresponds to dams being more important than sires.

Perhaps a concrete example will illuminate this idea. Mine That Bird (Birdstone–Mining My Own, Smart Strike) won the 2009 Kentucky Derby at odds of 50-1. Earlier that year (on February 8) the unraced Mining My Own had produced a colt by Even the Score. When that colt came up for sale at the 2010 Keeneland September yearling sale, he brought a pretty good price ($250,000) because he was a half-brother to the previous year’s Kentucky Derby winner. Even the Score had ten yearlings sold in 2010. The next highest price was only $39,000. The overall average for those ten yearlings was only $33,710, and the median was $4,350.

That of course is the way the breeding industry works. At the time the decision was made to breed Mining My Own to Even the Score in 2008, Mine That Bird had not even raced yet. In the two years between the decision to breed that mare to that sire the value of the mare (and of the resultant foal) increased significantly, thanks to Mine That Bird. The resultant foal by Even the Score was named Dullahan and became a G1 winner.

Dullahan is a rather extreme example of a “better” mare being bred to a lower-ranking sire. The fact that Dullahan became a G1 winner is evidence in favor of the supposition that the dam is more important than the sire. The BA group represents higher-value mares being bred to lower-value sires. The AB group represents lower-value mares being bred to higher-value sires. If the BA group has better results than the AB group relative to their respective prices, the supposition that dams are more important than sires is reinforced.

Having explained all that, let us now examine the prices for the two groups.

Group          Foals          Average          Maverage          Price Index

AB                2,238          $33,924            182.13                    1.18

BA                3,460          $30,581             171.71                     1.11

By design the two groups are pretty close in prices. That is because both groups consist only of foals that sold between $20,000 and $50,000 inclusive. AB is slightly higher than BA by all three measures, which is to be expected.

Now let us examine the racetrack results for the two groups. APPPSW stands for average Performance Points per stakes winner, a measure of the quality of stakes winners involved, with the average now being 687.

Group          Foals          Stakes Winners          %          APPPSW          PPI (Result)

AB                2,238                    93                      4.16            650                     1.17

BA                3,460                   138                     3.99            665                     1.15

AB was slightly better than BA (4.16% to 3.99%) by percentage of stakes winners from foals. BA was slightly better than AB (665 to 650) by APPPSW. Taking both quantity and quality of stakes winners into account, AB was slightly better than BA (1.17 to 1.15) by PPI.

So BA was NOT better than AB. You could infer from this that dams are NOT more important that sires.

If you take prices into account, however, BA WAS slightly better than AB. AB had a price of 1.18 and a result of 1.17 (very slightly negative). BA had a price of 1.11 and a result of 1.15 (very slightly positive). If you look at it from that point of view, you could claim that dams are more important than sires. BA had BETTER results than prices. AB was the opposite.

The truth of the matter is that both groups had results that were very close to their prices. It is almost too close to call. It is too close to call it a definitive victory for the supposition that dams are more important than sires. It might be a very minor victory for that supposition, but that is about all.

The safest thing to say is that the assumption that sires and dams are 50-50 is not seriously challenged here. Maybe one is slightly more important than the other, but not by much (say 51-49). If you want to accept the supposition that one is radically more important than the other, you are certainly entitled to your opinion. But that is merely an opinion. It is not a proven fact.

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Hagiography Is No Substitute for History

Last August I was watching the Travers Stakes on NBC. Tom Hammond turned to Jerry Bailey and asked something like: “If American Pharoah wins this race today, does that mean he is the best horse of all time?”

I almost fell out of my chair in a fit of apoplexy. If I had been Jerry Bailey, here is how I would have responded:

“Tom, that is quite probably the stupidest question ever asked on national TV. AP winning this race today proves absolutely zilch. He has been beating these three-year-olds all year long. All he has to do today is beat them again.

“If AP wanted a meaningful race that actually proves something, he should have run against some actual competition in the Whitney or the Pacific Classic. But as it is, AP has nothing to gain by winning this race today and a lot to lose if he should happen to lose it.”

Of course Jerry Bailey did not answer the question thusly. I can’t even remember what he did say, but he treated the question seriously, not with the disdain it so richly deserved.

Then AP proceeded to lose the race at 35 cents on the dollar, by three-quarters of a length to Keen Ice. AP had no excuses that day either, at least with respect to how the race was run, with him on an easy lead through leisurely fractions of :24.28 and :48.30.

AP did redeem himself nine weeks later in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, a race which set up absolutely perfect for him after the defections of Liam’s Map and Beholder (both of whom figured to be on or near the lead).

AP ran the race of his life in the BC Classic. He ran his worst race of the year in the Travers. AP was a very good horse when he got things his own way. Under adversity (as in the Travers), he was not nearly as good.

AP was named 2015 Horse of the Year last night, to the surprise of no one. That title was probably inevitable for him (rightly or wrongly) once he won the Triple Crown.

I have yet to see or read any thoughtful appraisal on where exactly AP stands in the pantheon of North America’s greatest racehorses. What has appeared in the media on the subject is essentially drivel of the most fanatically hagiographic nature (a la Tom Hammond).

My intention today is to fill that void. Let us begin by reviewing previous Horses of the Year, dating back to 1936, when championships were first officially conferred.

I present two lists below. The first consists of Horses of the Year I believe were better racehorses than American Pharoah. The second, shorter list consists of Horses of the Year I believe were at least as good as American Pharoah.

Horses of the Year BETTER Than American Pharoah

War Admiral (#13, 1937), Count Fleet (#5, 1943), Citation (#3, 1948), Tom Fool (#11, 1953), Native Dancer (#7, 1954), Bold Ruler (#19, 1957), Kelso (#4, 1960-1964), Buckpasser (#14, 1966), Damascus (#16, 1967), Dr. Fager (#6, 1968), Secretariat (#2, 1972-1973), Forego (#8, 1974-1976), Seattle Slew (#9, 1977), Affirmed (#12, 1978-1979), Spectacular Bid (#10, 1980).

Horses of the Year AT LEAST AS GOOD as American Pharoah

Seabiscuit (#25, 1938), Nashua (#24, 1955), Swaps (#20, 1956), Round Table (#17, 1958), Sunday Silence (#31, 1989), A.P. Indy (1992), Zenyatta (2010).

In parentheses after I each name I listed the year(s) in which they were Horses of the Year. I listed them chronologically in order to avoid the question of ranking. But I also listed their rankings on the Bland-Horse‘s list of the top 100 racehorses of the 20th century.

So these are not MY rankings. The rankings were performed by a panel of “experts” assembled by the Bland-Horse. All in all though I think they did a pretty good job. I found little to quibble with in their rankings.

I listed 15 Horses of the Year I think were better than AP. Bold Ruler was the lowest ranked of them at #19. I listed seven Horses of the Year I think were at least as good as AP. The highest ranked of them was Round Table at #17.

Round Table and Bold Ruler were both foals of 1954 and rivals (along with Gallant Man). Round Table had many admirable qualities: toughness, durability, versatility, and ability to carry weight. But in terms of sheer brilliance, he was no match for Bold Ruler, in my humble opinion.

In listing Bold Ruler among the 15 Horses of the Year I think were better than AP, I was thinking mainly of the 1957 Trenton Handicap. That was the race in which he thoroughly trounced Round Table and Gallant Man and thus earned his Horse of the Year title. If Bold Ruler of the 1957 Trenton Handicap meets AP of the 2015 BC Classic, the former thoroughly trounces the latter, in my humble opinion. That is the main reason I included him on the first list.

As for the second list, Zenyatta has no ranking listed because she did not race in the 20th century. A.P. Indy has no ranking listed because he was not in the top 100. That is a puzzler to me. To my way of thinking A.P. Indy’s Belmont was every bit as good as American Pharoah’s Belmont. Ditto for his BC Classic versus American Pharoah’s BC Classic.

I should emphasize that the lists above pertain to Horses of the Year only. No slight is intended toward horses who raced before 1936 or to some very good horses who were NOT Horses of the Year for various reasons. The #1 horse on the list was of course Man o’ War, and I have no quarrel with his ranking there.

So if I have to put a number on AP, the highest I could possibly rank him is somewhere in the 20s on a list of the top 100 North American racehorses of all time. I think I am bending over backward to rank him that high, to be honest.

“Only my opinion; I could be right or wrong.”

Hagiography is no substitute for history.

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Signifying Nothing

Here are the results for the 11 sires duplicated (4×4 or closer) most often among sales foals of 2008-2111. APPPSW stands for average Performance Points per stakes winner, a measure of the quality of stakes winners involved, the benchmark now being 687.

Sire Duplicated      Foals          Stakes Winners          %          APPPSW          PPI (Result)

Mr. Prospector       5,949                   242                   4.07             683                    1.21

Northern Dancer   4,270                   132                    3.09             777                    1.04

Raise a Native            915                     25                     2.73             601                    0.71

Secretariat                  766                     25                     3.26            589                    0.83

Seattle Slew                563                     19                      3.37           660                    0.97

Danzig                         252                       6                      2.38          1,161                   1.20

Blushing Groom        248                     18                      7.26           424                    1.33

Storm Bird                  237                     12                      5.06           465                    1.02

Buckpasser                 210                       4                      1.90           287                     0.24

In Reality                    205                      11                     5.37           640                     1.49

Fappiano                     167                       9                      5.39         1,273                    2.98

I am going to reserve comment on these results until after I compare prices with results, which are listed in the chart below.

Sire Duplicated          Foals          Price Index          PPI (Result)          Difference

Mr. Prospector           5,949                1.14                       1.21                        +.07

Northern Dancer       4,270                1.09                      1.04                      –.05

Raise a Native               915                 1.02                       0.71                      –.31

Secretariat                     766                 1.47                       0.83                     –.64

Seattle Slew                   563                 1.10                       0.97                      –.13

Danzig                            252                 0.86                      1.20                       +.34

Blushing Groom           248                0.94                       1.33                       +.39

Storm Bird                     237                 0.97                      1.02                       +.05

Buckpasser                    210                 0.87                       0.24                     –.63

In Reality                       205                 1.03                       1.49                      +.46

Fappiano                        167                 1.41                        2.98                     +1.57

Six of the 11 sires listed above had positive results (results higher than prices, the desired pattern). The other five had negative results (prices higher than results, the undesired pattern). That gives you some indication of the unreliability of inbreeding, even when using the most popular names.

As noted in my last post, Secretariat and Fappiano had by far the highest prices and therefore should have had the best results. It did work out that way with Fappiano (price of 1.41 and result of 2.98 for a whopping improvement of +1.57).

That should be taken with a little grain of salt. Almost half of Fappiano’s Performance Points came from Will Take Charge (5,725). Without Will Take Charge Fappiano’s result is 1.49, still better than his price of 1.41 but not as phenomenally better.

It did not work out that way with Secretariat (price of 1.47 and result of 0.83). Secretariat’s 25 stakes winners were not very good ones (APPPSW of 589, compared to the norm of 687).

Mr. Prospector (price of 1.14 and result of 1.21), Northern Dancer (price of 1.09 and result of 1.04), and Storm Bird (price of 0.97 and result of 1.02) all had results very close to their prices (slightly positive for Mr. Prospector and Storm Bird and slightly negative for Northern Dancer).

You might recall from a previous post that there were 60 foals and zero stakes winners inbred 3×3 or closer to Northern Dancer (included in the numbers above). Those 60 foals were pretty expensive. Did removing those 60 foals from Northern Dancer’s numbers above help him much????

If you remove those 60 foals from Northern Dancer’s 4,270 foals, the remaining 4,210 foals still had a Price Index of 1.09, the same as before. (Actually, it decreased slightly from 1.09497 to 1.09006.) His PPI did go up slightly from 1.04 to 1.06. That still leaves Northern Dancer slightly negative, with a price of 1.09 and a result of 1.06. So no, removing those 60 foals did not help him very much.

In Reality appears to have legitimately good results (price of 1.03 and result of 1.49). Ditto for Blushing Groom (price of 0.94 and result of 1.33). Blushing Groom had by far the highest percentage of stakes winners from foals (7.26%). But his stakes winners were not very good (APPPSW of 424, compared to the norm of 687).

Danzig looks good on paper (price of 0.86 and result of 1.20). But more than 60% of Danzig’s Performance Points were accounted for by one horse, I’ll Have Another (4,194). Without I’ll Have Another Danzig’s PPI sinks to 0.48. That is more in line with his anemic 2.38% stakes winners from foals.

Seattle Slew (–.13), Raise a Native (–.31), and Buckpasser (–.63) were all in negative territory. Not much more needs to be said about them.

The oldest of the 11 sires listed above were Northern Dancer and Raise a Native (both foals of 1961), followed by Buckpasser (1963) and In Reality (1964). The remaining seven sires were all foaled in 1970 or later. So I decided to compare the oldest four sires (Northern Dancer, Raise a Native, Buckpasser, and In Reality) with the other seven. Here is how those prices shake out.

Year Sires Born          Foals          Average          Maverage          Price Index

Before 1970                5,600          $54,131             165.14                     1.07

1970 or Later              8,182          $57,905            177.79                     1.15

Totals                          13,782         $56,372             172.65                    1.12

As you can see, the younger sires were slightly more expensive than the older sires.

Here are the results for these same two groups.

Year Sires Born          Foals          Stakes Winners          %          APPPSW          PPI (Result)

Before 1970                 5,600                   172                    3.07            731                     0.97

1970 or Later              8,182                    331                    4.05           677                     1.19

Totals                          13,782                   503                    3.65           696                     1.10

As you can see, the older sires had a price of 1.07 and a result of 0.97 (not good). The younger sires had a price of 1.15 and a result of 1.19 (very slightly positive).

So it appears that when it comes to inbreeding, duplicating younger sires is generally better than duplicating older sires. And the reason for that, no doubt, is that younger sires are generally better than older sires (within the same generation) in the first place.

If you duplicate a name that is a negative influence in the first place, you will get negative results. If you duplicate a name that is a positive influence in the first place, you stand a much better chance of getting a positive result.

This is not rocket science. This is simple common sense. I think what people fail to understand is that the most revered names in pedigrees can be NEGATIVE influences in the first place. They can not seem to wrap their heads around that.

For centuries purveyors of pedigree BS have ASSUMED and instructed their gullible readers that a great name must have a positive influence, no matter where or how far back it appears in a pedigree. Which also partially explains all this fascination with “inbreeding,” most of which, if you really examine it, is “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

 

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Fappiano and Secretariat????

The effectiveness (or lack thereof) of inbreeding depends to some extent on the name duplicated. This was demonstrated a few posts ago with respect to inbreeding 3×3 or closer to Mr. Prospector.

So I decided to take a look at names duplicated 4×4 or closer (including 3×3 or closer) among sales foals of 2008-2111. The 11 names below showed up most often.

Name                            Foals          Average          Maverage          Price Index

Mr. Prospector           5,949          $56,193               175.72                    1.14

Northern Dancer       4,270          $56,169              168.63                    1.09

Raise a Native                 915          $48,618              157.36                    1.02

Secretariat                       766         $84,763              225.73                     1.47

Seattle Slew                     563         $56,426              169.59                     1.10

Danzig                               252         $36,269             132.39                     0.86

Blushing Groom             248         $36,893             144.69                     0.94

Storm Bird                        237         $39,136             149.61                     0.97

Buckpasser                       210         $42,068            134.39                     0.87

In Reality                          205         $48,646            158.70                    1.03

Fappiano                           167          $91,196             217.20                     1.41

Mr. Prospector and Northern Dancer are the two most dominant names, not surprisingly. There is a huge gap from Northern Dancer (4,270 foals) to Raise a Native in third (915 foals). Secretariat (766 foals) and Seattle Slew (563 foals) are not too far behind Raise a Native.

I also kept tabs on foals inbred 4×4 or closer to various females. There were 623 such foals, placing that group between Secretariat and Seattle Slew.

There is another noticeable gap from Seattle Slew (563 foals) to Danzig (252 foals). Danzig is closely followed by Blushing Groom (248 foals), Storm Bird (237 foals), Buckpasser (210 foals), In Reality (205 foals,), and Fappiano (167 foals).

I could have stopped with In Reality. That would have made a top ten, all of which had 200+ foals. But I included Fappiano because he was very interesting.

The overall average for all 45,562 foals was $46,418. Fappiano’s average was almost twice that at $91,196. Secretariat was also very high at $84,763.

Then came a big gap back to a cluster of three: Seattle Slew at $56,426, Mr. Prospector at $56,193, and Northern Dancer at $56,169. In Reality ($48,646) and Raise a Native ($48,618) were also slightly above the norm ($46,418).

The remaining four names were all below the norm: Buckpasser ($42,608), Storm Bird ($39,136), Blushing Groom ($38,693), and Danzig ($36,269).

The overall maverage for all 45,562 foals was 154.0. The maverages and Price Indexes for these 11 names basically mirrored the averages. The one exception is that Secretariat (maverage of 225.73 and Price Index of 1.47) is slightly ahead of Fappiano (maverage of 217.20 and Price Index of 1.41) by these two measures.

Most of the expensive foals inbred 4×4 or closer to Fappiano were by such top sires as Bernardini, Tapit, and Unbridled’s Song. Fappiano had plenty of cheap foals as well. His prices were distributed very widely. Secretariat was a bit more consistent than Fappiano in terms of prices (not as many cheap foals). That accounts for the difference in rankings.

So if prices are any indication, inbreeding 4×4 or closer to Fappiano and Secretariat should have produced the best results within this group. In my next post I will detail the actual results.

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A Good Idea????

In my last post I promised a more thorough examination of sales foals of 2008-2111 inbred 3×3 or closer to Northern Dancer. Three such foals were very expensive sons of Storm Cat. They are listed below.

On a Storm (Storm Cat–Onaga, Mr. Prospector), 09Y2,800,000, 3×3 Northern Dancer, unraced.

Fighting Brave (Storm Cat–Get Lucky, Mr. Prospector), 08Y2,000,000, 3×3 Northern Dancer, 13-1-1-1, $25,965, 3rd Amethyst S. (IRE-G3).

Bakhoor (Storm Cat–Gossamer, Seattle Slew), 08Y1,200,000, 3×3 Northern Dancer, 21-5-2-3, $101,375.

As you can see, these three colts sold for a total of $6,000,000 and achieved no great successes. One was unraced. One was an ordinary winner. Fighting Brave was a G3-placed (third in a field of six) winner and earner of $25,965 in 13 total starts.

All told there were 60 such foals inbred 3×3 or closer to Northern Dancer. Their prices are listed below.

Foals          Average          Maverage          Price Index

60               $164,006           221.73                     1.44

Needless to say, the prices are quite high, if only because of the three colts listed above. Listed below are the prices of the remaining 57 foals (those three most expensive colts removed).

Foals          Average          Maverage          Price Index

57                $67,375              175.51                      1.14

Prices are obviously much lower without those three colts, but they are still well above the norms. Their average of $67,375 is about 45% above the overall average of $46,418. Their maverage of 175.51 is still about 14% above the overall maverage of 154.0 (hence the Price Index of 1.14).

At this point I usually list the results for a given group of foals. In this case I have nothing to list because these 60 foals produced ZERO stakes winners. ZIP. ZILCH. NADA. Hence they have a PPI (result) of 0.00.

Northern Dancer was one of the very best sires of the 20th century. Yet inbreeding 3×3 or closer to him among this sample group produced HIGH prices and ZERO results.

Still think that inbreeding 3×3 or closer is a good idea?????

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Close Inbreeding to Mr. Prospector

In my last post I promised a more thorough examination of sales foals of 2008-2111 inbred 3×3 or closer to Mr. Prospector. Here goes, starting with prices.

Duplication          Foals          Average           Maverage          Price Index

Mr. Prospector      564           $62,803               187.18                     1.22

All Others               957           $44,355                142.94                    0.93

As you can see, Mr. Prospector accounts for 37% of all 1,521 foals inbred 3×3 or closer. The overall average for all 45,562 foals was $46,418. The 564 foals inbred 3×3 or closer to Mr. Prospector were 35% higher than that at $62,803. The overall maverage for all 45,562 foals was 154.0. The 564 foals inbred 3×3 or closer to Mr. Prospector were 22% higher than that at 187.18. Hence their Price Index of 1.22.

The remaining 957 foals inbred to all other ancestors averaged $44,355, a little over 4% below the overall average of $46,418. Those same foals posted a maverage of 142.94, about 7% below the overall maverage of 154.0. Hence their Price Index of 0.93.

So the 564 foals inbred 3×3 or closer to Mr. Prospector were expected to have pretty good results. Their actual results are listed below. APPPSW stands for average Performance Points per stakes winner, a measure of the quality of stakes winners involved, the benchmark now being 687.

Duplication        Foals        Stakes Winners         %         APPPSW     PPI (Result)

Mr. Prospector    564                     23                      4.08          546                 0.97

All Others              957                    17                       1.78           578                 0.45

See my previous post for a listing of the 40 individual stakes winners inbred 3×3 or closer, including the 23 inbred to Mr. Prospector. With 23 stakes winners from 564 foals, this group had a very respectable 4.08% stakes winners from foals (significantly higher than the overall benchmark of 3.35%).

Those 23 stakes winners averaged only 546 Performance Points apiece, however, significantly lower than the overall benchmark of 687.

So taking both quantity and quality of stakes winners into account, these 564 foals had a PPI (result) of 0.97. They sold for prices about 22% ABOVE average and achieved results about 3% BELOW average.

So these 564 foals did NOT live up to expectations. Their results were not quite average (1.00) despite a price of 1.22. The best thing you can say about this group is that they were much better than the 957 foals inbred 3×3 or closer to all other ancestors.

The results for those 957 foals were simply abysmal: 1.78% stakes winners from foals, APPPSW of 578, and a PPI (result) of 0.45. They sold for prices about 7% below average (Price Index of 0.93) and achieved results about 55% below average (PPI 0f 0.45).

So if you insist on inbreeding 3×3 or closer, Mr. Prospector produced the best (although not very good) results. All others were much, much worse. And those all others were duplicated to such names as Northern Dancer, Storm Cat, Danzig, Seattle Slew, A.P. Indy, etc.

Speaking of Northern Dancer, in my next post I will have some interesting statistics about foals inbred 3×3 or closer to him.

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Quite Another Matter

In my last post I provided an overview of inbreeding (4×4 or closer) and outcrossing and everything in between. This post will be much more specific. In this post I will examine close inbreeding (3×3 or closer).

Theoretically 3×3 or closer includes 1×2, 2×1, and 2×2. I did not find any foals of that description in my sample group (sales foals of 2008-2111). The only ones I found were 2×3, 3×2, and 3×3.

Listed below are the stakes winners fitting this description. Listed for each stakes winner is its name, pedigree (sire–dam, broodmare sire), sales information, the duplication involved, and the number of Performance Points earned (the overall average for all stakes winners now being 687). They are listed in descending order by Performance Points (best stakes winners first).

I got tired of typing “Mr. Prospector” so many times and have abbreviated that name to MP. Discussion resumes at the end of this list.

Fly Down (Mineshaft–Queen Randi, Fly So Free), 08Y80,000, 3×3 MP, 1,590.

Forty Tales (Tale of the Cat–Forty Love, Forty Niner), 11Y80,000, 3×3 MP, 1,467.

Winning Cause (Giant’s Causeway–Raffishing Look, Kingmambo), 11Y115,000, 2×3 Storm Cat, 1,343.

Unbridled’s Note (Unbridled’s Song–Siberian Fur, Siberian Express), 10Y150,000, 3×3 Caro, 1,225.

Jenny’s So Great (Greatness–Jenny’s Search, Lost Soldier), 09T53,000, 3×3 Danzig, 1,178.

Balance the Books (Lemon Drop Kid–Kreisleriana, Seeking the Gold), 11Y37,000, 3×3 MP, 1,005.

Next Question (Stormy Atlantic–Seattle Stardust, Slew City Slew), 09Y30,000, 3×3 Seattle Slew, 824.

Dice Flavor (Scat Daddy–Afleet Summer, Afleet), 11Y80,000, 3×3 MP, 783.

Fusaichiswonderful (Fusaichi Pegasus–Cry Baby, Dance Brightly), 11Y12,000, 2×3 MP, 714.

Noble Moon (Malibu Moon–Mambo Bell, Kingmambo), 11W200,000, 3×3 MP, 700.

Tale of a Champion (Tale of a Cat–If Angels Sang, Seattle Slew), 09Y62,000, 3×3 Terlingua, 670.

King Henry (Congrats–Wood Witch, Woodman), 09Y17,000, 3×3 MP, 660.

Percussion (Bluegrass Cat–Cradlesong, Pine Bluff), 08W200,000, 3×3 A.P. Indy, 656.

Ailalea (Pulpit–Wood Sprite, Woodman), 08Y340,000, 3×3 MP, 628.

El Padrino (Pulpit–Enchanted Rock, Giant’s Causeway), 10Y210,000, 3×3 MP, 627.

Theyskens’ Theory (Bernardini–Heat Lightning, Summer Squall), 09Y250,000, 3×3 Weekend Surprise, 596.

Big Push (Black Mambo–Listentothebells, Allen’s Prospect), 08T45,000, 3×3 MP, 570.

Vegas No Show (Hard Spun–The Hess Express, Lord Carson), 11Y105,000, 3×3 Turkoman, 563.

Mouro (Grand Slam–Kalpita, Spinning World), 10Y20,000, 3×3 MP, 514.

Heavenly Landing (Pulpit–Peace River Lady, Woodman), 08Y340,000, 3×3 MP, 513.

Hightail (Mineshaft–Stormy Renee, Storm Cat), 11Y110,000, 3×3 Seattle Slew, 460.

Odysseus (Malibu Moon–Persimmon Hill, Conquistador Cielo), 08Y110,000, 3×3 MP, 424.

Ilusora (Tale of the Cat–If Angels Sang, Seattle Slew), 08Y120,000, 3×3 Terlingua, 400.

Ryans Charm (Heatseeker–Lemon Fresh Tide, Lemon Drop Kid), 11Y6,000, 3×3 Storm Cat, 400.

Tequila Factor (Pure Prize–Single Factor, Mutakddim), 11T20,000, 3×3 Seeking the Gold, 384.

Flash Forward (Curlin–Magical Flash, Miswaki), 11Y180,000, 3×3 MP, 360.

Offlee Swift (Offlee Wild–Cold Porridge, Tiffany Ice), 08Y17,000, 3×3 Icecapade, 339.

Deliburnsky (Flatter–Deliciously, Distinctive Pro), 11T70,000, 3×3 MP, 329.

Bear’s Hard Ten (Rock Hard Ten–Playforme, Gone West), 08Y21,000, 3×3 MP, 273.

Daddy Loves Gold (Scat Daddy–Glitz N Gold, Seeking the Gold), 11Y41,000, 3×3 MP, 261.

Floral Sky (Sky Mesa–Floral Park, Forest Wildcat), 11Y230,000, 3×3 Storm Cat, 260.

Alec’s Moon (Malibu Moon–Bello Cielo, Conquistador Cielo), 09Y125,000, 3×3 MP, 226.

Private Tutor (Student Council–Senorita Swinger, El Prado), 11Y7,000, 3×3 Kris S., 223.

Flashy Ways (Catienus–Golden Kitty, Carson Kitty), 11Y3,500, 3×3 MP, 214.

Brennero (Divine Park–Pilaf, Woodman), 11Y22,000, 3×3 MP, 200.

Catrageous (Tale of the Cat–Frozen Treat, Dynaformer), 11Y20,000, 3×3 MP, 198.

Our Pedroia (Catienus–Pompeii City, Carson City), 11Y2,000, 3×3 MP, 198 .

Roman Chestnut (Roman Ruler–Silverdew, Silver Deputy), 08Y7,500, 3×2 Silver Deputy, 173.

Lady Primal (Primal Storm–Lady Seneca, Seneca Jones), 09Y1,900, 3×3 Storm Cat, 140.

Sundance Kit (English Channel–Call Me Up, Miner’s Mark), 09W35,000, 3×3 MP, 100.

Listed above are 40 stakes winners. That may seem like a pretty good result. It would be a pretty good result if it came from 1,000 foals. If 2,000 foals were required to produce these 40 stakes winners, it would not be a very good result.

To get down to the nitty-gritty, 1,521 foals qualified as being inbred 3×3 or closer. Listed below are their prices.

Foals           Average              Maverage           Price Index

1,521             $51,196                  159.34                      1.03

The overall average for all 45,562 foals was $46,418. The closely inbred foals were about 10% above that at $51,196. The overall maverage was 154.0. The closely inbred foals were about 3% above that at 159.34. Hence the Price Index of 1.03. So these 1,521 foals were slightly more expensive than average overall.

Since the prices were slightly above average, the results should have been slightly above average as well. Below are the actual results. APPPSW stands for average performance Points per stakes winner, a measure of the quality of stakes winners involved, the norm now being 687.

Foals          Stakes Winners          %          APPPSW          PPI (Result)

1,521                       40                      2.63            560                    0.64

Overall there were 1,526 stakes winners from 45,562 foals (3.35%). These 1,521 foals were about 21% below that at 2.63%.

The overall average Performance Points for all 1,526 stakes winners was 687. These 1,521 foals were about 18% below that at 560.

So taking both quantity and quality of stakes winners into account, these 1,521 foals had a PPI (result) of 0.64, compared to a price of 1.03. They sold for prices about 3% ABOVE average and produced results about 36% BELOW average.

Needless to say, this is not a good result at all. It is about the worst result I have ever seen relative to its prices for this large a group of foals.

So inbreeding 3×3 or closer is not a good idea at all. It drastically underperforms its opportunities.

Which leads me to wonder why breeders persist in this practice. This is not the first time I have explored this subject matter and came to the same general conclusion.

I reckon breeders persist in this practice because they see one good horse bred that way and erroneously (ignoring the number of foals involved) assume that means the practice is good and beneficial.

Also because pedigree “experts” over the years have assured them that inbreeding is good. Some such “experts” even say that the closer the inbreeding, the better. “Incest is best.” Reality, as you can see, is quite another matter.

Of course the prices and results depend upon what name is being duplicated. You may have noticed that over half (23) of these 40 stakes winners were inbred to Mr. Prospector (MP).

in my next post I will examine inbreeding 3×3 or closer to Mr. Prospector in greater detail.

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