The Cart Before the Horse

“We apply one absolute criterion to chef-de-race selection. The chef-de-race candidate must be prepotent for aptitudinal type. . . . Finally, a sire’s reputation at stud is of minimal concern.”

Racehorse Breeding Theories, page 224.

The chef-de-race selection process has gotten seriously off track. Vuillier concentrated on the sires who showed up most often in the pedigrees of outstanding racehorses (neglecting to realize that the same sires also showed up most often in the pedigrees of ordinary racehorses).

Nevertheless, Vuillier had the right idea. The current dosage “gurus” have it all wrong, putting type ahead of quality. They have consciously decided to put the cart before the horse. They have it backasswards.

Perhaps a little analogy will help here. Most of you are familiar with the modern workplace. You work for a company that is chock full of stupidity. Nevertheless, your boss tells you what to do, and his boss tells him what to do. So you frequently find yourself assigned a task that you know is fundamentally stupid. But you have to do it anyway (or else quit the job), and so the only decision you have is whether to try to do the stupid job as well as you can or to do it as perfunctorily as possible.

I am going to put myself into that position now. I know that the whole chef business is all a crock of shit. Nevertheless, my boss has ordered me to take responsibility for chef selection. I would choose to do that job as well as I could, even though I knew it was all a crock of shit.

The first step in chef selection is identifying the best sires. Not just best in terms of who is siring the best horses right now, but also from the perspective of history. Which of those sires who look good right now are still gonna be around in pedigrees 20 or 30 years or more from today?????

The former is not too difficult. The latter is supremely difficult. As Tony Morris says, you can not really evaluate a sire until 20 years after his death. It takes that long to see if a sire really stands the test of time. Those who do stand the test of time are good chef candidates. Those who do not are not.

Quality is absolutely the most important prerequisite for a chef candidate. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a blithering idiot. Identify the sires worthy to be chefs first. Worry about their aptitudinal classifications (types) later.

As previously noted, current dosage “gurus” approach this problem exactly the opposite, putting the cart before the horse. They have it all backasswards. And the results can be seen in their blithering idiot selections (and nonselections).

The most glaring nonselection they have made is Storm Cat, who is NOT a chef. As those of you who read this blog know, I am NOT a fan of Storm Cat. Nevertheless, his omission as a chef is one example of blithering idiocy.

As those of you who read this blog know, I am NOT a fan of Giant’s Causeway (a son of Storm Cat). Giant’s Causeway IS a chef, which just blows my mind. GC is a decent (if overrated) sire, but he is NOT Storm Cat by any stretch of the imagination. If GC is a chef, Storm Cat should be a chef. If only one of the two should be a chef, it is Storm Cat, not GC.

A similar example is Nearctic and his son Icecapade. The former is not a chef. The latter is a chef. That just blows my mind. Icecapade was a pretty good sire, but he was not Nearctic by any stretch of the imagination. If Icecapade is a chef, Nearctic should be a chef. If only one of the two should be a chef, it is Nearctic, not Icecapade.

Another example is Vice Regent and his son Deputy Minister. Neither one is a chef. That just blows my mind. If GC and Icecapade are chefs, both Vice Regent and Deputy Minister should be chefs as well.

All of these sins of omission are compounded by dosage’s sins of commission in the process of chef selection. Consider the following nags who are chefs: Buckaroo, Baldski, Royal Academy, Pia Star, Apalachee, Bold Ruckus, Lost Code, Speak John, Creme dela Creme, and Pretense. If these ten nags are chefs, surely Storm Cat, Nearctic, Vice Regent, and Deputy Minister should be chefs as well.

Perhaps it might be instructional to review the “thought” process behind the naming of Apalachee as a chef. The following is from Racehorse Breeding Theories, pages 224-225:

“A decent stakes sire can often generate more than enough progeny data to make a case for his aptitudinal prepotence. Such was the case of Apalachee, who was not among the leading sires when named a Brilliant chef-de-race in the late 1980s. However, between 1983 and 1991, Apalachee sired the winners of more six-furlong stakes races than any North American sire other than Mr. Prospector and Fappiano. He also got a series of blazingly fast sprinting fillies such as Clocks Secret, Pine Tree Lane, and Lazer Show. . . . He did this despite being a son of Solid chef-de-race Round Table.”

Interpretation: Apalachee was a problem for dosage. As a son of Round Table, he should have been an influence for stamina. Instead, he was an influence for speed. So they “solved” that problem by naming Apalachee a Brilliant (speed) chef.

This is not unusual for dosage. Some of the ten nags mentioned above were named chefs for the same reason, to “solve” problems caused by individual nag(s), the classic case being Creme dela Creme in the pedigree of Creme Fraiche.

This also illustrates that dosage is retroactive in many cases. In many cases it is not so much predictive as rewriting history after the fact. It adjusts its own numbers as problems arise. Creme Fraiche originally had a DI of 39. If you look him up now, you see he has a DI of 3.31. The difference is Creme dela Creme being named as a chef.

If dosage “gurus” were honest, they would specify that the numbers a nag has at birth remain its numbers for the rest of its life. But of course they are NOT honest. They freely change their own numbers as problems arise. They do so by naming pieceashit nags such as Creme dela Creme as chefs. So much for their intellectual “integrity.”

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