Dosage Total Points

All three major sources of pedigree information carry dosage numbers on individual racehorses. That in itself is an indication that most people consider dosage a breeding theory (rightly or wrongly). If dosage is NOT a breeding theory but only a “pedigree classification technique,” then the individual numbers are meaningless. The numbers are meaningful ONLY in context of pedigree populations.

One of the three sources goes so far as to list the total of dosage points for each racehorse (as if most people can not add up to 64). Evidently this source considers that significant information. The theory is that the higher the number of total points, the better the pedigree, and vice versa.

This theory actually holds a little bit of water. Not a complete bucketful by any means. It is a leaky bucket, but not a total sieve.

I have even heard some people say that the perfect pedigree is one in which all the sires within four generations are chefs. Such a pedigree has the maximum of 64 total dosage points.

I have encountered only one such pedigree in the course of all my data mining. It belongs to Barely Bridled, a colt by Unbridled out of Jody G., by Roberto. This nag sold for $20,000 as a yearling, $42,000 as a two-year-old, and $2,200 as an unraced four-year-old. Barely Bridled never did start. Not exactly a good argument for the theory.

Nevertheless, I decided to investigate this angle of dosage. Some housekeeping first.

The average for all 70,714 sales foals of 2003-2007 is 20.29. That average has been steadily declining over the years. It was 20.98 for sales foals of 2003, 20.91 for sales foals of 2004, 20.10 for sales foals of 2005, 19.99 for sales foals of 2006, and 19.58 for sales foals of 2007.

Since the average is 20.29 and the maximum is 64, dosage bases its predictions on only 31.7% of the available points in pedigrees. And since those points are based on sires only, dosage bases its predictions on only 15.85% of the available names in a four-generation pedigree. Does that make sense????? I will return to that thought at the conclusion of this post.

The median for all 70,714 foals is 20 points. The mode (number that appears most often) is 18 points (7,061 nags had 18 points, followed by 6,961 nags with 16 points, 6,839 nags with 14 points, 6,005 nags with 20 points, etc.).

The chart below summarizes the results by dosage total points in terms of prices.


Total Points            Foals          Average          Maverage           Price Index

0                                 10            $9,000                64.50                    0.40

2                                 99             15,518                90.86                    0.56

4                                471            36,423               138.93                   0.85

6                              1,312           28,957               124.96                   0.77

8                              2,332           32,674              131.74                    0.81

10                            4,029           39,120              144.44                  0.89

12                             5,523           37,862              141.20                  0.87

14                             6,839           39,582             143.18                   0.88

16                             6,961           41,190              145.63                  0.89

18                            7,061            42,422              149.34                  0.92

20                            6,005           45,373              152.24                  0.93

22                            5,551            49,704              155.61                  0.96

24                            5,430            53,102              166.72                 1.02

26                            4,475            55,544               164.03                1.01

28                            4,221            64,723               180.73                 1.11

30                            3,099           80,131               198.37                 1.22

32                            2,424            86,326              203.54                1.25

34                            1,507            85,675              208.03                1.28

36                            1,011           105,840             230.71                 1.41

38                                651          105,162             240.58                 1.47

40+                          1,703          206,198             341.98                 2.10

Totals                     70,714            54,140             163.11                 1.00

There are some glitches along the way, but the general shape is clear. The average rose steadily from $9,000 for the ten nags with zero points to $206,198 for the 1,703 nags with 40+ total points. Ditto for the maverages (64.5 to 341.98) and Price Indexes (0.40 to 2.10).

So the market obviously thinks this theory makes some sense. And it would make sense if the results corresponded to the prices.

I am creating a separate post that lists the best stakes winners (those with 2,000+ Performance Points) among these sales foals of 2003-2007 by their dosage total points. That will give you a better idea of the individual nags involved in each category.

The chart below summarizes those results. The individual groups have been lumped into larger groups in order to smooth out glitches. APPPSW stands for average Performance Points per stakes winner, a measure of the quality of stakes winners involved in each group.


Total Points            Foals          Stakes Winners          %          APPPSW          PPI (Result)

0-8                           4,224                  118                    2.79             574                     0.76

10-18                      30,413               1,025                  3.37             557                     0.89

20-28                     25,682                   857                  3.34             617                     0.98

30-38                       8,692                   338                  3.89             761                     1.40

40+                          1,703                     76                   4.46              846                    1.79

Totals                     70,714                 2,414                 3.41              617                    1.00

Again, some glitches appear, but the overall pattern is clear. The results do mirror the prices more or less. The PPI (result) increases from 0.76 for 0-8 total points to 0.89 for 10-18 total points to 0.98 for 20-28 total points to 1.40 for 30-38 total points and 1.79 for 40+ total points.

The chart below was constructed to give you an even better idea of the relationship between prices and results.


Total Points               Foals          Price Index             PPI (result)

0-8                             4,224                0.79                          0.76

10-18                        30,413              0.89                          0.89

20-28                       25,682               1.00                         0.98

30-38                         8,692               1.28                          1.40

40+                            1,703                2.10                          1.79

Totals                       70,714               1.00                          1.00

The first three groups are very close in terms of prices versus results. The 10-18 group is right on the money (0.89 for both prices and results). The 0-8 and 20-28 groups are only a tad below expectations (0.79 and 0.76 for the former and 1.00 and 0.98 for the latter).

The last two groups are more divergent. The 30-38 group had a price of 1.28 and a result of 1.40. They exceeded expectations. The 40+ group had a price of 2.10 and a result of 1.79. They failed to achieve expectations. The 30-38 group was overperformed its prices. The 40+ group underperformed its prices.

If dosage did a better job of naming chefs in the first place, these results might be even better correlated between price and performance. A few more Storm Cats and Deputy Ministers. Fewer nags such as Buckaroo, Baldski, Royal Academy, Pia Star, Apalachee, Bold Ruckus, Lost Code, Speak John, Creme dela Creme, and Pretense. Promised Land too. I neglected to mention him the first time I made this list of nags who really do not deserve to be chefs.

At any rate, the market has already factored dosage total points into its price calculations. It overvalued the 40+ group and undervalued the 30-38 group, but other than that it did a pretty good job. There is no particular advantage to be gained by this dosage angle.

Excuse the following digression, but I hope you will find it sufficiently amusing. Since ten of the nags above had zero total points, obviously some sires contribute zero total points to pedigrees. One such sire is Wiseman’s Ferry, sire of 2012 Horse of the Year Wise Dan.

The other seven sires in the top half of Wise Dan’s pedigree are Hennessy, Storm Cat, Silver Deputy, Storm Bird, Hawaii, Deputy Minister, and Affirmed. Not a chef among them. Wise Dan receives zero total points from his sire, Wiseman’s Ferry. The latter has NOTHING to do with the the former in terms of dosage.

Makes a LOT of sense, doesn’t it???????????????

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