Too Much Negativity??????

“Too much negativity” is the one criticism most often directed toward me, both personally and professionally. In terms of the latter that means I delight in debunking breeding theories but fail to offer anything positive to breeders, anything that actually seems to “work.” Today I am going to offer you three things that actually seem to “work” in breeding or buying a foal at public auction.

In my previous post I revisited “Uncle” Abe Hewitt, who speculated about inbreeding of parents (sires and dams, not just foals). To oversimplify his message somewhat, if what he believed holds true, inbred dams should make pretty good broodmares.

In three cases that hypothesis does hold true. Mares inbred 4×4 or closer to Northern Dancer, Hail to Reason, and Mr. Prospector did have pretty good results among sales foals of 2003-2007. The prices for these three groups are summarized below.

Mare Inbred To          Foals          Average          Maverage          Price Index

Northern Dancer        3,180          $60,177             174.68                    1.07

Hail to Reason               480          $47,101              157.37                    0.96

Mr. Prospector             374           $73,977              169.76                    1.04

The overall average for all 70,714 sales foals was $54,140. The overall maverage for all sales foals was 163.11. Mr. Prospector and Northern Dancer were above both figures. Hail to Reason was below both figures. But all figures are pretty close to the norms, the Price Indexes ranging only from 0.96 to 1.07 (1.00 being average by definition).

Below are the results for the three sires. APPPSW stands for average Performance Points per stakes winner, a measure of the quality of stakes winners involved, 620 being average.

Mare Inbred To          Foals          Stakes Winners          %          APPPSW          PPI (Result)

Northern Dancer         3,180                   140                   4.40           673                      1.40

Hail to Reason                 480                    22                    4.58           693                      1.50

Mr. Prospector               374                    16                     4.28           716                       1.45

The overall percentage of stakes winners from foals was 3.42. All three sires were considerably better than that. The overall average Performance Points per stakes winner was 620, as mentioned above. All three sires were considerably better than that.

So taking both quantity and quality of stakes winners into account, Northern Dancer comes up with a PPI (result) of 1.40, Hail to Reason 1.50, and Mr. Prospector 1.45. All three numbers are well above their Price Indexes, as illustrated below.

Mare Inbred To           Foals          Price Index          PPI (Result)

Northern Dancer         3,180                1.07                     1.40

Hail to Reason                480                0.96                     1.50

Mr. Prospector              374                 1.04                     1.45

So foals out of mares inbred 4×4 or closer to Northern Dancer sold for prices about 7% above average and achieved results about 40% above average. Foals out of mares inbred 4×4 or closer to Hail to Reason sold for prices about 4% below average and achieved results about 50% above average. Foals out of mares inbred 4×4 or closer to Mr. Prospector sold for prices about 4% above average and achieved results about 45% above average. All three were excellent results.

Taking these results at face value, it would appear that Hail to Reason was best, followed by Mr. Prospector and Northern Dancer. I would counsel taking these results with some grains of salt, however. I am much more impressed by Northern Dancer than the other two simply because he achieved his results with 3,180 foals, compared to only 480 and 374 foals for the other two. The more foals, the more difficult it is to achieve good results. (And the number of foals out of mares inbred 4×4 or closer to Mr. Prospector will have increased exponentially in later years.)

So the results above seem to substantiate Hewitt’s point. If all sires had similar results, his point would be completely substantiated. Next time around I will list results for some other sires and for all foals out of such inbred mares as a whole.

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