Put Up or Shut Up

Ned Williams commented on my post from two days ago:

I can already hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth….”but my nicks are better than the those found in the cheat books.” My reply to the purveyors of nicks, If so please provide your Nick ratings (of the above horses) to Boojum so he can run the numbers and prove your ratings are better predictors of racetrack success.

To which I replied:

Better yet, send me your lists of nick ratings for the entire 2014 Keeneland September sale (after the sale is over, if that makes you more comfortable). And about three years down the road, about 2017 or so (if I am still alive), I will go through the sale again and report on how it all turned out.


That was Wednesday. On Thursday Byron Rogers of TrueNicks graciously provided me with their nick ratings for the 2014 Keeneland September yearling sale.

Think your nick ratings are better???? ENicks is the only other company I am aware of that provides these ratings for a profit, but there are probably others. Let me hear from you if you accept this challenge. Send me your 2014 Keeneland September nick ratings by commenting on this post.

Put up or shut up.

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4 Responses to Put Up or Shut Up

  1. ned williams says:

    What is also interesting is that “A” nicks far outweigh any other category. This is perplexing, as it seems to me, that an “A” nick should be the nick that occurs least frequently. We certainly know that superior runners occur least frequently. It seems that by sheer numbers alone the “A” nicks are doomed to failure. What am I missing?
    Byron is a good man for providing his numbers.

    • ddink55 says:

      Ditto your last remark. Byron seems to be taking this well. Lots of people can’t seem to stand any criticism at all.

      You are not missing anything. You are correct that A nicks being 40% of the entire sale (as opposed to 13%-15% of the overall population) sticks out like a sore thumb. And you are probably also correct that A was doomed to failure by its sheer numbers.

      What people have a hard time grasping is that the Keeneland September sale is a pretty good sale overall. Even the pedigrees offered on the final day of the sale are not bad pedigrees (relative to the entire population, which is a comment on the lack of quality in the entire population). Sales foals are generally better than the entire population. The Keeneland September sale is better than most sales. Therefore, it is not really surprising to me that 40% of all nags sold in the 2010 Kee Sept. sale were A nicks.

      Believe it or not, ENicks are even worse. More than 60% of a Kee Sept. sale were A nicks by ENicks.

      I have secured the links to the original cheatbooks for the 2010-2011-2012 OBS August yearling sales. That sale is much lower down on the scale than Kee Sept. Should not have nearly as many A nicks (although you never know). Might be a better population to study for that reason. A nicks might fare better in that environment. Will see. Worth a look.


      • ned williams says:

        Is there any way to look at the “D” nicks (ie the crosses) as of today? What would be interesting to see is if these nicks are the same today as they were back then or have they morphed into to better nicks because of the success seen. This may be true of the “A” nicks as well, but in the converse.

      • ddink55 says:


        Judy the Beauty won a graded stakes at Del Mar about three weeks ago. If you have the appropriate copy of the Bland-Horse, it will show her current nick rating in the stakes shell. Yes, I am 99% certain that her current nick rating is much better than it was originally (not rated). Also that the improvement is largely due to Judy the Beauty herself (though that would be almost impossible to prove short of asking BR). If you do not have the magazines, perhaps you can find it on their website. Or any nag that finished second or third recently in a stakes. Two others I can think of are Fed Biz (a D nick originally and second in a stakes at Del Mar) and My Miss Aurelia (a B nick originally and second in the Ballerina at Saratoga). Let me know if you find anything of this nature. Thanks.

        Decided to investigate this myself. Found a link to TrueNicks through the BH website. The former allows you limited access to individual ratings. Judy the Beauty is indeed an A nick now. Only four foals by Ghostzapper out of Holy Bull mares. So that rating was based on 41 foals by sons of Awesome Again out of Holy Bull mares. Three stakes winners among those 41 foals. Without Judy the Beauty I am guessing the rating goes down to B or maybe oven lower (depending on if they take quality of stakes winners into account, which I am not sure they do).

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