Racing Class Versus Pedigree

A comment I received on one of my recent posts, on prices by racing class of the dam, is the genesis of this post. I will paraphrase that comment rather loosely. It said that if you looked at the progeny of Storm Cat and A.P. Indy, for example, the lower-class (in terms of racing class) mares bred to them would have worse results than the higher-class mares bred to them.

I wondered if that were indeed true. I am not sure that it is true for Storm Cat and A.P. Indy. But using only two sires is not a good way to go about it anyway.

I think I came upon a better way of going about it. Take all the sales foals of 2008-2111 that sold for $100,000 or more and see how their prices and results worked out by the racing class of their dams.

I picked $100,000+ because I wanted to look at the best foals in this group (or at least those perceived to be the best) regardless of their sires, not just the Storm Cats and A.P. Indys. Many of these foals will be out of black-type mares, which partially accounts for their prices. Such mares have the most racing class and the least pedigree going for them.

Many of these foals will be out of mares which were not black type (which were not of high racing class themselves). There are many reasons why foals out of such mares would bring high prices. The most obvious is that the foals were by good sires, Storm Cat, A.P. Indy, etc. The mare might have previously produced a stakes winner. The mare might be by an excellent broodmare sire. The mare might be closely related to a really good stakes winner, even though the mare is not black type herself and has not yet produced any black-type runners. The mare might have any combination of these four factors.

Such mares have the least racing class and the most pedigree going for them. I will return to this theme of racing class versus pedigree later.

of the 45,562 sales foals of 2008-2111, 5,841 sold for $100,000 or more. That is 12.8%, or a little over one eighth of the total, and so these 5,841 foals represent the top eighth (roughly) of the population.

The chart below shows the distributions of both the overall population and the “elite” ($100,000+) population by racing class of the dam.

Category                            Total Foals          %          $100,000+ Foals          %          Change

All Stakes Winner                6,659            14.62                  1,655                  28.33         +94%

All Stakes Placed                 5,232             11.48                     757                   12.96          +13%

All Others                             33,671           73.90                 3,429                   58.71          –21%

Totals                                    45,562          100.00               5,841                   100.00           0

All stakes winners account for 14.62% of the overall population but 28.33% of the elite population, an increase of 94%, meaning that a foal in the elite population is 94% more likely to be out of a stakes winner than a foal in the overall population. No surprises there. All stakes-placed mares were +13%. All others were –21%. No surprises there.

The individual breakdowns for all others were interesting. Winners (not black type) were –29%, unraced were –11%, placed were –12%, and unplaced were –13%. So winners had the lowest representation of all among the elite group. That is one reason why their averages and maverages were also lowest of all (and lower than unraced, placed, and unplaced), because they had the lowest percentage of $100,000+ foals.

Below are the prices for $100,000+ foals.

Foals          Average          Maverage           Price Index

5,841          $230,260         455.08                   2.96

Needless to say, these prices are quite high compared to the overall average of $46,418 and the overall maverage of 154.00 (which by definition is a Price Index of 1.00).

Below are the racetrack results for $100,000+ foals. APPSW stands for average Performance Points per stakes winner, a measure of the quality of stakes winners involved, 662 being average.

Foals          Stakes Winners          %          APPPSW          PPI (Result)

5,841                    468                   8.01           831                     3.12

Not surprisingly, this elite group had a much higher percentage of stakes winners from foals than the overall popuation (8.01% to 3.23%). And they were much better stakes winners as well, with 831 average Performance Points per stakes winners (compared to the overall average of 662). Taking both quantity and quality of stakes winners into account, these 5,841 foals had a PPI (result) of 3.12.

That PPI of 3.12 compares favorably with its Price Index of 2.96, especially when you consider that the higher the Price Index, the more difficult it is for the PPI to exceed it. So these 5,841 foals actually outperformed their high prices.

Rather than comparing prices and results to the overall population, from this point forward I am going to treat these 5,841 foals as an independent population and compare them to each other in the following breakdowns by prices and results. Prices first.

Category                           Foals          Average          Maverage          Price Index

All Stakes Winners         1,655         $263,647          479.37                    1.05

All Stakes Placed               757          $217,230          449.10                    0.99

All Others                        3,429          $217,022         444.68                    0.98

The prices for these three broad groups do not differ much at all. Stakes winners are a little bit higher than the other two groups, which are very close together.

Below are the racetrack results for these same three groups.

Category                          Foals          Stakes Winners          %          APPPSW          PPI (Result)

All Stakes Winners         1,655                  147                     8.88            967                    1.29

All Stakes Placed                757                   69                      9.11             665                    0.91

All Others                        3,429                  252                     7.35             797                    0.88

With a PPI of 1.29, all stakes winners were by far the best, followed by all stakes placed at 0.91 and all others at 0.88. All stakes placed had the highest percentage of stakes winners from foals (9.11%) but the worst quality of stakes winners (only 665).

Not let us compare prices versus results for these three groups.

Category                         Foals          Price Index          PPI (Result)

All Stakes Winners       1,655                1.05                      1.29

All Stakes Placed             757                 0.99                     0.91

All Others                      3,429                0.98                     0.88

All stakes winners outperformed. They sold for prices about 5% above average for all 5,841 foals and achieved results about 29% above average. The other two groups underperformed. All stakes placed had a price of 0.99 and a result of 0.91. All others had a price of 0.98 and a result of 0.88.

The first group (all stakes winners) had the most racing class going for them. The third group (all others) had the least racing class going for them. The second group (all stakes placed) was somewhere in between.

The first group (all stakes winners) had the least pedigree considerations going for them. The third group (all others) had the most pedigree considerations going for them. The second group (all stakes placed) was somewhere in between.

All of which confirms my overall thesis, that racing class is at least as important as pedigree in broodmare selection, if not more so.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Racing Class Versus Pedigree

  1. ned williams says:

    Boojum,
    I am not sure that I understand your statement below. How do we know that a mare is not both a stake winner and has the “most” pedigree? Or how are we determining that these mares have the “least pedigree going for them”?
    “I picked $100,000+ because I wanted to look at the best foals in this group (or at least those perceived to be the best) regardless of their sires, not just the Storm Cats and A.P. Indys. Many of these foals will be out of black-type mares, which partially accounts for their prices. Such mares have the most racing class and the least pedigree going for them.”

    Did you segregate stake winning dams with “bad” pedigrees vs non stake winning dams with “good” pedigrees? Sorry, I am probably missing an obvious point!!!!!!

    Confused,
    Ned

    • ddink55 says:

      Ned, I will address these questions in a day or two. Right now I need to finish something else.

      Boojum

    • ddink55 says:

      Ned,

      Perhaps I should have segregated the mares as you suggested above, but I did not do so. I did not do so because I did not see that it was necessary.

      See if you can follow my logic here. The prices for the three groups were very close together. Stakes winners were 1.05, stakes placed were 0.99, and all others were 0.98. So the market valued all three groups almost equally.

      Stakes winners obviously had the most racing class going for them. All others (not black type) obviously had the least racing class going for them. Stakes placed were somewhere in between.

      All others obviously had SOMETHING going for them in order to sell for $100,000+ apiece. And it was NOT racing class. The only other possibility is pedigree. Therefore, I made the statement that all others had the least amount of racing class going for them (which is obvious) and the most amount of pedigree (which is not obvious but a matter of deduction).

      If the stakes winners had the highest amount of racing class AND pedigree going for them, they would have sold for much higher prices (and achieved much better results). It seemed obvious to me that the reason stakes winners did not sell for even higher prices was because they were somewhat lacking in pedigree as an overall group (compared to all other foals that sold for $100,000+).

      Sure, many of the stakes winners had both good pedigrees and high racing class. Many others had indifferent pedigrees and high racing class. Think Don’t Tell Sophia ($1,000 yearling, though her pedigree was not that bad) and Musical Romance ($22,000 two-year-old, a price that was actually pretty good for her pedigree). Both G1 winners. And Musical Romance went on to sell for $1,600,000 as a broodmare prospect after her highly successful racetrack career.

      Those are two extreme examples, but the point is that many stakes winners do not have very good pedigrees. They rise above their pedigrees to achieve racetrack success. So it seems obvious to me that those kind of stakes winners drag down the overall quality of pedigrees of all stakes winners.

      I decided to investigate this matter a little further statistically. In order to do so I had to put a number on the pedigrees of the dams of these $100,000+ foals. That proved somewhat difficult. Eventually I decided to use broodmare sire statistics. I used broodmare sire statistics instead of sire statistics because I wanted to know how good the sires of the dams of these foals were as broodmare sires. As you know, some stallions are much better (relatively) as broodmare sires than as sires (and vice versa).

      So I took two measures of broodmare sire success and combined them into one number. Those two measures are percentage of stakes winners from foals and AEI. Then I took a random sample of dams of these $100,000+ foals and rated their sires (broodmare sires of the foals in question). Here are the results divided into the three categories.

      Category Foals Broodmare Sire Rating

      Stakes Winners 66 7.13

      Stakes Placed 36 7.10

      All Others 179 7.56

      The higher the number, the better the rating. As I expected, all others (7.56) were actually by better broodmare sires than either stakes winners (7.13) or stakes placed (7.10). All others had better pedigrees (at least in the sire department).

      If you think about this a little bit, perhaps you can understand it more easily. The very best sires are assumed to be the best broodmare sires as well. Think Mr. Prospector, Storm Cat, A.P. Indy, Deputy Minister, etc. Any mare by these four sires is assumed to be a very good broodmare (at least until she proves otherwise). Many foals out of mares by these four sires (and others) will sell for $100,000+ just because they are mares by Mr. Prospector, Storm Cat, A.P. Indy, Deputy Minister, et al. Some of these mares are stakes winners. The vast majority are not. Many of the foals of the latter will still sell for $100,000+.

      It just so happens that I have some statistics to back up this statement. Let us start with Storm Cat. There were 521 sales foals of 2008-2111 out of Storm Cat mares (70 out of stakes winners and 451 out of all others). The 70 sold for an average of $201,144. The 451 sold for an average of $131,804 (well above the overall average of $46,418).

      There were 184 sales foals of 2008-2111 out of Mr. Prospector mares (14 out of stakes winners and 170 out of all others). The 14 sold for an average of $428,714. The 170 sold for an average of $121,188 (well above the overall average).

      There were 385 sales foals of 2008-2111 out of A.P. Indy mares (33 out of stakes winners and 352 out of all others). The 33 sold for an average of $300,621. The 352 sold for an average of $99,179 (well above the overall average).

      There were 466 sales foals of 2008-2111 out of Deputy Minister mares (27 out of stakes winners and 439 out of all others). The 27 sold for an average of $209,926. The 439 sold for an average of $87,505 (well above the overall average).

      So many of these $100,000+ foals were out of mares (not stakes winners) by the likes of Storm Cat, Mr. Prospector, A.P. Indy, Deputy Minister, et al. They had lots of pedigree going for them but not much racing class. Many people actually believe that those types of mares are better broodmare prospects than G1 winners by inferior sires. If you believe that pedigree is by far the most important element in broodmare selection, you have to believe that.

      My point is that the markets do not agree. The markets place more value on racing class than on names in pedigrees. But sometimes they still place too much emphasis on pedigree and not enough on racing class.

      Witness the results for those 1,655 foals who were out of stakes winners and who sold for $100,000+. They sold for a price of 1.05 and achieved a result of 1.29 (both numbers relative to all foals sold for $100,000+). Those 1,655 foals appear to be bargains even at their relatively high prices. From which I conclude that the markets still undervalue racing class and still overvalue pedigree (the only other alternative to racing class).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s