Bragging Rights–Results

Listed below are the results for the various locales. APPPSW stands for average Performance Points per stakes winner, a measure of the quality of stakes winners involved (the average being 677). Discussion resumes after the chart below.

Locale Bred     Foals     Stakes Winners     %     APPPSW       PPI (Result)

California         1,733               32                 1.85        579                 0.48

Canada             2,735               117                4.28       638                 1.22

Florida             6,545               181                2.77        577                 0.71

Louisiana        2,461                 51                2.07        455                0.42

Maryland            774                26                3.36        455                0.68

New Mexico       523                18                 3.44        462               0.71

New York         2,390               67                2.80         663              0.83

Pennsylvania   1,402               45                3.21          546              0.79

Texas                    462               10                2.16          386              0.37

Virginia                529               28                5.29         653               1.55

Washington        399                12                3.01         343               0.46

All Others         2,045               65               3.18          396               0.56

Totals               21,998             652              2.96          555               0.74

Kentucky          23,564            850              3.61          770               1.25

Grand Totals   45,562           1,502             3.30         677               1.00

To answer the question posed in my last post, yes, Virginia did justify its high prices with racetrack results. They posted 5.29% stakes winners from foals, the highest of any group listed above. Their 28 stakes winners had APPPSW of 653, second only to Kentucky (770). That works out to a PPI (result) for Virginia of 1.55, which compares favorably with its Price Index of 1.49.

Only two other locales listed above had positive (above 1.00) PPIS: Kentucky at 1.25 and Canada at 1.22. They were followed by New York (0.83), Pennsylvania (0.79), Florida (0.71), New Mexico (0.71) Maryland (0.68), California (0.48), Washington (0.46), Louisiana (0.42), and Texas (0.37).

The chart below compares prices with results. A positive difference (meaning that results exceeded prices) is good. A negative difference (meaning that prices exceeded results) is bad. Discussion continues after the chart below.

Locale Bred         Foals          Price Index          PPI (Result)        Difference

California            1,733                  0.48                    0.48                         0.00

Canada                2,735                  0.76                     1.22                        +0.46

Florida                 6,545                 0.80                     0.71                       –0.09

Louisiana            2,461                  0.47                     0.42                       –0.05

Maryland                774                 0.83                     0.68                       –0.15

New Mexico           523                 0.33                     0.71                        +0.38

New York             2,390                0.92                     0.83                       –0.09

Pennsylvania       1,402                0.75                     0.79                         +0.04

Texas                        462                0.41                     0.37                        –0.04

Virginia                    529                1.49                     1.55                          +0.06

Washington            399                0.37                     0.46                         +0.09

All Others             2,045               0.54                     0.56                          +0.02

Totals                    21,998              0.71                     0.74                          +0.03

Kentucky              23,564              1.27                     1.25                          –0.02

Virginia had a very slightly positive difference (+0.06). Kentucky had a very slightly negative difference (–0.02). This confirms that Virginia did indeed have better results than Kentucky, even taking prices into account.

Virginia achieved that PPI (result) of 1.55 without the benefit of any one particularly noteworthy stakes winner, which makes it even more impressive. The best of its 28 stakes winners was Redeemed (Include–Early Mass, Pleasant Tap, sold for $50,000 as a yearling in 2009), winner of the Brooklyn Handicap (G2) and an earner of $832,140.

The other results were a mixed bag, ranging from +0.46 for Canada to –0.15 for Maryland.

My original inclination was to take that +0.46 for Canada (a price of 0.76 and a result of 1.22) with a grain of salt. Canada ranked behind only Virginia in terms of percentage of stakes winners from foals (5.29% to 4.28%). My original inclination was to chalk that up to the plethora of stakes races restricted to Canadian-breds. The more restricted stakes races available to a particular locale, the better its percentage of stakes winners from foals will be.

Upon further reflection, however, I realized that almost all these locales (except for Kentucky) have a number of restricted stakes races available to them (though perhaps not as many as Canada). New York, for example, has a plethora of restricted stakes races as well, probably near the same ratio as Canada. New York had a price of 0.92 and a result for 0.83 for a difference of –0.09. Their plethora of restricted stakes races did not seem to help New York nearly as much as it did Canada.

Furthermore, it occurred to me that the strength of a local breeding program should be reflected in the prices for its foals. If a Canadian-bred has many more opportunities to win restricted stakes races than foals from other locales, the prices for Canadian-breds should reflect that (be higher). Many locales make that their blatant advertising pitch. Breed in our locale because we have a fantastic program that pays more money to our foals (not necessarily just in stakes races either). Therefore, foals bred in our locale are more valuable than foals bred in other locales.

It makes economic sense. Yet I do not perceive much of a premium in prices being paid for Canadian-breds or New York-breds, for example. Considering the results achieved, that was a mistake in the case of the former but not in the latter.

I do not really follow this stuff, but it seems to me that the New York program was just starting to ramp up for sales foals of 2008-2111. Perhaps it will have much better results (and higher prices) for my next group, say sales foals of 2012-2015. State-bred programs are in a constant state of flux.

In retrospect, I must confess that perhaps using stakes winners only to quantify racetrack results is not the best method to do so for this particular study because of this problem of restricted stakes races and how they affect the results. So take these results with as many grains of salt as you desire.

For that same reason do not make too much of Kentucky’s numbers (a price of 1.27, a result of 1.25, and a difference of –0.02). Kentucky does NOT have stakes races restricted to foals bred within its borders. Almost all the other locales do have such stakes races. Considering that factor, Kentucky’s numbers are not that bad at all.

You got what you paid for with Kentucky-breds. Actually, I think the same is pretty much true for all of these locales, with two exceptions. Virginia-breds were a lot better (and more expensive) than most people realize. Canadian-breds appear to be the best bargains of all, although that is at least partially a function of its plethora of restricted stakes races.

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9 Responses to Bragging Rights–Results

  1. ned williams says:

    For years Virginia was blessed with some very well healed owners, Ned Evans being a prime example, who primarily bred to race. The state’s commercial market was limited. These owners bred top class racehorses and their strength (as owners) was not diluted to the degree that it would have been in Kentucky or other states. It is not surprising that Virginia, led by old Middleburg wealth was able to come out on top.

    • ddink55 says:


      One reaction I heard was that with the death of Evans in 2010 (and the dispersal of his stock in 2011), Virginia’s results would go straight down the tubes. Any comment on that????


      • ned williams says:

        Ned Evans was absolutely committed to breeding top quality racehorses. His results speak for themselves. His passing will have a huge affect on the state of Virginia breeding. I would expect that if you run these numbers again in ten years Virginia would not be so highly placed. The shuttering of Colonial Downs will certainly not help either.

      • ddink55 says:


        Eight of the 28 stakes winners bred in Virginia were bred by Evans or his estate. That is a substantial chunk but not a majority. No doubt that Virginia is hurt by his passing.


  2. ned williams says:

    I am not trying to create work for you, but without Evans how far would VA fall in your ranking? The secondary question would be: Without the state bred stake races at Colonial Downs creating VA bred stake winners, what would happen to the numbers? I only ask because as I write this, Ned Evans has passed and Colonial Downs is not operating.
    Thanks so much for another interesting analysis.

    • ddink55 says:

      That might actually be a interesting little project. Right now though Equineline auction results is not cooperating. Might try again later.


    • ddink55 says:


      OK, I have researched the Evans question and written a piece on it, which I will post tomorrow. As I noted in my last post, all the states in that survey (except Kentucky) have restricted stakes races. Did Virginia have a higher proportion of restricted stakes available than New York or Canada, for example???? I tend to doubt it. This question affects all the states listed (except Kentucky). I would venture to guess that it affects Virginia less than other states.

      Of the 28 stakes winners bred in Virginia, half were graded winners, three were listed winners, nine were open stakes winners, and only two were stakes winners thanks to restricted stakes. Methinks those ratios would look pretty good compared to New York, Canada, etc.


      • ned williams says:

        Point well made, however the number may decrease even further if Colonial Downs or another entity does not emerge to offer state-bred stakes. Laurel may take up the mantra and offer a few this fall. Ned Evans on the other hand will be hard to replace. Since I wrote my post, research tells me that he or his estate has been named Breeder of the Year in Virginia: 2000, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014. He will be missed. I will be interested to see what your hard research reveals.
        As always thanks for eliminating opinion and getting down to the measurable brass tacks.

      • ddink55 says:


        Thank you for that tidbit about Evans or his estate being Breeder of the Year in Virginia ten times. I added it to the piece right before posting it this morning.


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