Earlier this year I posted a series on racing class of dams. One of those posts concentrated on “quality winners,” white-type winners with an SSI of 4.00 or higher. The results for that group were quite good, especially compared to their prices.
That got me to thinking about ignoring the whole claptrap of stakes races (black-type races, more specifically). After all, the system of designating graded races is pretty much a joke (at least in North America). I was curious to see what the prices and results would be if I classified dams of sales foals of 2008-2011 purely by SSI ranges (ignoring black type completely).
I decided to do so. Below are the prices by the SSI ranges chosen. Discussion resumes at the bottom of this chart.
SSI Range Foals Average Maverage Price Index
20+ 192 $307,446 479.32 3.11
10-19.99 743 $142,098 304.58 1.98
4.00-9.99 4,660 $82,459 223.46 1.45
2.50-3.99 5,366 $55,172 178.42 1.16
1.76-2.49 4,654 $44,574 156.33 1.02
1.00-1.74 6,806 $37,431 138.79 0.90
0.50-0.99 5,871 $31,194 123.02 0.80
0.01-0.49 6,913 $24,519 114.91 0.75
0 1,296 $46,991 144.50 0.94
Unknown 386 $48,271 170.40 1.11
Unraced 8,675 $43,294 144.97 0.94
Totals 45,562 $46,418 154.00 1.00
First a word about the 386 foals I classified as unknown (meaning that the SSIs of their dams could not be reliably determined). These foals are mainly out of dams from South American countries (whose racing results are not included in the data bases).
Many of these foals were out of black-type dams. Hence their average ($48,271) was slightly above the overall average ($46,418). Ditto for their maverage (170.40) and Price Index (1.11), compared to the overall numbers of 154.0 and 1.00. More about this group later.
Turning our attention back to the top of this chart, you see that prices worked out almost perfectly by SSI ranges. The highest range (SSI of 20+) had by far the highest average ($307,446), maverage (479.32), and Price Index (3.11).
The averages, maverages, and Price Indexes all declined uniformly as the SSI ranges decreased. Until you reach the lowest SSI range (zero), that is.
For some reason all three measures rebounded vigorously from the 0.01-049 SSI range to the zero SSI range. The average rebounded from $24,519 for the 0.01-0.49 range $46,991 for the zero range, the maverage from 114.91 to 144.50, and the Price Index from 0.75 to 0.94. The average for the zero range ($46,991) was actually a little higher than the overall average ($46,418), though the maverage and Price Index were a little lower than the overall numbers.
What gives???? This was a very puzzling result, to say the least. At least at first glance.
Upon further reflection, however, I think I can postulate some reasons for this result. I am guessing that most of the 1,296 foals in the zero range were out of mares who started only once or twice (and by definition earned $0). Most of the 6,913 foals in the 0.01-04.9 range were out of mares who started more than once or twice and managed to earn SOME amount of money (by definition).
If a mare has started ten or more times and not managed to finish any better than fourth, that mare is considered a dismal failure at the track (no matter what paltry amount of money she earned). But if a mare has started only once or twice and earned $0, that mare is treated more leniently. She is not considered such a confirmed total failure as the first one. Excuses are made, etc.
I also think that pedigree plays a role in this equation. The first type of mare generally has less pedigree than the second type of mare. The more pedigree a mare has, the more likely you are to give up on her if she shows absolutely nothing in her first one or two starts. Send her to stud. Some fool will spend good $$$$ for her foals if she has enough pedigree.
The less pedigree a mare has, the less likely you are to give up on her if she shows absolutely nothing in her first one or two starts. You are more likely to persevere with such a mare, dropping her in class and hoping to get some kind of good result. The less pedigree a mare has, the less likely you are to send her off to stud if she shows absolutely nothing in her first one or two starts.
That is my theory anyway. When I post results for these SSI ranges, we will see if the zero range actually was that much better than the 0.01-0.49 range. Stay tuned.