But It IS Effective

Listed below are the racetrack results by SSI ranges. APPPSW stands for average Performance Points per stakes winner, a measure of the quality of stakes winners involved (the overall average now being 684). Discussion resumes at the end of this chart.

SSI Range      Foals      Stakes Winners     %        APPPSW         PPI (Result)

20+                   192                   19                 9.90        1,150                 5.01

10.00-19.99    743                   42                 5.65           851                  2.12

4.00-9.99      4,660                239                5.13           790                  1.78

2.50-3.99       5,366                219                 4.08          643                  1.15

1.75-2.49        4,654                160                 3.44          724                   1.10

1.00-1.74         6,806               204                3.00          621                   0.82

0.50-0.99        5,871                156                 2.66          718                   0.84

0.01-0.49         6,913               175                  2.53          685                   0.76

0                         1,296                37                  2.85          691                   0.87

Unknown            386                 10                  2.59          605                  0.69

Unraced             8,675              252                 2.90          562                  0.72

Totals                45,562           1,513                 3.32          684                  1.00

I am not going to belabor these results. The overall pattern is pretty clear. Results generally decline as the SSI ranges decline, with small glitches between 1.00-1.74 and 0.50-0.99 and between 0.01-0.49 and zero (though the latter is consistent with prices).

The important thing is the relationship between prices and results, which is detailed in the chart below.

SSI Range          Foals          Price Index          PPI (Result)          Difference

20+                        192                   3.11                      5.01                        +1.90

10.00-19.99          743                   1.98                     2.12                        +0.14

4.00-9.99            4,660                 1.45                     1.78                         +0.33

2.50-3.99             5,366                 1.16                      1.15                         –0.01

1.75-2.49              4,654                 1.02                     1.10                         +0.08

1.00-1.74              6,806                0.90                     0.82                       –0.08

0.50-0.99             5,871                 0.80                     0.84                        +0.04

0.01-0.49              6,913                0.75                      0.76                         +0.01

o                             1,296                 0.94                      0.87                        –0.07

Unknown                386                  1.11                       0.69                        –0.42

Unraced                8,675                 0.94                      0.72                        –0.22

Unknown is the worst group, with a difference of –0.42. I am not sure how reliable this reading is. One good stakes winner would make a big difference to this group. An example might be Texas Red (whose dam Ramatuelle would fall into this category). If Texas Red had been a foal of 2010 instead of 2012 and had sold as a yearling in 2011 instead of 2013 (for a bargain $17,000), this group would have a much more respectable PPI (result) of 0.97.

The other four groups with negative differences are unaced (–0.22), 2.50-3.99 (–0.01), 1.00-1.74 (–0.08), and zero (–0.07).

I commented earlier on the huge disparity in prices between the 0.01-0.49 and zero ranges. I questioned whether that disparity was supported by the racetrack results.

The zero group did have a higher PPI (0.87) than the three groups above it (0.01-0.49 at 0.76, 0.50-0.99 at 0.84, and 1.00-1.74 at 0.82). The zero group also had higher prices (0.94) than those three groups (0.75, 0.80, and 0.90 respectively).

So in terms of results versus prices, the zero group was not very good at all (–0.07). Ditto for the 1.00-1.74 group (–0.08). The other two groups were positive with respect to their prices, 0.01-0.49 at +0.01 and 0.50-0.69 at +0.04.

So I would say that the zero group (foals out of mares who started but earned $0) was somewhat overpriced. Buyers were too lenient about this type of mare. They put too much faith in pedigree and not enough credence to racing class (or the total lack thereof in the case of this zero group).

One of the comments I received on the original series was that perhaps I placed the bar too high in defining “quality winners” as those having an SSI of 4.0 or higher. It was suggested that 2.52 would be a more accurate number for those purposes.

I confess that was one reason I devised the ranges the way I did. I wanted 2.50-3.99 to be a range unto itself just to test this hypothesis.

Alas, the 2.50-3.99 range was not particularly good (a difference of –0.01). It was worse than the two ranges surrounding it (1.75-2.49 at +0.08 and 4.00-9.99 at +0.33). Based on these results, I am pretty confident that 4.00 was the correct number to use to define “quality winners.” The really good stuff starts at 4.00.

The top three ranges were all very positive, 20+ at +1.90, 10.00-19.99 at +0.14, and 4.00-9.99 at +0.33. I was particularly impressed by the 20+ range, with a price of 3.11 and a result of 5.01 (though based on only 192 foals).

So if you want to breed better horses, an obvious conclusion is to use better broodmares, those with the highest racing class. It is NOT cheap. It is NOT a shortcut. But it IS effective.

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2 Responses to But It IS Effective

  1. I have difficulty understanding posts as I do not understand the abbreviations used (SSI, PPI).
    An explanation of the abbreviations at the end of each article would help.

    • ddink55 says:

      There is an explanation of PPI (Performance Points Index) in the pages section of the blog. SSI (Standard Starts Index) is basically a measure of average earning per start indexed by crop and sex (with the theoretical average being 1.00).

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