Signifying Nothing

Here are the results for the 11 sires duplicated (4×4 or closer) most often among sales foals of 2008-2111. APPPSW stands for average Performance Points per stakes winner, a measure of the quality of stakes winners involved, the benchmark now being 687.

Sire Duplicated      Foals          Stakes Winners          %          APPPSW          PPI (Result)

Mr. Prospector       5,949                   242                   4.07             683                    1.21

Northern Dancer   4,270                   132                    3.09             777                    1.04

Raise a Native            915                     25                     2.73             601                    0.71

Secretariat                  766                     25                     3.26            589                    0.83

Seattle Slew                563                     19                      3.37           660                    0.97

Danzig                         252                       6                      2.38          1,161                   1.20

Blushing Groom        248                     18                      7.26           424                    1.33

Storm Bird                  237                     12                      5.06           465                    1.02

Buckpasser                 210                       4                      1.90           287                     0.24

In Reality                    205                      11                     5.37           640                     1.49

Fappiano                     167                       9                      5.39         1,273                    2.98

I am going to reserve comment on these results until after I compare prices with results, which are listed in the chart below.

Sire Duplicated          Foals          Price Index          PPI (Result)          Difference

Mr. Prospector           5,949                1.14                       1.21                        +.07

Northern Dancer       4,270                1.09                      1.04                      –.05

Raise a Native               915                 1.02                       0.71                      –.31

Secretariat                     766                 1.47                       0.83                     –.64

Seattle Slew                   563                 1.10                       0.97                      –.13

Danzig                            252                 0.86                      1.20                       +.34

Blushing Groom           248                0.94                       1.33                       +.39

Storm Bird                     237                 0.97                      1.02                       +.05

Buckpasser                    210                 0.87                       0.24                     –.63

In Reality                       205                 1.03                       1.49                      +.46

Fappiano                        167                 1.41                        2.98                     +1.57

Six of the 11 sires listed above had positive results (results higher than prices, the desired pattern). The other five had negative results (prices higher than results, the undesired pattern). That gives you some indication of the unreliability of inbreeding, even when using the most popular names.

As noted in my last post, Secretariat and Fappiano had by far the highest prices and therefore should have had the best results. It did work out that way with Fappiano (price of 1.41 and result of 2.98 for a whopping improvement of +1.57).

That should be taken with a little grain of salt. Almost half of Fappiano’s Performance Points came from Will Take Charge (5,725). Without Will Take Charge Fappiano’s result is 1.49, still better than his price of 1.41 but not as phenomenally better.

It did not work out that way with Secretariat (price of 1.47 and result of 0.83). Secretariat’s 25 stakes winners were not very good ones (APPPSW of 589, compared to the norm of 687).

Mr. Prospector (price of 1.14 and result of 1.21), Northern Dancer (price of 1.09 and result of 1.04), and Storm Bird (price of 0.97 and result of 1.02) all had results very close to their prices (slightly positive for Mr. Prospector and Storm Bird and slightly negative for Northern Dancer).

You might recall from a previous post that there were 60 foals and zero stakes winners inbred 3×3 or closer to Northern Dancer (included in the numbers above). Those 60 foals were pretty expensive. Did removing those 60 foals from Northern Dancer’s numbers above help him much????

If you remove those 60 foals from Northern Dancer’s 4,270 foals, the remaining 4,210 foals still had a Price Index of 1.09, the same as before. (Actually, it decreased slightly from 1.09497 to 1.09006.) His PPI did go up slightly from 1.04 to 1.06. That still leaves Northern Dancer slightly negative, with a price of 1.09 and a result of 1.06. So no, removing those 60 foals did not help him very much.

In Reality appears to have legitimately good results (price of 1.03 and result of 1.49). Ditto for Blushing Groom (price of 0.94 and result of 1.33). Blushing Groom had by far the highest percentage of stakes winners from foals (7.26%). But his stakes winners were not very good (APPPSW of 424, compared to the norm of 687).

Danzig looks good on paper (price of 0.86 and result of 1.20). But more than 60% of Danzig’s Performance Points were accounted for by one horse, I’ll Have Another (4,194). Without I’ll Have Another Danzig’s PPI sinks to 0.48. That is more in line with his anemic 2.38% stakes winners from foals.

Seattle Slew (–.13), Raise a Native (–.31), and Buckpasser (–.63) were all in negative territory. Not much more needs to be said about them.

The oldest of the 11 sires listed above were Northern Dancer and Raise a Native (both foals of 1961), followed by Buckpasser (1963) and In Reality (1964). The remaining seven sires were all foaled in 1970 or later. So I decided to compare the oldest four sires (Northern Dancer, Raise a Native, Buckpasser, and In Reality) with the other seven. Here is how those prices shake out.

Year Sires Born          Foals          Average          Maverage          Price Index

Before 1970                5,600          $54,131             165.14                     1.07

1970 or Later              8,182          $57,905            177.79                     1.15

Totals                          13,782         $56,372             172.65                    1.12

As you can see, the younger sires were slightly more expensive than the older sires.

Here are the results for these same two groups.

Year Sires Born          Foals          Stakes Winners          %          APPPSW          PPI (Result)

Before 1970                 5,600                   172                    3.07            731                     0.97

1970 or Later              8,182                    331                    4.05           677                     1.19

Totals                          13,782                   503                    3.65           696                     1.10

As you can see, the older sires had a price of 1.07 and a result of 0.97 (not good). The younger sires had a price of 1.15 and a result of 1.19 (very slightly positive).

So it appears that when it comes to inbreeding, duplicating younger sires is generally better than duplicating older sires. And the reason for that, no doubt, is that younger sires are generally better than older sires (within the same generation) in the first place.

If you duplicate a name that is a negative influence in the first place, you will get negative results. If you duplicate a name that is a positive influence in the first place, you stand a much better chance of getting a positive result.

This is not rocket science. This is simple common sense. I think what people fail to understand is that the most revered names in pedigrees can be NEGATIVE influences in the first place. They can not seem to wrap their heads around that.

For centuries purveyors of pedigree BS have ASSUMED and instructed their gullible readers that a great name must have a positive influence, no matter where or how far back it appears in a pedigree. Which also partially explains all this fascination with “inbreeding,” most of which, if you really examine it, is “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”


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