Chronology and Serendipity

I recently made a discovery purely by chance (serendipity) of a group of foals with excellent results from very modest prices. Having been accused of rarely showing any good results, I am pleased to share the details on this group of foals.

I was working on another project (details later) when I noticed an unexpectedly strong chronological bias. I decided that I needed to minimize this chronological bias in order to obtain more meaningful results.

Both projects were based on the 45,562 sales foals of 2008-2111 of course. I decided to restrict the sample pool to those foals by sires foaled in 1998-2002 and out of mares foaled in 1998-2002.

So the average age of sires and dams of this smaller sample pool was 8.5 years, which is on the young side (the overall average age being between ten and 11). Listed below are the prices for that smaller sample group.

Foals          Average          Maverage          Price Index

10,653       $35,443             135.62                    0.88

A little over 23% (10,653 of 45,562 total foals) qualified. The overall average for all 45,562 foals was $46,418. The average for the 10,653 foals in the 98-02 group was decidedly lower at $35,443. Ditto for the maverage (135.62, compared to the overall maverage of 154.0), which works out to a Price Index of 0.88.

The main reason the prices were lower for the 98-02 group was sires. Most of the sires of these 10,653 foals were young and not yet established. A few good sires were included in this group (most notably Tapit, Medaglia d’Oro, and Empire Maker), but for the most part the sires in this group were not of the highest fashion.

Listed below are the racetrack results for the 98-02 group. APPPSW stands for average Performance Points per stakes winner, the benchmark now being 696.

Foals          Stakes Winners          %          APPPSW          PPI (Result)

10,653                 406                   3.81             765                     1.23

Overall, there were 1,547 stakes winners from 45,562 foals (3.40%). The 98-02 group posted 406 stakes winners from 10,653 foals (3.81%), a nice improvement. Those 406 stakes winners were pretty good ones too, averaging 765 Performance Points (compared to an overall average of 696).

The resultant PPI for these 10,653 foals was 1.23, a whopping improvement over their Price Index of 0.88. These 10,653 foals sold for prices about 12% BELOW average and achieved results about 23% ABOVE average.

The best of these 406 stakes winners was Animal Kingdom (9,388 Performance Points). If Animal Kingdom were not in the equation, the APPPSW for the 406 stakes winners drops from 765 to 744 (still well above the overall average of 696), and the PPI drops from 1.23 to 1.20.

So removing Animal Kingdom from the equation really does not detract much from the results. These results are legitimate (not dependent upon one extremely good stakes winner).

WHY are these results so good relative to modest prices???? As has been well documented by myself and others, younger mares generally make better producers than older mares. Not many people dispute this fact, which is more a function of birth rank (number of pregnancies) than age itself.

The effect of chronology on sires’ performances has not been nearly as well documented. Perhaps it is a factor here as well. Maybe, maybe not.

I decided to examine the prices and results for the oldest sires of these sales foals of 2008-2111, sires aged 20 or older at the time of the birth of the foal in question. Listed below are the prices for that group.

Foals          Average          Maverage          Price Index

1,774          $80,875             186.90                    1.21

About 3.9% (1,774 of 45,562 foals), qualified as being by 20+ sires. Their prices were rather high, which is not surprising at all, since this group included some of the most fashionable sires such as Storm Cat and A.P. Indy.

Listed below are the racetrack results for this group.

Foals          Stakes Winners          %          APPPSW          PPI (Result)

1,774                   48                      2.71             663                    0.76

These results were obviously not very good. These 1,774 foals sold for prices about 21% ABOVE average and produced results about 24% BELOW average.

A few years ago I performed this same examination on mares ages 20 or older. Their results were even worse. They posted a price of 0.94 and a result of 0.28. So the best thing you can for older (20+) sires is that they were not nearly as bad as older (20+) mares.

I wondered how much Storm Cat and A.P. Indy affected these prices and results for 20+ sires and decided to investigate.

Storm Cat was a foal of 1983. All of his sales foals of 2008-2111 fall into the 20+ category. A.P. Indy is a foal of 1989. Only some of his sales foals of 2008-2111 fall into the 20+ category.

A total of 96 foals by either Storm Cat or A.P. Indy fell into the 20+ category. Those 96 foals sold for whopping prices, needless to say, an average of $523,177, a maverage of 621.42, and a Price Index of 4.04.

Only three stakes winners emerged from those 96 foals: Breathless Storm (by Storm Cat, 202 Performance Points), Raconteur (by A.P. Indy, 263), and Majestic River (by A.P. Indy, 658).

Those three stakes winners from 96 foals worked out to a PPI of 0.49. Price of 4.04, result of 0.49. Not good.

OK, now let us see what removing those 96 foals does to the 20+ sire group, beginning with prices.

Foals          Average          Maverage          Price Index

1,678          $55,570            162.04                    1.05

Removing those 96 foals did lower the prices considerably, though they are still above the benchmarks for all 45,562 foals. Now let us see about results.

Foals          Stakes Winners          %          APPPSW          PPI (Result)

1,678                   45                      2.68             683                   0.77

Removing those 96 foals had very little effect on the racetrack results. The PPI for the remaining 1,678 foals blipped up from 0.76 to 0.77.

So even without the high prices and relatively dismal results posted by Storm Cat and A.P. Indy as 20+ sires, the remaining 1,678 foals by 20+ sires were still not very good. With a price of 1.05 and a result of 0.77, they sold for prices about 5% ABOVE average and achieved results about 23% BELOW average.

So perhaps chronology does have something to do with sire performance. My next post will focus on the details of this matter.

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