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I have never given this subject much thought until now. It has never made much sense to me, the way two year olds are presented in early season sales. What can one really tell from 1 furlong sprints? More Than Ready had two colts in 2017, that impressed at those venues, zipping a furlong in under 10 seconds. Goren had been sold for $235K as a yearling, but that price ballooned to 1.1M! Chaps was a RNA as a yearling at $220K, and still didn't reach his reserve as a juvy after his speedy furlong. He was a 950K RNA!
Of course, as a fan of More Than Ready, I have been anxious to see these guys race. However, neither has reached the races. That brings me to my question, and I hope one of you knowledgeable folk out there can help me out. If these colts were able to run so fast, so early, how is it they are taking so long to get to the races? My follow up question is, is it perhaps counterproductive to prepare these young ones for those sales? Does it adversely affect their readiness for actual racing?
You are in the right industry to get whatever answer you want...all you need to do is fund a study or survey with a pre-determined result. All of my stuff is old and in print but you might find an article written by Ray Geor, 2001 on-line that offered up some info on Young Horses in Training And Injury Risks.
Plenty of other studies and survey's if you don't like Geor.
Very informative & well balanced article by Geor, IMO.
I think it will be okay to put in the link because it's a non-competing site. If I'm wrong the capo di tutti capi will delete it. ( Hi Tex :))
The Australian study that Geor cites is interesting.
Agree. The better ones I stick in the file cabinet; at least back then.
Tough on youngsters when 8 of 10 2yo's never see the starting gate, regardless of their price or how fast they can cover a furlong.
Best to the hdcp'r!
"More than half of those horses experienced a period of lameness, and in about 20% of affected horses, lameness was severe enough to prevent racing during the period of investigation."
So 80% of horses that suffer from some degree of lameness, are still deemed fit to race? I would think any degree of lameness would necessitate time off until the horse is 100% sound. Am I misinterpreting or just naive?
Also, the article speaks to the trend that horses that train at 2, tend to have longer racing careers. I don't think we can glean too much from that, until we determine how many of those older horses started their careers late BECAUSE they had already proved to be unsound to some degree. In any case, all training is not created equal. As the article suggests, training for younger horses should be incremental in nature. Preparing juvenile horses to run sub-10 second furlongs before some actually are two years old, can't be good for their development. It also follows, that those that run fastest, are probably most prone to injury. In addition to the two colts I spoke about in the original post, More Than Ready also produced a filly by the name of I Feel It Coming, that sold for 600K in March after an "impressive" performance at 1 furlong. She has yet to record a single work. I don't think it is coincidence that the fastest juvy sales performers by MTR, have yet to make a single a single start, despite being advanced enough to participate in those early auditions. But hey, somebodies making tons of money!
Thanks, man. The feline prognosticator is good to go!
Good post, Rae.
The predominant interest of the humans all along the food chain is earliest & highest ROI & when that's the leading principle it's not good for many, many horses.
It starts very early. The upsurging trend to almost routinely perform limb conformation "corrective" surgery in foals in their earliest months of life speaks to an unnatural, rather perverse, mentality, IMO. The surgical vets don't mind, of course. It's one thing to correct a severe abnormality to enable a horse to walk. It's another thing to put a foal under the knife so it will look correct for sale purposes. Plus, the surgeries at this point in time do not have to be divulged to unwary buyers.
The 1 & 2 furlong heats have become the target. The mindset again is short-sighted & profit oriented. Speed & precocity, not in themselves bad things, exploited. Etc., etc.
I'm going to relent before I wind myself up. :)
Wow! I didn't even consider the medical side of the exploitation. Health care is big business with human beings, so why would it be different in the equine business?
Exactly. Aside from the money motive, advancing medical technology drives procedures across the spectrum. Conservative first practices are often unemployed (like letting the foal grow into his legs) as the surgeons tools become more & more sophisticated.
It's a double-edged sword. In an actual medical crisis, the current tools save lives. On the other hand, what becomes acceptable practice grows ever wider because the tools facilitate procedures.
The other thing, of course, is that a cosmetic conformation fix does not insure a fast horse! There have been plenty of very useful racehorses throughout the history of the sport who had less than ideal limbs. But they could run fast. :)