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Stareagle
05-29-2008, 05:17 PM
With Nashoba's Key's death, we're down to six active horses that have won three Grade I races - Lava Man, Curlin, Ginger Punch, Einstein, Precious Kitten and Big Brown.

That's a very low number, and it speaks to the lack of depth caused by the lack of durability and the early retirements of 21st century horses.

cj's dad
05-29-2008, 05:32 PM
With Nashoba's Key's death, we're down to six active horses that have won three Grade I races - Lava Man, Curlin, Ginger Punch, Einstein, Precious Kitten and Big Brown.

That's a very low number, and it speaks to the lack of depth caused by the lack of durability and the early retirements of 21st century horses.

And with the exception of Lave Man, the rest may be retired by the end of the year.

DJofSD
05-29-2008, 06:12 PM
That's a very interesting metric and one I don't think I've heard of before.

Can the idea be extended to Group/Grade 2 & 3 and be used to further the comparison between horses then and now?

thespaah
05-29-2008, 07:13 PM
With Nashoba's Key's death, we're down to six active horses that have won three Grade I races - Lava Man, Curlin, Ginger Punch, Einstein, Precious Kitten and Big Brown.

That's a very low number, and it speaks to the lack of depth caused by the lack of durability and the early retirements of 21st century horses.That's the fault of breeders and trainers. Breeders have taken the stamina right out of the breed. I think it is disgraceful to be carding 5 furlong races for 4yo/up. I don't care if they are maidens.
Additionally, the vast majority of races are sprints.
Trainers keep up the pressure on racing secretaries to keep weights down. I would imagine this is due to the trainers knowing darn well that durability is being bred out of the horses.
Meanwhile human beings are getting larger and larger. Eventually something has to give. Either the weights will have to be increased or no one will be alive who can ride the horses at these low weights.

ceejay
05-29-2008, 08:00 PM
And with the exception of Lave Man, the rest may be retired by the end of the year.
And he probably couldn't win a G1 now......

Stareagle
05-29-2008, 10:03 PM
By the way, it is seven, not six - I forgot Kip Deville.

BCOURTNEY
05-29-2008, 10:25 PM
That's a very low number, and it speaks to the lack of depth caused by the lack of durability and the early retirements of 21st century horses.


Agreed. Perhaps since a bias is being created someone somewhere will preserve bloodlines needed to produce good route horses and corner that market today for returns 10 years from now. Something to consider, the whole pace advantage board could toss in 2 dollars and have the only route horse in existance in a few generations. :lol:

PaceAdvantage
05-30-2008, 03:34 AM
What exactly does it mean that "the breeders have taken the stamina right out of the breed"

Over how many years? Is this even possible over only 10, 20 or 30 years? I thought I heard some Cornell egghead state that it was genetically impossible to produce a weaker breed given the relatively small amount of time that has passed when breeders supposedly switched to breeding for speed only.

I see horses running route races every day. A bunch of 3yos just ran both the Derby and the Preakness in respectable final times (well, the Derby anyway). A bunch more will be running in the 1 1/2 mile Belmont. Are they all going to be vanned off from exhaustion?

We see ex-Thoroughbred race horses go on to become steeplechasers on a regular basis. How do they do it with the stamina taken right out of them like this?

Stareagle
05-30-2008, 10:47 AM
Over how many years? Is this even possible over only 10, 20 or 30 years? I thought I heard some Cornell egghead state that it was genetically impossible to produce a weaker breed given the relatively small amount of time that has passed when breeders supposedly switched to breeding for speed only.

The Cornell egghead is arguing apples and oranges. He's right that it is impossible to genetically change the breed as a whole in 30 years, but that's not the actual point. The whole idea of breeding is to do it selectively - you don't try to change the entire breed, you try to create a slightly-altered branch.

There's been a dramatic shift in high-end breeding toward speed over durability. Has that changed the genetics of the breed as a whole? No. If you want to try for a durable horse that can get 10-12 furlongs, it is still quite possible. But, in the whole, those yearlings aren't going to get the prices at auction as a speed demon, so the balance keeps tilting.

That's why I disagree when people say it will take 30 or 40 years to fix the damage they've done to the breed. It won't. This isn't a problem you can fix overnight, but a lot of the damage could be fixed just by reevaluating which stallions are worth big money.

ghostyapper
05-30-2008, 12:51 PM
With Nashoba's Key's death, we're down to six active horses that have won three Grade I races - Lava Man, Curlin, Ginger Punch, Einstein, Precious Kitten and Big Brown.

That's a very low number, and it speaks to the lack of depth caused by the lack of durability and the early retirements of 21st century horses.

You forgot Better Talk Now. He's won 5.

BCOURTNEY
05-30-2008, 01:13 PM
<snip>
fixed just by reevaluating which stallions are worth big money.


Is the big money in breeding or racing? ;)