What Makes a Winner – The DNA of Champions

It is well known that genes are responsible for most of the traits in all living beings. Of course external conditions have their due influence on the development and overall well being, but we have long determined that good genes will very likely produce good offspring. Ever since the first domesticated wolf we have also learned how to cash in on this knowledge. And cash is plenty in the world of horseracing. Champion blood foals regularly sell for well over $1 million. That’s why the first thing that is being prized when selecting a racehorse is the genetic pool it sprung from.

Thoroughbreds are the most used breed of horses for racing, and for a good reason. These horses have been specifically bred for speed and stamina. It started in the 17th century with the growing interest of British aristocracy in horseracing, and today all Thoroughbreds can be traced back to 74 British and imported mares, known as the Royal Mares, and only three stallions of Arab, Barb and Turk origin, the Byerly Turk, the Darley Arabian and the Godolphin Barb. And thus began an official record – the General Stud Book – which lists only those horses that can be traced back to the Royal Mares and these three stallions.

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Thoroughbreds’ anatomy makes them the perfect racing horse. Preferred, quality Thoroughbreds have long necks, deep and broad chest, short backs, lean bodies and long legs. They are classified as a hot-blooded breed, meaning they are very agile, fast, spirited and bold. Not so long ago the only way to assure these traits in a horse was heavy inbreeding, but in 2010 Dr. Emmeline Hill managed to isolate the single gene responsible for muscle development and muscle fibre type, now popularly known as the speed gene.

Experiments in equine genetics have shown that it is possible to breed a horse with more muscle mass capable for short bursts of speed suited for quarter mile races or a leaner horse that could perform better on longer courses such as the Derby. Even with these advancements in equine genetics scientists agree that DNA probably accounts for 30 – 35% of a horse’s performance. Come race day training, nutrition, jockeys and track conditions could prove more important for the outcome. Still, 35% is a lot you can bet on.

Racehorse breeding is the most tightly controlled and regulated animal breeding program. And the reason why, as we said, is because there is a lot of money in horseracing. It is an industry with revenue of $4 billion in US alone, $139.2 million were wagered on the Kentucky Derby last year, more than $10 billion are wagered in US each year. In horse racing crazed Japan that number is more than $24 billion. A big chunk of these billions come from online betting. Placing a bet is possible on many sites, fast and safe; you can also get good tips on how to pick your winner. It’s easy now that you know what makes one.

 

A Day in the Life of a Racehorse

A day in the life of a racehorse

New York Newsday Full coverage (email subscription required)

Source: A day in the life of a racehorse

Medaglia d’Oro holds solid Kentucky Derby cards

Handicapper Art ParkerBy ART PARKER

His greatest runners have been fillies. Names such as Songbird, Rachel Alexandra and last year’s Alabama winner Elate. The successful sire, Medaglia d’Oro, has two of the current Kentucky Derby favorites and their prospects look good.

Bolt D’Oro leads most Kentucky Derby polls as the top three year old in the nation. He is a true blue blood coming from a dam by the great A.P. Indy. You put the dam side along with his sire, which is El Prado, and you have the makings of a classic champion. The most impressive part of his sire line contains names such as Sadler’s Wells and Northern Dancer. One thing about Bolt d’Oro – distance should be no problem.

Bolt d’Oro won the San Felipe Stakes, the biggest three year old race on the west coast prior to the Santa Anita Derby. It is important to note that Bolt d’Oro didn’t make it to the finish line first, that honor belonged to McKinzie, a Bob Baffert trainee that many considered to be the top Derby prospect in the nation. Bolt d’Oro won with a controversial disqualification. If he and McKinzie both return in the Santa Anita Derby the issue of superiority should be resolved, at least until the first Saturday in May.

As of now Bolt d’Oro is atop the Derby list and his pedigree makes him a genuine classic distance horse.

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On the east coast another son of Medaglia d’Oro captured a Kentucky Derby prep the same day Bolt d’Oro was victorious in California. Enticed, a colt with the cool one word name, romped in the Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct. Enticed left the impression that he was a plodder and had to be encouraged to go. When he did get down to business in the Aqueduct stretch, he turned the Gotham into an easy win.

Enticed has strong ties to A.P. Indy on the dam side since his broodmare sire is former Horse of the Year Mineshaft. His dam was no slouch either. It’s Tricky defeated two-time Champion Royal Delta and Oaks winner Plum Pretty in the Grade 1 Coaching Club of America Oaks over 9 furlongs.

Medaglia d’Oro has been a great sire and he was also a great runner. His record from 17 starts is 8-7-0. He won The Travers Stakes and The Whitney at Saratoga as well as the Strub Stakes, the Oaklawn Handicap and the Donn Handicap. He finished second in the Pacific Classic and the Belmont Stakes and twice finished in the Breeders’ Cup Classic and the Dubai World Cup.

Medaglia d’Oro currently has a lofty stud fee $250,000.

Now 19 years old, Medaglia d’Oro only needs a winner on the first Saturday in May in Louisville to round out a great stud career. In 2018 he looks to be at the Derby poker table holding some strong cards. His popularity as a prospective Derby winning sire was displayed in the November future sire pool when he was heavily bet to 5-1.

Racing! Owning a Thoroughbred Racehorse Teaches You A Lot

Learn about how much people care for these horses

Hello, my name is Eric Sondheimer, and welcome to our horse racing newsletter. I’m going to try to be the Manny Mota of pinch hitters today, filling in for John Cherwa. I’ve focused through the years on covering high school sports for The Times but …

Source: Racing! Owning a thoroughbred teaches you a lot about how much people care for these horses

How Thoroughbred Horse Racing Bets on Science, and Wins

copyright AgameofSkill.com 2016There’s no test to show a one-eyed horse named Patch could make it to this year’s Kentucky Derby . There’s no test for coming up from behind and winning the whole thing, So It Is-style. This story appears in the fall 2017 edition of CNET Magazine.

Source: How horse racing bets on science, and wins

Secretariat Owner Penny Chenery has died at age 95

The Great Secretariat

The Great Secretariat. Photo by Rich Nilsen

Penny Chenery, who bred and raced 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat as well as realizing her disabled father’s dream to win the Kentucky Derby in 1972 with Riva Ridge, has died. She was 95. Louisville Business First news partner WHAS-TV reports …

Source: Secretariat owner Penny Chenery dies at 95

Thoroughbred Horse breeding in Minnesota is a High-risk, High-reward Business

“They’re all Kentucky Derby contenders,” Rake said, “until you find out they’re not.”

On the seventh day of his vigil, Scott Rake hovered over his laptop and rubbed his bleary eyes. His mare, Peaceful Sky, should have given birth by now — and with her pregnancy at 340 days and counting, he was trying his best not to worry. Rake, his wife, Angie, and farm manager Heather Haagenson began… [Read more…]

A New Type of Horse Ownership

Source: Meadowlands

There’s only one thing every racehorse owner has in common: they started as a fan. As thousands assemble for the 92nd Hambletonian, the Meadowlands is eager to show interested fans that the path to ownership isn’t restricted to the wealthy.

“One of the great barriers to ownership is the perception that it’s for the rich,” said Jason Settlemoir, General Manager & CEO of The Meadowlands.  “Anthony MacDonald has been gaining some real steam in with an innovative ownership concept, so we thought we’d allow him to share his experience as part of Hambletonian weekend.”

MacDonald will be on hand Saturday morning to discuss his fractional ownership website, TheStable.ca, with prospective owners and horsemen interested in duplicating his approach. In less than one year, MacDonald’s fledgling operation has attracted 279 clients from across the globe, many testing ownership waters for the first time. The seminar will take place in The Gallery on the second floor of the Meadowlands Grandstand 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. The seminar is free to attend.

“In all honesty, the response to our platform has been overwhelming,” said MacDonald. “My wife and I started TheStable.ca to sell percentages of horses.  What we quickly discovered is that we’re selling an experience and when packaged right, there’s no end of consumers.  We’re equal parts social network, investment, family farm and sport of kings.”

TheStable.ca markets horses of all ages, but mostly yearlings, to clients in increments as low as 1%. Owners receive weekly video updates on their horses and stay connected through social networks and training events at The Stable’s base of operations in Campbellville, Ontario.

“The lifeblood of the industry is owners. No owners, no horses. No horses, no anything,” said MacDonald. “We make ownership fun, accessible and stress-free. We didn’t start TheStable.ca to be a revolutionary change agent, but we’re seeing its potential – and not just for our operation. For trainers that want to understand our recipe, we’re happy to share.”

The Meadowlands will host an interactive conversation with MacDonald at the gallery on the second floor of the new Meadowlands. Former Trot Magazine editor and racetrack executive, Chris Roberts, will moderate the discussion and take questions from the audience. The seminar is open to both prospective owners and horsemen.

“You can’t argue with Anthony’s early results,” added Settlemoir.  “Anyone that can create hundreds of new owners inside of a year is doing something innovative.  And, the Meadowlands supports any initiative that grows our fan base or generates new interest from the general public.”

The Warriors that Keep Horse Racing Going

Handicapper Art ParkerBy ART PARKER

Last Saturday I notice the entry of a horse named Dance Floor Maniac in a $6,250 claiming race at Prairie Meadows. It has been a while since I ran across his name and I knew he was an older gelding. I looked at the past performances and remembered him more clearly. He is one of those that captures my admiration and respect as much as a graded stakes winner.

Dance Floor Maniac left the gate for the 100th time in the race at Prairie Meadows. He stalked and pounced and did his job with the same enthusiasm as a promising, high- priced, three year old. The best part of the race was that Dance Floor Maniac got to the wire first.

Dance Floor Maniac entered the Winner’s Circle for the 23rd time and certainly behaved like he had been there before. Winning 23 races out of a 100 is a pretty good percentage for any horse and he has won 3 of 8 this year.

Dance Floor Maniac is 10 years old. The Kentucky bred son of Eurosilver is 23-17-17 overall, which means he gets a check in 2/3 of his starts. He has over $250,000 in career earnings. He is owned by Greg Frye and trained by Karl Broberg.

No one will ever remember Dance Floor Maniac like famous geldings such as Kelso, Forego and John Henry. But guys like this are just as important, if not more so, because the racing game depends upon them a great deal. Whenever you see one of these old geldings run don’t look at them like a cheap horse. They are the warriors that keep the game going and their presence at the race track is just as important as any horse you do remember.

Is Horse Racing Dead? Ghostzapper Colt Acquired at 2yo Sale for $800,000

Premier 2yos at Del Mar, SaratogaHuge Price Paid for Fast Two Year Old Colt

A chestnut son of Ghostzapper from the consignment of Cary Frommer was purchased by Susan and Charles Chu for $800,000 late during the second session of the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-olds in training sale.

Source: Ghostzapper Colt Acquired by Chu for $800,000