JC / Railbird

Breeders/Breeding Archive

High-Class Runners

Via Thoroughbred Times, an academic study confirms that higher-class racemares produce higher-class offspring. (Interesting, and must-reading for anyone doing late-night kitchen-table broodmare research.) Faster mares, stakes winners or not, also produced above-average foals. Using Equibase speed ratings, the University of Louisville researchers found, “Speed is the breeder’s friend…. comparing speedy dams to slower dams reveals that the speed of the dam is highly statistically significant …”

Valuing Curlin

From a November 3, 2007 Courier-Journal article by Greg Hall assessing Curlin’s potential value:

“If I had to guess, an educated guess, I would think somewhere between $60 and $70 million,” [Rick Porter, owner of Hard Spun] said. “All I know is what some of his competitors sold for, and he sort of towered over all of them when it was all said and done.”

Louisville native Jack Wolf, a partner who sold 2004 Kentucky Oaks and Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner Ashado for $9 million at auction, said he guessed Curlin could be worth $45 million.

Ric Waldman, an adviser to Overbrook Farm where Storm Cat stands, declined to give a figure, saying he had done some work for Jackson.

But “it would be extremely large numbers when you take into account that there is a racing future for the horse,” he said.

The same Ric Waldman, hired as an expert witness by the court-appointed receiver overseeing the 20% interest in Curlin not owned by Jess Jackson, testified in court today that,

he initially valued the horse in August at $30 million [for the receiver or another party?], but because of thoroughbred market downturns and the economy, he reduced that to $20 million.

Quite a difference a year makes. Jackson “agreed with Waldman’s assessment by bidding $4 million” for the remaining interest in the reigning Horse of the Year. Sounds like a bargain, especially for a stallion who is expected to stand for $75,000 to start.

Update: Matt Hegarty has more on the cross-examination of Waldman, in which he stuck to his figures, but did question the possible $75K stud fee given current market conditions.

After Reading

… that Curlin has been off steroids since January and that majority owner Jess Jackson averred to Joe Drape:

“I’m against all performance-enhancing drugs, or anything that masks or conceals designer drugs,” said Jackson, who acknowledged Curlin’s steroid use Tuesday … “I have been for zero tolerance since the 1950s. We have to start bringing our horses down from all these chemicals.”

I opened the past performances for the Man o’ War Stakes half-expecting bigger news to be revealed, that Curlin would race, as he did in Dubai, without Lasix, the legal diuretic with performance enhancing qualities given to almost every American racehorse (see pages 8-9 of veterinarian Lawrence Soma’s recent House testimony on the matter).

Not the case. Curlin will run on the drug, as will the other six starters. It’s basic game theory, applied to sports. Still, it would have meant something to learn that Jackson wasn’t just making a zero tolerance statement, he was taking a bona fide stand, and with his star.

Big Brown Economics

Jim Squires estimates:

The best guess is that even with his modest pedigree (by Boundary out of Mien) and short career, Big Brown will command $125,000 to $150,000 for the first two years, maybe more. This assures that 2011 and 2012 yearling sales will be flooded with 60 to 70 yearlings by an unproven sire. Yet these babies will need to average $300,000 to $450,000 to be considered profitable in a sport where hardly any racehorses ever earn that money.

The marketplace, hardly reasonable …

← Before