AJ's Angel won in his first start as a 2 year old by overcoming some very aggressive bumping throughout the race, and an awful 4 to 5 wide trip. This boy just may have something and we hope to find out just how much in an upcoming MTA sale graduate stakes race.
Now with 3 wins in our stables, of only 4 horses this year, and an average of just under $4,000 per start, we rank 12th in Earnings Per Start among all owners who are truly active at Canterbury. For example, there are over 500 owners who race every year but only about 50 have started 10 or more times this season as of this update.
With these wins, Stormy Business has moved up to rank 2nd among all Minnesota Standing Sires in 2016 Minnesota Bred Horse earnings, after being the number one sire in this category each of the last 3 years! (Plenty of time to be number 1 again!)
This week another Stormy 2 year old gets his first start for the Mac Robertson barn (No Bling), while Victory Ice seeks her first win and AJ's Angel and Blazing Angel both run in stakes races.
Funny that AJ runs in the MTA sales stakes race since we never got a bid on him in the 2015 auction. There were few returning and active bidders at last year's auction. Consequently, we took AJ home after the sale knowing he was one of the best bred horses in Minnesota (The only auction yearling out of a stakes winning and producing mare, who was also out of a stakes winning and producing mare, while being a full brother to a $120K lifetime earnings stakes winner.) AJ has already won a $32,000 purse race and I think he will do well in the $40,000 MTA sale graduate stakes race. No Bling should also do well in her first start and she only sold for $3,000 last year's auction.
Anyway, for those who have asked, this may help explain why we didn't consign our bred horses this year.
Here is a direct link some friends and family asked for, to our page containing racing videos. The new video of AJ's Angel is now available.
Video Page Link
A who's tougher quiz. Our two year old AJ's Angel having to fight all the way down the stretch to win by barely a nose last Friday (see top picture) ...... OR ...... grandaughter Anastasia Jordan whom AJ is named after (see bottom picture). I think I'll take the kid, Haha.
Last night the horse I posted the pedigree information about yesterday, AJs Angel, won during his race debut in a Maiden Special Weight two year old race.
A big thanks to Tony Rengstorf who has had this baby since first breaking, and Larren Delorme for never giving up. Also thanks to the breeding farm where our babies grow up to be winners, the Osborne Farm. Great job guys!
Rather than a picture, since we were too tired to stay and wait for the winner circle photo last night, I thought I'd post the chart to give you some idea about how AJ had to battle throughout the race, with a forced awfully wide trip throughout, and still won by just a nose. Quite a strong accomplishment for a baby two year old in it's first race.
Since I have both the sire and dam, raced the dam, and bred/raced his full sister BJs Angel, I was pretty confident he would inherit the big fighting heart the rest of the family possesses.
A nice night with the Rizzardi clan, AJ is named after our co-grandaughter Anastasia Jordan, and a nice win.
With our 2 year old AJ's Angel debuting tonight, and questions coming in about buying yearlings, I thought I would combine both items to answer some questions.
New owners often have issues understanding sales catalogs. While I offer quite a bit of advice related to this on this website, the TAIL LINE of the pedigree is of particular importance in my view because it offers an advantage many buyers seem to ignore.
Many sires are similar. Good breeders will typically only breed to sires that achieved high performance on the racetrack, and the differences between those performances are actually "minor" in the grand scheme of things. However, the dam side of the pedigree always seems to show "major" degrees of variation. In other words, people often breed mares with minor accomplishments on the racetrack, and while the resultant foals occasionally yield benefits (possibility), they generally do not (probability).
So what does this have to do with buying behavior? Many buyers are entranced by the sires. Some nearly ignore the bottom of the pedigree, or the dams. Of course, this is a ridiculous behavior in that the dams influence on the foal is 50%. Nevertheless, the romanticized behavior of bragging about the sire of a foal allows the other smart buyers to have an advantage at auctions IF they consider the tail line important.
Now for a specific example. The following pedigree is the pedigree of our 2 year old running his first race tonight. I really don't know if he will win or even run well because both the physical and mental racing condition of this baby has yet to be witnessed. It's always a crap shoot when your babies first hit the track, and variation is extreme in racing. Nevertheless, this well bred yearling was in last year's Minnesota sale......and never got a bid. As a result, we kept him, are now running him, and I think he'll be OK long term.
Now look at the tail side of his pedigree. You'll see that both his first dam and second dam were black type winners. More importantly, both of those black type winning dams had foals that were also black type winners. One was even bred exactly like AJ's Angel.
How rare is all of this dam pedigree stuff? Extraordinarily rare! In fact, out of the 66 consigned yearlings in this year's Minnesota sale catalog, no consigned yearling has the same tail line qualifications I mentioned in the prior paragraph! One of the 66 HIPs does have black type 1st and 2nd dam winners that have also produced black type foals. Just one!
Of course, nicking has some bearing on foal success probabilities, and decent conformation is required to even consider bidding on a yearling in my estimation. Nevertheless, probabilities for taking advantage of an auction behaviors frequently involve discovering the often ignored 50% pedigree value the tail line dictates. That's also why you see such strong mares consistently utilized by the better breeding farms.
I hope this helps give a few of my new buyer friends some edge in the upcoming auction.
To answer the questions asked about where the best Minnesota Bred horses come from, I took MN breds that raced over the last few years and isolated their top speed ratings in the attached chart.
I did not simply look at earnings. Earnings are an indicator of excellence but are also related to race conditions. In other words, horses may earn large purses in their 2 and 3 year old seasons because they only race against a small crop of questionable quality horses in those seasons. They may never attain high speed ratings and win against mature horses from multiple racing crops, in 3 year old and up races for example.
Many people don’t understand speed ratings. Speed ratings came to prominence in the 1970’s and today there are many major services which utilize similar but slightly different methodologies to develop their ratings. They are imperfect, but they are a statistically effective method for predicting probabilities in racing. Speed ratings normalize variables like track speed, hardness, condition, competition, racing lanes, actual distance covered and even wind speed. That’s why there is such a market for speed rating services and they are now utilized so extensively. They are even used to determine the quality of races, such as which stakes races qualify as Black Type.
Though imperfect, as all predictive systems are in highly variable environments such as horse racing, speed ratings are more accurate than random methodology. Exceptions, personal observations or data anecdotes are simply irrelevant in statistical science. That’s why a Minnesota horse we bred named Sugar Business once won the Northern Lights Futurity, breaking a 27 year old race time record, and I thought he would earn a near 100 speed rating. The track was hard and fast at Canterbury that year, and particularly that day. He only earned an 88 speed rating and was never very competitive when he had to race against horses outside of his state and racing crop.
One other point of note in the chart relates to the breeders of these horses. Notice how only one breeder is listed twice. This is an indicator of just how difficult and variable breeding is in an industry where $100,000 sire stud fees only result in producing a stakes winner near 1 out of every 20 times. Even though these good breeders may always utilize good breeding methods, the ability to consistently produce top tier horses in a highly variable activity such as Thoroughbred breeding, is extraordinarily difficult.
With all of this said, this is my best research and best answer to the question of where the top Minnesota breds have come from recently. I hope this helps.
A couple owners who were at Canterbury this weekend asked me about buying Minnesota breds and where the best Minnesota Breds have historically come from. I posted the attached chart a couple months ago when asked about the 2015 Top Minnesota horses, which partially answers the question.
Tomorrow, I'll try to answer this question a little better by evaluating the top Minnesota breds over the last few years, and the breeders of those horses.
I received a couple questions about pedigrees, sires and dams from a couple owners who are preparing to buy yearlings at an upcoming sale. Their question was simply, are there any “proven” indicators related to buying yearlings and racetrack success.
Many educational owner programs are filled with administrative minutia and theory however, the core question of how to be successful deserves attention. Buying strategies are often ignored and when they are discussed I often found that general theory and myth pervade the discussion. In thoroughbred breeding myths abound because people rarely have the expertise to understand variation in such a “highly variable" arena. How highly variable is something like Thoroughbred breeding you might ask? The very best and most expensive thoroughbred sires in the world with greater than $50,000 stud fees may only produce stakes winners about 5% of the time! (1 out of every 20 foals they sire)
While there are proven data study distinctions related to sire line nicking, dosage, and even things like yearling height, if you have ever heard the saying “A distinction without a difference is irrelevant”, and wondered what the frick that means, it’s about understanding "meaningful" degrees of variation. In other words, you have to understand the difference between interesting data and important information.
Understanding variation means you realize that “almost anything is possible but not everything is probable”. The most predictably probable correlations I have found in breeding relate to studies of the parental racetrack speed performance. I found that the actual speed ratings of both parents produced the most consistently “probable” foal success. Large scale studies have proven this, so let me offer folks a very small scale example from racing right here in Minnesota. (You will never find this elsewhere.)
The following table illustrates the Top 5 earning Minnesota bred horses last year (2015). Pay particular attention to the top racing speed ratings of both their sires and dams. Based solely on the speed ratings, these were exceptionally well bred Minnesota horses. Based upon the parent's racetrack performance, why would anyone be surprised that their foals earned top money last year?
Today we only breed sires with strong triple digit speed ratings to mares that also had stakes level speed ratings. (Stormy Business with a 114 SR and Demiparfait with an 87 SR, Sidney's Candy with a 115 SR and BJ's Angel with a 101 SR.) Sure there are foals from sires and mares who have had not had success on the racetrack, but as I said, once you understand that “almost anything is possible but not everything is probable”, you will improve you chances of success in anything!
A correlation analysis and scatter diagram has proven the "important" nature of this relationship when determining "probability" of success. Nevertheless, I wanted to help new owners with legitimate questions by simplifying the complex. I always suggest you begin by understanding exactly how well both the sire and dam ran on the racetrack, at their best. Then concentrate your focus on these well bred horses. Of course you must then secure help from a "proven" conformation expert to make sure any potential physical flaws are well understood before bidding. Your probability of "high end" success will improve dramatically.
Racing is going well in Minnesota and Canterbury had a record crowd of well over 20,000 last Saturday!
Our main racing stable, Astar Lindquist, has had 8 starts and every horse has earned a purse check in every race by coming in 4th or better. That's a good indicator of how well our trainer Gary Scherer prepares horses to be competitive every year. With 2 of those starts resulting in wins, (Blazing Angel and PJ's Angel) we are winning at a 25% rate. Of the 451 owners entities that have raced horses this year at Canterbury, only 57 have 7 or more starts and our stable ranks 25th on this list in Earnings per Start over our goal of $3,000 of EPS.
We also have a 2 year old in training with Tony Rengstorf (AJ's Angel). Tony broke and trained this baby in Arkansas since day one. AJ has worked very well and we are excited to see his debut in the near future.
With the annual MTA sale catalog now available online, a few folks have sent in questions related to the sale, our yearlings, sires in general and Stormy Business specifically. Here are the answers.
I firmly believe the MTA sale, which will be held on Monday August 22nd at Canterbury Park, will be successful. It represents the very best opportunity buyers have for comparing Minnesota bred yearlings. There are many outstanding pedigrees represented in the catalog. I plan to secure my bidding number and bid, as I have done every year for over a decade.
With this said, I have both bought and sold at the Minnesota auctions over the years. This year, we decided not to consign our bred yearlings to the sale. I am currently planning on keeping and racing our yearlings, although they are available for sale privately. Our yearlings are correctly conformed for racing, of expected yearling size, and in perfect physical condition from both an air passage and bone structure standpoint. They can be inspected up at the Osborne Farm in Cambridge Minnesota.
After reviewing the catalog for this year’s Minnesota Yearling auction, there are 48 sires that have produced the 66 yearlings being offered up for sale. Of the 48 sires listed, 12 sires only have yearlings or 2 years old running in 2016. As a result, these young sires have no foal produce data listed for them. The remaining 36 sires are mature enough to have breeding data listed. The average for the Thoroughbred breed is 69.9% starters per foal and our stallion Stormy Business has averaged 71.4% of his foals starting. If you want to be able to secure a horse that will actually make it through training and start a race on a race track, this is an important statistic because 3 out of 10 foals never even run a race!
Another question related to the likelihood of getting a foal that will win. The average for the Thoroughbred breed is 49.9% winners per foal and our stallion Stormy Business is slightly below that average with 45.7% winners per foal. So if you want a winner and understand that only about 5 out of every 10 foals will ever win a race, this is an important statistic to understand!
Of the 48 sires that have yearlings listed in the upcoming 2016 yearling sale, our stallion Stormy Business ranks 9th in overall percentage of winners produced per foal and 9th in overall percentage of starters per foal! The attached listing ranks the Top 15 sires listed in the catalog by winners per foal, based upon the actual catalog data. I think buyers may be surprised at just how well many of our local standing sires rank in this listing.
Dave Astar is a race horse owner, stallion owner, breeder, 40 year business executive, and 50 year handicapper.