I'm catching up on some questions sent to me recently and I had a couple related to what my experience has been with horses that are tying up. I hate to say it all depends but, "It all depends".
It's fairly rare and I have only had two horses have such problems. Both were sporadic issues with one simply going away and the other having to be treated over a longer period. Injections of muscle relaxers were involved, as was a new diet. I have no understanding of today's racing medication rules related to this condition and hope I never have to research them again.
Of course, personal experience and opinions are generally irrelevant anecdotes. My advice is to research studies or data, and I will refer to one 2010 Equine Research Article written right here at the University of Minnesota. I found this valuable in trying to understand the condition a few years ago.
The Management of Tying Up
Family and friends, well it may have finally happened. I just finished yalking with our trainer Gary Scherer and he is entering both BJ's Angel and PJ's Angel for races this morning.
While we never know which races will actually go, BJ (a 4 year old Astar Thoroughbreds filly) named after Grandaughters Bennett and Josie has been competitive in open two turn allowance turf races and will go there again, while little PJ (a 2 year old Astar Lindquist filly) named after our grandson Pryce Jordan, may get into a MN Bred only Maiden sprint with a bunch of other baby girls. BJ is a proven winner but PJ is likely just going to get some experience in her first ever race.
It's always fun to see these babies race because anything can happen. We've had 2 year olds we didn't think had a chance come out in their first race and blow away the competitionon at 6 to 1 odds or more.....like Stormy Tara, Mr. Brown, The KB Kid, Timetobook to name a few. Then we've had others be favorites based on their workouts and never get close.
Anyway, win, lose or draw, we look forward to watching our Angels run and first races are always a joy. It's also going to be fun to see if the analysts and announcers confuse the names.
FYI's, 1) Rapid Business goes Thursday night and is the morning line favorite. 2) In two weeks daughter Brianna and Nick's wedding is Saturday August 30th in Saint Paul. The next day, August 31st, is the Big Minnesota Festival of Champions racing day so family and friends, guess where we are going Sunday as Nick and Bri fly off for their honeymoon? Bring your wallets, and likely hangovers.
The Minnesota Thoroughbred Sales Results from yesterday's sale broke all past records with gross proceeds of $454,100! I have often said average yearling sale prices need to rise above $10,000 to recoup the average expense costs, including labor, for breeding to make economic sense in Minnesota. With yesterday's $10,560 average sale price, that level has finally been realized.
Breeding in Minnesota is a tough gig. The breeding program has remained unchanged for years with an unpredictable and comparatively low breeder's fund economic incentive structure. Consequently, breeders in Minnesota have long needed an increase in the average sale prices to hold their own. After the rebound in Minnesota racing which began about 3 years ago coincident with a Mystic Lake $75,000,000 ten year economic subsidy, a trickle down breeder economic effect seems to be occurring.
Interestingly, this year the sale was held at a new site, on a new day, in much improved facilities. A few folks asked me what I thought about it afterwards. My answer is the same as it is to all things. It's all about results! Everything else is noise and frankly, I doubt that the results could have been much better. Nice job to those from the MTA involved in this years sale.
It's also very nice to see the folks that have been loyal to Minnesota breeding, in the good times and bad, now have a chance to share in the wealth.
Back in ancient times (the 70's), there was a magazine called The Gambling Times. Those were the days when we went to libraries to search through microfiche race result charts to develop our own speed/class ratings. Young handicappers probably don’t realize that those Beyer, Equibase, Thorograph and Brisnet bold black ratings never existed in the old days. In those days you could frequently get a horse with a 30% - 40% probably of winning at 10 to 1. Normalized speed/class ratings were only available to those who did the work and maintained their data on index cards, computer punch cards or the earliest version of spreadsheets like Visicalc.
Things have changed and overlays are more difficult to secure but following is a link to Horseplayers Monthly. It’s the closest thing I have found to the old Gambling Times, and it’s focused on horse racing. Thought you players might want to tie in and get these publications. Some, not all, of the articles are data based and you might find them helpful or interesting if nothing else. Enjoy.
Samstar, one of our four two year olds this season, finally got a two year old Minnesota bred race Sunday. It was the very first two year old MN Bred boys race, and it didn't take place until August! Amazing, and the latest such a race has taken place during a racing season since Y2K!
Samstar ran a solid 3rd finishing behind two other very good looking boys. The first and second place finishers were bred by the good folks at Woodmere Farm. If we couldn't win, it's very nice to see other good Minnesota breeders, like the Bensens at Woodmere farm, take home top honors.
Samstar, our Stormy Business ($1,250 stud fee) sired two year old, finished behind horses sired by Songandaprayer ($6,500 stud fee) and Hold Me Back ($6,000 stud fee) while beating horses sired by Sharp Humor ($7,500 stud fee), Demidoff ($2,500 stud fee), and Stevie Wonderboy ($10,000 stud fee), to name a few. Stormy continues to lead all Minnesota standing sires by a wide margin in both Minnesota bred earnings and wins in 2014. He remains a bargain to Minnesota breeders not just based on his now $1,500 stud fee, but based on the fact that shipping and boarding mares for breeding in Minnesota is about one third of the cost of shipping to Kentucky or elsewhere.
With this last race under his belt, we are hoping Samstar may be ready for big upcoming races. In the meantime, we determined one of our two year olds is not ready to run at two and is back grazing in the pasture while the other two may yet run if we think they are mature enough to do so later this year.
Dave Astar is a race horse owner, stallion owner, breeder, 40 year business executive, and 50 year handicapper.