Every year I get questions about who the top breeders of Thoroughbred race horses are in Minnesota.
Here are the Top 20 Breeders based upon recently released award totals.
The 2016 awards were 10.6% of eligible purses for listed stallion owners and 7.6% of eligible purses for listed mare owners.
Congratulations and thanks to these folks. They have consistently demonstrated true loyalty and commitment to Minnesota Thoroughbred breeding and racing.
After a few folks took the time to read recent articles on this website related to Minnesota’s relatively uncompetitive commitment to Thoroughbred breeding, on the breeding page of this website, I was asked why other states like Indiana are so successful. You see based on public Jockey Club data, Indiana breeds over 4 times the number of mares we do in Minnesota, stands over 4 times the number of stallions we stand in Minnesota, and has near 4 times the number of state bred racing starters. The answer is in the money, and as clear as a bell!
Indiana’s purses paid to their state breds are near 3 times higher than Minnesota pays to their state breds, even though the total Indiana purses are not even double the Minnesota purses paid. In other words, Indiana’s commitment to their breeding farms, breeding stables, breeders, (and every organization that benefits from breeding in Indiana including veterinary clinics, farriers, feed stores, etc.) is demonstrable. They pay 55% of their total available purses to state bred horses, unlike Minnesota’s 31%, and Indiana is rewarded for this commitment with 3.86 times more state bred racing starters than Minnesota!
So you say this only explains part of the story because Indiana pays only 3 times the level of purses to state breds than Minnesota, but has over 4 times the number of starters? As Paul Harvey use to say, “here’s the rest of the story”. Indiana has a massively superior "and modern" breeding fund, as illustrated in the bottom half of the attached chart.
So now you know it’s all in the money, and many states including Indiana have adopted effective economic breeding models.
So the next time someone decides to denigrate Minnesota Thoroughbred breeders and our horses, just pity their ignorance and know that while the money is there, a “competitive” Minnesota commitment to the Minnesota breeding industry isn’t. It's up to Minnesota horse organizations to recognize this, address it, or continue to ignore it.
A few weeks ago I released a study, utilizing nothing but publicly available data, related to questions I had been asked about Minnesota Thoroughbred breeding economics. My observations surprised even me and resulted in a 26 page report.
Of course some folks in the horse industry felt it was only my opinion, which is of course humorous to those of us who understand the difference between opinions and factual observations.
One individual told me that the study was the most effective analysis of a state's Thoroughbred breeding economics she has ever seen. Of course, she is an actuary who owns race horses in another state. (Yes, my nerd friends are actuaries just like my racing partner Tom Lindquist.)
Anyway, these items are now available on our breeding page on our website. My hope is that a few horse folks take the time to understand the underlying, and maybe hidden, economic breeding issues in Minnesota. If Minnesota is to become more competitive in the Thoroughbred breeding industry, root cause issues will need to be addressed. Following is the page link.
For those who asked, YES it's Breeders Cup Weekend and YES racing does a terrible job marketing to the common folk. If it wasn't for my friend Galen sending me links on social media about the races, I would barely know the races are starting tomorrow, AND I'VE BEEN IN THE RACING BUSINESS FOR MANY YEARS! It's no wonder racing revenues continue to slide and the general public disinterest in racing can only be described as stunningly profound.
As an example, with the best horses in the world racing in the Breeders Cup starting tomorrow, ESPN makes no mention of the event on their massive home page. Instead, these are the news items mentioned at the top of the page:
The Cubs headline makes sense but all I can say is "Oh My racing executives", you are amazingly disconnected from the media reality required to reinvigorate racing as a sporting attraction.
Syndicates/Clubs/Multiple Owner Partnerships
Also, I had a question about syndicates, clubs and multiple owner partnership fees. Every group I know charges a management fee. In fact the only ones I am aware of that don't charge a management fee have been run by me. I personally never saw any reason to charge people for doing something I love and would do for free anyway.
Of course, syndicate managers are often dip shits who get to pretend like they are a big deal while playing with the group's money. I find the fees ridiculous in nature because the fees are never "effectively" indexed to the economic success of the group. In other words, these managers (many of which do next to nothing but glad hand because the trainers do all the real work) charge between 5 to 10%, take a share of the purses, and often produce annual results that range in losing anywhere from 20 to 90% of the original group principle balance, often every year.
Why people pay incompetent people to show them how to do things wrong and lose money has always intrigued me......but that's the way they work folks. Amazing but true!
Dave Astar is a race horse owner, stallion owner, breeder, 40 year business executive, and 50 year handicapper.