I received the funniest comment this morning from a Minnesota breeder that I just can't ignore.
They think the Minnesota Thoroughbred breeding program works because breeders and stallion owners will be paid over $500,000 in breeder's fund awards this year. I found this hilarious because only delusional minds celebrate expeditures instead of results.
You see, breeder's funds were created by every racing state to stimulate breeding, and their agricultural economy. They weren't created as some obtuse cosmic give away. So, here's some factual history which only a handful of people apparently understand.
In 2005, Minnesota Thoroughbred breeders and stallion owners were paid $268,000 in awards. In that year, there were 411 Minnesota breedings and 40 standing stallions. This year, $526,000 is to be paid out in 2017 awards. Based upon the recent Jockey Club news release related to 2017 breeding (link follows), Minnesota shows historical lows of 66 breedings and 12 standing stallions. (In fairness, the Jockey Club report for 2017 is not yet complete as more registrations will come in, and they indicate that the current report is 90 to 95% complete at the stage of reporting in 2017.)
Months and years ago I warned Minnesota organizations that the poorly designed Minnesota breeding program (breeders fund rules, purse distributions and auction effectiveness) was destroying the "true" Minnesota Thoroughbred breeding economy, as other programs advanced their rules incentives and marketing while we stood still.
So today, in delusional madness, people celebrate a horribly misguided program which once generated 1.53 Thoroughbed breedings per $1,000 of breeder's fund award expenditure, and now generates 0.13 Thoroughbred breedings per $1,000 of breeder's fund award expenditure. (Yes, you read those numbers correctly, and they represent a 90% decline in breeding program effectiveness!)
Wow, what a program! Spend more, get less! High fives all around folks, and let's be sure to keep those delusional paradigms intact.
Like I said, this would be hilarious if it wasn't simultaneously so very sad.
For many years, Thoroughbred breeding and racing states have deliberated on the importance of state standing stallions. The evidence of differing views on this subject resides in the variability of state breeding and racing programs. Many states understand the interstate competitive nature of the Thoroughbred industry related to attracting and retaining top tier stallions. Other states often ignore the importance of state standing stallions.
I recently completed an analysis for an organization focused on this question. While the comprehensive report is substantial, I prepared a simple summary article for the benefit of some friends who have asked similar questions in the past. I think you will find it interesting as it contains some recent information related to sires and stallions in the upper Midwest region.
If you have serious inquiries or specific questions, please let me know. Following is the direct link to the pdf file.
ARTICLE ON STALLION IMPORTANCE, spianalysisa.pdf
Dave Astar is a race horse owner, stallion owner, breeder, 40 year business executive, and 50 year handicapper.