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Final Furlong Forum  |  Racing  |  General/Questions  |  Topic: How often do you / should you race?
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Hilda with Clicker
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« on: February 02, 2017, 08:34:01 AM »

I did some searching; first for 4yo's that had at least 30 lifetime starts and at least one win (and are not owned by Final Furlong). The result: 18 horses found. Most of them owned by Cricket Hill (5) and Lochiedo Stables (7).

Then I searched for 4yo's with not more than 6 starts, and also one win at least (to find just the relatively successful ponies), not owned by Final Furlong. 211 horses found.

I guess that it may be because some stables have really a lot of horses and they just don't race them that much, but I'm thinking, which strategy is better? When I choose broodmares and stallions, I much prefer to breed the ones that raced a lot, because I want to breed ponies that can race a lot (will recover quickly, etc) but if your horse will have a big advantage over others if he/she races only a few times a year, then of course it's better for the horse and stable to let it sit around the barn or track for months...

Among the 4yo's that ran not more than 6 times, there are 4 that had at least 4 wins. Three of them owned by Renegade Racing and Breeding, one by Semiahmoo Stables.

There is also WCh. Drum Major with 100 lifetime starts, ICh. Crown Jewels with 98 lifetime starts, and of course FFCh. Loveofthegame with 105 lifetime starts.
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Shelbie
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« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2017, 06:42:14 PM »

I honestly don't stagger anyone, and the number of lifetime starts doesn't even occur to me for my own horses. For 3yo+ I try not to race more than twice a month, but it ultimately comes down to how quickly they bounce back, when they took their "at home" breaks and for how long, and if any injuries occurred. I glanced through a few horses who I've owned for several years, and it seems most get in 10-15 starts a year. It also depends on how well they're doing in general: grabbing 3 random 3yo's I own, one only raced 4 times at 2 (managed a single 3rd-placing), the 2nd ran 7 times (100% OTB), and the third ran 9 times (100% OTB and 2 SP's). So if they're running well and bounce back well, I will race often until they seem to be slowing down then they head home for a vacation. If they seem to be really sucking regardless of bounce back, I might send them home and save myself the money/headache.

In potential breeding stallions, I do look a little bit at lifetime starts only because you can tell what horses were thrown at EVERYTHING to get stud qualified and which were more carefully campaigned. BUT, at the same time, with studs I'm mostly looking at stud record if available, were they a late or early bloomer, how does their family look (especially the damline), and matching D/S with my mares. The fact some studs raced 100 times to hit the bare minimum for stud qualification catches my eye but it's not as important by that point, as their siring record is now more important than the race (in my opinion). I carefully campaigned Joyeux Oiseau to stud-status but most of his foals can't find the broad side of a barn with guiding arrows. And I can say that because I bred and raced a lot of his children, haha.

I also enjoy training.... I don't know how others feel. I will go in and meticulously de-select workouts for horses who don't have at least B energy. That's 100+ racehorses I scroll through every time I go to train, and if they don't get a good training comment I won't race them (so there's another race-frequency factor).

/Sorry huge post.
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Shanthi
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« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2017, 07:45:08 AM »

Don't have time to write anything lengthy right now, but from the code standpoint, all horses should (on average) be able to race at least once/month. This is assuming that every race doesn't put them into negative energy territory, and doesn't factor in morale (though if you're only racing 1x/mo and boarding/resting your horses after each race morale shouldn't be a factor). It also doesn't factor in injuries, which might require a longer break.

For my barn, I try and race the horses who haven't run the longest, unless their last race sucked. Sometimes that means my horses get a longer break than they should, sometimes it means they get a shorter break. (And for one horse recently - Rumor Mill - I realised he'd somehow gotten off my spreadsheet for tracking for a year so he didn't race as a 4yo, poor boy.) If a horse is doing well I'll try and pick a specific race for them to run in next, otherwise they just go in the queue of "who should I find a race for in this week's race cards?", so it's hit or miss for them if something fits.
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Hilda with Clicker
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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2017, 02:41:24 PM »

Thanks! I always hesitate between planning their schedules for months ahead vs entering anyone who is A/A wherever they "fit" ;) this year I'm trying yet another thing - to find races where I want to enter and then find horses that could run in them... so far this year's OTB is 37% :P while my best was four years ago (!) with 63%. It was my 2nd year in the game so I should have better horses now... but who knows, maybe I just have more horses  ???
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Shelbie
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« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2017, 05:16:35 PM »

I definitely look at what tracks have what kind of races and ship horses accordingly per their preferences. If I'm still figuring them out, then they simply ship to the closest track for experimenting. I think I really only "plan" race schedules for the stakes kids.
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