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Final Furlong Forum - How To Know A Stakes Quality Horse?

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Final Furlong Forum  |  Racing  |  General/Questions  |  Topic: How To Know A Stakes Quality Horse?
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rainee
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« on: January 21, 2016, 02:58:25 PM »

As someone that has tried and failed for nearly a decade to produce at least a consistent, quality stakes horse, I was hoping for insight and advice from the top stables. I'd like to think that I have a few gems in the barn, but I just can't seem to properly develop them or keep them at that level if I do develop them momentarily. How do you judge that a horse is stakes quality? Is it in their training? Their 2f time? A whim? How do you keep them at that level? I'm open to all advice and can't wait to see what is said.
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Lilly of  Rainee Thoroughbreds
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Hilda with Clicker
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« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2016, 04:52:30 PM »

I'm curious about that too! My OTB performance seems to be dropping recently:

2015 56%
2016 53%
2017 63%
2018 57%
2019 46%
2020 39%

Maybe I just had better horses earlier. In 2019 I had 2yo's mostly, and this year it's still them as a majority of my racers. In fact my oldest horses this year are 4yo's. Some of them are "stakes quality" but not very consistent, and some, like Adelita, theoretically should be.

From what I see in myself and others: there are two "safe approaches"; one is to race your horse in open allowances until you're completely sure that they will be in the top three consistently, and then enter a stakes race; another is to race your horse very rarely, maybe once per two months, but enter the big races and hope that the horse will be fresh and talented enough to win.

But when you look at the Hall of Fame, the Top 10 Money Earning Stables, Top 10 Winning Stables and Top 10 % On The Board Stables are not the same. So I guess there are different strategies. I probably don't have a strategy really; I used to plan ahead but now I just sort my horses by "last race" and enter those that seem fit and fresh enough.
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ivycreekfarm
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« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2016, 06:33:02 PM »

I'm certainly no expert lately due to inactivity (life has been insane), but when I was doing well, my strategy was this:

1) lots of workouts with the same jockey so he/she really knows the horse & gives accurate feedback - correct equipment has turned some duds consistent (but some ponies don't seem to mind either way)
2) looking for parents who did best at the ideal age & distance I wanted - for major stakes races, I aim for age 3, between 8-10f typically.  Not all were stakes winning parents, but earning a speed record in that frame seems to have made a difference in what their offspring were capable of
3) only racing with A/A energy/fitness (some horses ended up running more frequently than others)
4) getting back to the farm/boarding farm for a decent rest at least every few months - I aimed for a 2 week rest at least every 3-4 months
5) some of the best were just plain luck - created parents, etc.
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Alyssa
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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2016, 12:03:58 PM »

Rainees questions could have been asked by me. I too have been in this game for 10 years. I have never bred or developed anything above GCh. and never qualified a stallion. My OTB and win percentages are right down over the last couple of years and my first year in the game was almost as successful in prize money as last year, but I had 39 races in my first year and 426 last year. My OTB is
59%
39%
38%
44%
40%
53%
47%
36%
43%
36%

interestingly enough I actually do almost the same as Ivy Creek,(thank you very much for that insight, it helps to know I am on the right track ) though i breed my foals from parents who have the characteristics I want in my foals. I have tried tables and spreadsheets too to record statistics of how the horse performs over surface and distance. Last year i did the first few months by carefully mapping out strategies for each horse and selecting races very carefully. the later months i abandoned it and tried random selection and the results were not that much different.
I have many of my horses up for lease as i no longer have the enthusiasm for spending a lot of time working things out, so I would like to see how they do under other racing regimes. This would give me an idea of whether I am breeding duds or not.
I too would really like to hear how other stables feel they are doing and why.

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Gwen

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Shanthi
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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2016, 01:20:33 PM »

My secret is apparently to sell my "permanent" allowance level horses. Invariably they go on to win a bunch of stakes for their new owners. ;)
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