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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Yearling Buyers Adjust

- Some more anecdotal evidence of Poytrack having an effect at the Keeneland sale. Maryjean Wall, writing for the Lexington Herald-Reader, asked Bob Baffert and Nick Zito if they're taking a different approach.

"I am looking for a different kind of horse. I'm starting to look for a horse with a little more turf influence," Baffert said yesterday at Keeneland. "I'm looking for horses that have a little more stamina."

Ditto for Zito.

He was covering all bases when he paid $350,000 for a son of Smarty Jones out of Carly's Crown, buying the colt for My MeadowView Farms.

"I'd say this family can run on dirt or grass," said Zito. And in the new order imposed by synthetic surfaces, "You have to approach it that way," he explained. [Lexington Herald Reader]
I imagine that some people are saying 'see, it's starting already!' They speak as if the breeders that own the currently fashionable sires have some inherent right to guaranteed future success. We hear about the millions they have invested in them. But stallions are assets, and assets go up and down, just like the stock market or real estate. That's business, and, though I'm certainly not unsympathetic and I wish them all success, I don't see why breeders would warrant any special protection from business cycles. The successful breeders are the ones that can anticipate; that can pick out the first-year sires that will be fashionable in two years, or the $10,000 bargain that can produce fast horses to race. Fashions change, and if it wasn't Polytrack, it could have been something else, and the top breeders, I'm sure, will adjust. That's why they're the top breeders.

It's quite possible that in ten years, Polytrack will have become an obsolete joke, like Smell-o-vision. In the meantime, perhaps it will indeed cause a shift to a more sturdy breed. I've yet to hear anyone tell me what would be bad about that.


Jim L said...

Zito seems to have never had a decent horse for My Meadowview. Okay, Noble Causeway is about it and he turned out to be mostly a dud.

He's also spent a lot of Robert LaPenta's green at the sales. The Cliff's Edge is the one that comes to mind for him.

Anonymous said...

I completely disagree with your projection.

If anything, the alleged benefits of Polytrack will give breeders an excuse to breed more unsound horses.

Baffert's comment says it all.

Buying horses with more turf Pedigree is synonomous with buying unsound horses.

Some "turf" horses truly prefer the surface, but most turf horses are turf horses because they can not stand training or running on dirt surfaces.

Anonymous said...

The suggestion that Turf horses are unsound horses is one of the most absurd things I've heard in a long time.

Anonymous said...

The benefits of Poly track will cause more SOUND breeding not less. Dirt has always been used to justify over-racing at the expense of the horse. Now the horse will have a chance. The use of steroids and other substances is something that really still needs to be addressed but Polytrack will not hurt it and may help.