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Notebook Responses
Listed in order received

     #1--Name withheld: Most yearling sales prep involves premature stress on joints and soft tissue. Pinhooked yearlings must tolerate a double dose of body and mind tampering.
     Most homebred racehorses are spared this process. 
     Many market breeders aspire to breed the precocious, quarter horse type yearling to catch the eye of the well-healed pinhooker. Most home breeders aspire to breed later maturing racehorses which they can enjoy for many years. 
     Many market breeders are more interested in making the quick buck than in developing solid racehorses. Most of them deal in cheap speed breeding stock rather than in classic lines. 
     Most home breeders couldn't care less what pinhookers want.--June 21.

     #2--Linda Vetter: Well, I think there has developed a difference between breeding to "race" or to "sell". 
     It appears that the buyers of young prospects have pretty strong feelings about looking for horses that are "precocious" at least in that they produce fast works at a young age, as well as are supposed to win early and be classic prospects after many starts at two. They also have to be big and good looking of course, and then have "popular" pedigrees (by whatever farm advertising or real success makes some sires more "popular" at the moment). If you are breeding to "sell", you want a black-type filled page and the most "popular" sire you can afford, then hope for a good-looking, fast youngster at sales time.
     Meanwhile, those who are breeding horses primarily to keep to race themselves (now called breeding to "race"), may each have their own top criteria, but one major difference may be that they are willing to keep them on the farm longer and not rush them into 2-year-olds in training sales or even to race at two.   T
     They might put more emphasis on long-term soundness, less "commercially popular" bloodlines that still meet their own pedigree goals (soundness, size, turf, whatever), and other things. They may be more willing to want offspring from an unraced or not heavy black-type page mare because they know the line and the mare's personality and maybe capabilities before injury or something. They may have faith in a particular stallion or bloodline that just isn't "popular" or even well-known.
     While one would think (as Don noted) that sane people should all want the same thing if they all want to win races with their horses, whether they bred them or bought them, most of us have seen the commercial market head strongly towards those fast 2-year-olds in training regardless of whether it turns out they are proportionately the best long-term deals. Other past fads were pedigree only, or confirmation only. There may be another fad someday, maybe one that will prove right. 
     There is probably some validity in every approach, but you still have to be lucky to get the real deal individual and then racing luck too.--June 21.

     #3--Sandy Nickols: I agree with Don......saying breakdowns are related to sales breeders doesn't make any sense.  It's true that lot of buyers want a horse that will get to the races early which makes a good market for the precocious ones, but they still have to stand training and run enough to make money. Any breeder who breeds horses that won't hold up will soon be found out by a very sophisticated sales market. Producing horses that run well produces horses that sell well.--June 21.

     #4--Larry Stevens: The statement that breeders are breeding to sell, not to race, has always been puzzling to me. I'm glad that it has been brought to light, but I'm glad I don't have to explain what it means.
     I see no difference in whether you want to sell the foal or race it. You must certainly want it to be fast no matter what you do with it. Either way you are trying to prove the mare as a producer and hoping that all her foals show some speed.
    We want fast horses with soundness, we breed for fast horses with soundness, we sell most of them, and keep a few to race. It still boils down to breed the best you have to the best you can and hope for the best!
    Anyway, I cast my vote that there is no difference in breeding to sell or breeding to race. Come on....

     #5--Name withheld: If the breeder were going to race-with profit as his goal--some important things he would consider would be to breed to a proven stud that was a mare improver, whose get had a high average number of starts, a high return per start average and had at least a decent percentage of stakes winners. Fashion, spin and average sale prices would not be a consideration. Soundness would.
     If the breeder were going to sell-The most critical and overwhelming consideration for success (profit) for a market breeder is to breed to a stallion whose foal will sell for the most money. To accomplish this some successful market breeders gamble by breeding to unproven (but hyped) first-year stallions even though approximately 90% of them fail. Other successful market breeders simply breed to the stallion with the highest sale average, regardless of any other statistical average. Soundness for most is not a primary consideration. The market breeder's business operates on and with fashion, hype and spin as well as talent. Generally, his broodmare band undergoes many changes year to year as do his stallion selections. It is highly volatile in comparison, hard to be profitable but can pay off with a large number. 
     A shorter way of saying each achieving ultimate success might be --- 
     The 'breed to race' crowd cashes in with victory on the first Saturday in May.
     The 'market breeder' cashes in at Keeneland in September two years earlier.
      That's kinda where I am on 'race' or 'sell'. And do 'racers' and 'sellers' ever breed to the same stud? Sure, many times, but for different reasons. As to why buyers spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on offspring of first-year studs . . . I dunno. As to why they spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on studs who have 60 2-year-old starters and two years later have zero 4-year-olds still running . . . I dunno. Maybe they won a classic or maybe they sired a classic winner. I dunno. Sorry.

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