Sheikh Hamdan: U.S. TC Too Much Pressure

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Prairie Bayou
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Tue May 26, 2015 1:21 pm

I think medication plays a big part in the longevity of horse's careers here in the USA. I don't think the TC is unattainable. I think that we need to go back to earlier days when medication was not used nearly as much as it is today.
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serenassong
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Tue May 26, 2015 1:36 pm

Yes, medication is part of the problem. There is the whole discussion of glass horses that we have discussed many times before. Medication, work patterns, length and number of races compound the problem- totally different type of horse. Look at pictures of horses from the 70's till now.
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swale1984
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Tue May 26, 2015 3:30 pm

I agree that a Triple Crown is attainable, but not as long as we are breeding to sell and not necessarily breeding to race. This obsession with speedy, precocious horses that peak at two has got to stop. Breed a durable racehorse that wants to run longer than 9 furlongs and you'll see a Triple Crown winner.
Rick1323
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Tue May 26, 2015 4:06 pm

I don't think breeding or meds have anything to do with it. We are not talking about hundreds of years of breeding here....in fact it has been less than 40 years. And the meds used in the 70s would makes your hair curl....or straighten it. We have plenty of horses who can get the distances required. The right horse will win all 3. The right horse just hasn't come around in a while.......
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ElPrado2
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Tue May 26, 2015 5:05 pm

Would you like to name the stock we have in the US that could produce it? If we do have anything that will run 12 furlongs, it wants turf. They don't breed for classic distances. They breed to get their money back with stock that wants 6 furlongs to maybe a mile. Quick return, then on to the next sprinter. If they do, by accident, find something that can get longer, it doesn't produce the offspring that will be running 4 1/2 furlongs in April and certainly looks like a turtle in 2 year old sales. They sell anything that doesn't produce lots of early speed. Those stallions are now in Turkey, Japan and Korea. If they accidently find a stallion with stout breeding, they have imported it from South Africa or South America. Lo and behold, no one buys their 2 year olds in the sales because they can't show speed at 19 months. Back those stallions go to their home country. If the stock doesn't do 10 second 1/4 miles they can't make the quick buck and buy more 6 furlong stallions to try to get them to breed the sprint mares and make classic horses out of them. Hell, some horse has to win the Derby or Belmont, even if it has to be on life support back in the barn.
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Tue May 26, 2015 5:22 pm

If the rest of the world is so great at running 12 furlongs, why aren't they sending a horse to steal the Belmont each year?
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ElPrado2
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Tue May 26, 2015 5:23 pm

They are fairly busy running them in Euro classics on turf.
arkle
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Tue May 26, 2015 6:00 pm

Dermot Weld did send Go and Go across the Atlantic to win the Belmont in 1990. I'm surprised a few others haven't tried. But as someone else pointed out, the Derby at Epsom and the French Derby (Prix du Jockey Club) are both usually run on the same weekend as the Belmont.
Besides, there is no guarantee that a horse that gets 12f on Turf will take to dirt, no matter the distance.
WaquoitNBroadBrush
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Tue May 26, 2015 6:58 pm

European breeders have another incentive to breed for stamina: a thriving steeplechase/hurdle racing scene, as opposed to our relegation of the jumpers to non-betting events held on private estates or opening races on Thursdays at Saratoga. You'll find the occasional American-bred Dynaformer or Street Cry gelding in English jump races as well.
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Tue May 26, 2015 6:59 pm

ElPrado2 wrote:They are fairly busy running them in Euro classics on turf.
That may account for 20 or so of them. Where are the others? There are certainly enough second and third stringers with all that distance capability, with U.S. dirt dashed into their pedigrees, to come over here and show us up and take an easy purse.

I don't understand why some people act as though there's something magical about running 1 1/2 miles, even 2 miles. I certainly don't mind watching races at that distance, but the pace notably slows down when going that far. The distance of 1 1/4 miles seems like the "magical" distance in my eyes -- the perfect distance balancing speed with stamina -- and we have plenty who are breeding for that distance. That's what the entire top end of the market is about. No big owner goes to a sale looking for the next Sprint champion but instead the next Derby or Classic winner.
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ElPrado2
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Tue May 26, 2015 7:22 pm

Oh, it's more than 20 or so. You have distance races throughout Europe. England, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy..... all have classics about now. Coolmore is shipping 3 year olds all over Europe. So are the various Maktoums. If the right one don't get you the left one will. It's more like at least 60 or 70.
There's no incentive to run much more than 9 furlongs here in the States. Virtually none of the stallions in the US are throwing anything that could break time records in the US at any distance over 9 furlongs. Coolmore has decimated the ranks of route broodmares, followed closely by the Japanese and Dubai bunch. The Russian newbies aren't hunting for sprinters, either. They want horses to give them the prestige Euro classics would get them. Turkey has grabbed a lot of distance bred mares, followed by grabbing every older stallion that the States is tossing out like used dishwater. Spain is coming into the act. China has suddenly started up, all that money from pirated software has to go somewhere. So many American farms are shoving everything able to run 9 furlongs or more overseas that it's a wonder that what's left can run around the block.
WaquoitNBroadBrush
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Tue May 26, 2015 7:33 pm

Only Australia, it seems, values sprint speed. Their daily race cards look an awful lot like ours, except everything's on grass, whereas a typical weekday card at an English course might include two races at 1 1/4 miles. I like watching (and betting) sprints and routes and wish this country's breeders, owners, trainers, racing officials, etc. would adopt a more balanced approach.
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ElPrado2
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Tue May 26, 2015 7:39 pm

And the Australians are watching the New Zealand distance horses grab a lot of the route races in Oz.
Rick1323
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Tue May 26, 2015 8:11 pm

ElPrado2 wrote:Would you like to name the stock we have in the US that could produce it? If we do have anything that will run 12 furlongs, it wants turf. They don't breed for classic distances. They breed to get their money back with stock that wants 6 furlongs to maybe a mile. Quick return, then on to the next sprinter. If they do, by accident, find something that can get longer, it doesn't produce the offspring that will be running 4 1/2 furlongs in April and certainly looks like a turtle in 2 year old sales. They sell anything that doesn't produce lots of early speed. Those stallions are now in Turkey, Japan and Korea. If they accidently find a stallion with stout breeding, they have imported it from South Africa or South America. Lo and behold, no one buys their 2 year olds in the sales because they can't show speed at 19 months. Back those stallions go to their home country. If the stock doesn't do 10 second 1/4 miles they can't make the quick buck and buy more 6 furlong stallions to try to get them to breed the sprint mares and make classic horses out of them. Hell, some horse has to win the Derby or Belmont, even if it has to be on life support back in the barn.
You couldn't be more wrong. You can train any horse to run far, but you can't teach them to run fast. There is nothing wrong with our stock............
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MySaladDays
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Tue May 26, 2015 10:33 pm

swale1984 wrote:This obsession with speedy, precocious horses that peak at two has got to stop. Breed a durable racehorse that wants to run longer than 9 furlongs and you'll see a Triple Crown winner.
TC races here are once a year, so maybe not much incentive?

I think the every day race carded in the US lends itself to the speedy precocious horse pounding dirt. Which is fine. It's a product enjoyed by many....

However, the rest of the world doesn't do that kind of racing-----combine that with our rather loose medication policies-----the result is that breeders here are facing increased competition. Team Valor, for instance, is mostly shopping South American mares to breed to Animal Kingdom. Quite a few savvy bloodstock buyers are buying out of other places like South Africa.

Now that the wagering platforms include international racing, even bettors have a choice where to spend their wagering dollars, and many who love the larger field sizes and longer races are wagering tracks that lie outside the US.

Racing is truly an international product now. I meet less and less people who are into the provincial 'us versus them' mindset (the ones who are may be using winstrol.....on themselves LOL). Most true racing fans can appreciate the Classic races and other big horse events regardless of on what continent they reside, and man-made lines drawn in the sand. ;)

I do share the concern that unless we get some anti doping measures going that are standard and across the board, that our "product" will suffer a downward spiral.......whether perceptually, or in actual dollars. In a racing world that is increasingly zero-tolerence, unless we want to become isolationist, I think we need to give more thought to this.

As with most things in life though, change is hardest for those who are the least adaptable.
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ElPrado2
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Tue May 26, 2015 11:20 pm

Sure you can train them to run farther. But some are much easier to train to run farther. And those seem to run farther faster.
You have to card distance races to begin with. It is much cheaper to train for sprints. There is no incentive to breed stamina into the speed.
EquineAnne
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Wed May 27, 2015 1:14 am

Rick1323 wrote:I don't think breeding or meds have anything to do with it. We are not talking about hundreds of years of breeding here....in fact it has been less than 40 years. And the meds used in the 70s would makes your hair curl....or straighten it. We have plenty of horses who can get the distances required. The right horse will win all 3. The right horse just hasn't come around in a while.......
That's what I've been saying.
carole
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Wed May 27, 2015 3:32 am

I agree that in the US its breed to sell and as long as the people in the industry keep blaming something or someone else, it's never going to change.

I agree that speed is important in a horse but I think that too much speed is not good either. In Europe, fast fractions are way off of what the people in the US consider fast but yet our horses are still able to match up and beat the speed of the US horses, especially on turf (even at miles).

I also think something that John Gosden said in an interview posted here a while back is very good and hits the nail on the head. European horses go slow out of the gates but they accelerate in the stretch running the fastest at that point in the race. American horses run like freight trains out of the gates and dwindle in the stretch in zig zags because they're tired. Isn't racing supposed to be, start at a moderate pace, save your best efforts for the final push, not the other way around?

I'd also like to clarify that I am not a hater of American racing, I love to follow it but watching the races is not as fun as watching European racing. Saying that, Americans are not the only ones that need to change things in this industry. I'm sure there are things that need fixing in European racing too. For example, purse structure.
Rick1323
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Wed May 27, 2015 7:49 am

ElPrado2 wrote:Sure you can train them to run farther. But some are much easier to train to run farther. And those seem to run farther faster.
You have to card distance races to begin with. It is much cheaper to train for sprints. There is no incentive to breed stamina into the speed.
A lot of this is taste. I lived in Europe for a while and I enjoyed the racing, but I found a lot of it horribly boring. A 2 miles race sounds so romantic, but in reality most of them are won in a jog by open lengths. I will take a blistering 6F race won in a photo anytime. The reason more distance races are not carded is simple....they don't sell
Everyone come home sound.....
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