Members’ Questions: Breeding Terms

One of the goals of the Club is to demystify racing to the best extent that we can.  In order to do this we will answer as many questions as we can from members about racing and related issues like wagering and breeding every few weeks or so, depending upon demand.  This week we received a question about breeding terms.

Here is the question:

Can you explain what “nicking” data is? Also “broodmare and broodmare sire’…
Hopefully others in the club are a little confused on the meanings of these as well

The best explanation I found for nicking was right off the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association website by the esteemed pedigree analyst and author Frank Mitchell from an article he wrote for Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred.

“If it worked for them, it will work for me. That pretty much sums up nicking – the theory of copying the mating of a successful horse to produce another successful horse. Nicking theorists believe there is a benefit to the crossing of certain horses or sire lines and successful crosses can be repeated.”

To relate this a bit to everyday life, we all know of highly successful athletes.  Let’s take a look at the brothers Manning.  Peyton and Eli are both highly skilled and highly successful NFL quarterbacks; same for the sisters Williams in tennis.  Even better examples may be cousins, since they share the same lines but not the exact same parentage.  However, we all know of highly successful people that do not have nearly as successful relatives, so family traits mixed together – nicked, if you will – alone cannot predict success.  Other factors such as physical compatibility, racing styles and temperament also come into play.  Nicking alone will not guarantee you success on the racetrack.

A couple of sites to learn more about nicking are True Nicks and Werkhorse.

A broodmare is, quite simply, a mare used for breeding.  When you look at you past performances, to the right of the horses name you see the color, sex, age and month of birth for the horse (B. f. 3 (May)).  Directly under that you see the sire (father) and then dam (mother).  The dam is a broodmare.

In parenthesis next to the dam is another name.  This is the sire of the dam or, the broodmare sire.  Some sires have developed a reputation for producing mares that produce excellent offspring which is why this information is included.  2012’s leading broodmare sires in terms of earnings were: Storm Cat, Danehill, Deputy Minister, Sadler’s Wells and AP Indy.

I hope this information helps.  Please keep the questions coming, the odds are if you have a question, someone else does as well!

Spring Dawns and Sign-Up Deadline Looms

The first day of spring dawned this morning over Shakopee with a brisk 7 degree temperature and more snow than should be legal on the ground this time of year.  But you may have noticed that though the temperature didn’t get above freezing yesterday, there was still some melting going on and that’s because the sun is higher and stronger in the sky and that means it’s almost time to go racing!

Indeed, in places as far flung as Arkansas, Louisiana, Arizona, Florida, Illinois and even at training centers here in Minnesota, horses are gearing up and getting ready for the May 17th opening of Canterbury Park.  Horses aren’t the only animals getting ready for the season, we humans at the Racing Club are gearing up as well – and if you or your friends want to be a part of it, there are only 11 days left to get signed up!

I spent some time in Chicago last week visiting with Clay and he’s ready to get rolling as is Bernell in Florida if we end up with enough sign ups.  Currently we’ve eclipsed last year’s numbers (roughly at 150 members) and are excited about the possibilities that this brings: more members means more horses which hopefully translates into more starts and more shots at the winners’ circle – and more fun at Canterbury all summer long!

So if you haven’t signed up yet and have meant to or have friends that have been saying they are but haven’t, don’t delay – time is running out.  As we say at the track: “Don’t get shut out!”

Brinson Sizzles as Hawthorne Heats Up

Clay Brinson is picking up where he left off last year as 2013 starts to heat up at Hawthorne.  The Canterbury Race Club’s primary trainer has had four starters through the first few weekends of racing at the Chicago oval and has a 75% winning percentage! 

His first starter of the meet, Lookinatmindy, stalked the early pace and was able to pull away for the win earning a career best 74 Beer Speed Figure in the process.  Divine Doris, who you may remember from her efforts to break her maiden at Canterbury as a two-year old last summer, hit the win column for Brinson in her first start as a three-year old while the hard knocking Jimmy Got Even recorded his 8th career win in 40 starts this past Sunday. 

It is small sample size and no trainer can be expected to keep up that kind of strike rate, but it does point to Clay’s expertise in getting horses ready to race and being able to place them in spots where they can win.  His one finisher not to win, by the way…finished second.

Congratulations on the hot start, Clay! 

We’re about three weeks from closing out the Club for 2013 and there is certainly still room for you to join us.  We’re just about at the point where we were last season for membership, so we look like we’re going to be bigger than ever which hopefully translates into more horses, more racing and more fun all summer long!