they've been talking about this for a while now. I don't know what to think about it. I do (hesitantly) like the concept. Part of the standardbred history, is that these horses are *tough.* We still have heat racing for crying out loud. Let's see the TBs do that. Make the Derby a heat race like the Little Brown Jug, and the Hambletonian are? Right...
There has been a trend to yank the stallions after their 3YO years to go straight to stud for a lot of money. (and if you have a lighting fast 2YO... after that season) In doing so, how do we know *which* stallions would have had the stamina for a longer career? Kind of goes against the "old" ways... you know, great stallions being fast and HARDY and lasting for years.
I agree whole heartedly with the sentiment. But I don't think the world cares about sound any more. Just fast.. and the world doesn't want to waste their money.
I could be wrong. Maybe there are official reasons that I'm not thinking of. But that's my take on it.
The ninja monkeys are plotting my demise as we speak....
Checking in from STB land..I'm 6s and 7s about it. Here are my thoughts:
-There's loopholes. If you get a vet statement of sorts, you can be exempt from this rule. Case in point: Archangel, a middle-of-the-road trotting stakes colt, retired at the end of 2012 (his 3yo year), got a vet statement for a "breathing problem" so he is exempt. I'm imagining vet statements are going to be pretty easy to secure, so what's the point?
-There is a good bit of $$ to be made at the 4yo level and beyond, but, the 4yo season is notoriously a tough year for horses transitioning to the older ranks. So, if you have a super-nice 3yo, a lot (not ALL, but a lot) of times, you're going to have a less impressive year at 4 and this can be damning to a stud fee. Likewise, probably bc of the early speed factor, a 3yo coming off a huge year will command more stud fee $ than one coming off a huge aged-horse career (another case-in-point: Chapter Seven, 2012 horse of the year and was absolutely dominant this year at 4, after a fairly good but not exceptional 3yo year marred by illness, has retired and will be standing for $8,500 this year. Similarly-dominant in their age group sires Deweycheatumnhowe, Donato Hanover and Muscle Hill stood for no less than $20,000 their first year at stud (after their 3yo year).
-However, I am of the opinion there are far too many stallions out there. A lot of which have no business perpetuating the breed, IMO. I don't know that this will solve that problem, though I'm not sure that's really the point of the exercise anyhow.
Last edited by Big_Tag; Jan. 22, 2013 at 08:25 PM.