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Temperaments of the stallions when they were racing- better? worse?

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  • Temperaments of the stallions when they were racing- better? worse?

    With the discussion about the temperaments of some of the well known bad-boys, I was wondering, which of these stallions were just bad from the beginning, at the track, and which became worse, as stallions? Did any improve as studs?

    I remember hearing that Ribot was really tough at stud, but I don't remember reading anything bad about him at the track, while racing. Didn't he stop, and look around in the morning, at bit?

    And Nashua- a great racehorse, but a tough stud? Round Table- wasn't he a self-mutilator?

    Can anyone share their knowledge of this stuff?

    TIA!

  • #2
    I'm a total ammy on racing compared to many here, but I was really struck by Pulpit when I toured Claiborne during my WEG trip.

    I remembered from watching Pulpit's Derby and went back and reviewed it since that he was said on the broadcast to be a handful. Not mean per se, but definitely quite a handful, implied more so than the average racer, and he was one of the ones in the Derby field they were specifically watching for potential meltdown in the hoopla. I think the commentators were talking about his bloodlines and where this possibly came down.

    Pulpit at Claiborne was extremely laid back. The groom said when he went to get him that he was one of the most steady stallions there. Any Tom, Dick, or Harry on the tour was invited to come up and give him a pat and get pictures taken. And this definitely was not applicable to all of their stallions, because while we were shown Arch, we were also warned to keep our distance. Arch apparently bites. Granted, Pulpit was also, IMHO, very obese. But still, trying to match his racetrack reputation per that Derby broadcast with his retirement temperament was a stretch for me. He stood there like an old pony and never batted an eye at any of us.

    ETA: I have no idea what Seeking the Gold was like on the track, and I didn't see him, though took a picture of his stall door. He was turned out at the time. But the same groom who was praising Pulpit's temperament said that StG was plain mean. In fact, even though retired, he said he hadn't been moved out of the active stud barn to their retirement area so that the more experienced active stud grooms would still be the ones handling him, because they were afraid he might hurt someone at the other barn.

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't think you can make any absolute declarations when talking about animals as a whole as they are all individuals. In general horses who are racing are race fit and filled with calories so are full of themselves regardless of the presence or absence of testosterone. Some are nasty some are not. After retirement to the breeding shed the horse changes completely as he is no longer racing fit but now knows what that testosterone is for. That doesn't always mean the horse gets aggressive towards humans though. Most stallions are complete gentlemen. Some are absolute lunatics.
      McDowell Racing Stables

      Home Away From Home

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
        I don't think you can make any absolute declarations when talking about animals as a whole as they are all individuals. In general horses who are racing are race fit and filled with calories so are full of themselves regardless of the presence or absence of testosterone. Some are nasty some are not. After retirement to the breeding shed the horse changes completely as he is no longer racing fit but now knows what that testosterone is for. That doesn't always mean the horse gets aggressive towards humans though. Most stallions are complete gentlemen. Some are absolute lunatics.
        ^ This. And let me add I've worked with geldings and mares that were more dangerous than some of the studs.
        Groom to trainer: "Where's the glamour? You promised me glamour!"

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by dressagetraks View Post
          I have no idea what Seeking the Gold was like on the track, and I didn't see him, though took a picture of his stall door. He was turned out at the time. But the same groom who was praising Pulpit's temperament said that StG was plain mean.
          I saw Seeking the Gold when I visited Claiborne. He was in his stall and we weren't allowed to get that close to him. They said he was really tough and he looked it. When he came to the stall door, his ears were pinned and he was snaking his neck around and snapping teeth, etc. On the same trip to Kentucky, I also went to Shadwell Farm and saw Jazil (his sire is Seeking the Gold) and his temperament was fine. Maybe Seeking the Gold is like Dynaformer and they don't tend to pass on their dispositions.

          I agree about Pulpit being very quiet and laid back. They also took out Eddington (at Claiborne) and he was pleasant too.

          Comment


          • #6
            Sometimes it's not dispositions so much as aches and pains or sheer boredom.
            Groom to trainer: "Where's the glamour? You promised me glamour!"

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              What was Seeking the Gold like at the track? Dynaformer?

              Comment


              • #8
                I have the 1988 Breeders' Cup on video. Alysheba!! Personal Ensign! Must admit, I didn't pay much attention to StG, who finished 2nd in the Classic, because I was so focused on Alysheba. I saw him win the Kentucky Derby in 1987, was at the track as a graduation gift. But next meal break, I'll fish that video back out and watch the preclassic paddock, etc., stuff, and see what StG acts like and if the talking heads mention anything. Of course, that's just a 1-race snapshot, and I'm sure his people with him in the paddock knew him thoroughly, too.

                ETA: Groom at Claiborne did mention that StG now had arthritis, and that was why he was turned out then. He got extra turnout time because he didn't stiffen up there like he did if in his stall for too long. But he said StG had always been tough to handle.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The Halo/Roberto lines to Hail To Reason were notorious for evil stallions and that trait was passed down for generations. Arch is a Roberto, FWIW, as was Dynaformer. Almost all the Roberto stallions in the US were notable for mean.

                  Bold Bidder was Nasty, and his nastiness was also passed down to generations of his stallion sons. Not all got it, but a good number did. His full brother, Independence, was also quite a handful.
                  "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                  Thread killer Extraordinaire

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Ribot was reputedly easy to handle as a racehorse and wasn't particularly difficult until he came to the States. No one really knows the reason for the shift in temperament, but he was originally meant to return to Italy after a few seasons here. When the time came, everyone agreed that trying to ship him back overseas would be downright dangerous for everyone. And thus he stayed until his death.
                    Last edited by Mara; Apr. 6, 2013, 01:54 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mara View Post
                      Ribot was reputedly easy to handle as a racehorse and wasn't particularly difficult until he came to the States. No one really knows the reason for the shift in temperament, but he was originally have been returned to Italy after a few seasons here. When the time came, everyone agreed that trying to ship him back overseas would be downright dangerous for everyone. And thus he stayed until his death.
                      One would suspect that the amount of exercise that these guys got while racing compared to the amount of exercise that they were given as breeding stallions might make a huge difference in temperament. They no longer had the opportunity to blow off frustrations through maximum exertion. Elite Race Horses have to be extremely competitive and probably usually come with dominant dispositions.

                      Silver Ghost had Halo as damsire. Isn't he one of the most notorious of modern day stallions for mean?

                      This is an interesting thread:
                      http://www.thoroughbredchampions.com...in-TB-history?

                      Alleged was famous for mean as a breeding stallion, but when he won his second Arc, he was surrounded by fans who plucked hair from his tail and were neither kicked nor bitten.

                      BTW, when Ribot died, a necropsy was done and a brain tumor was found. It was thought that he may have lived for years with a constant headache, along with any direct behavioral consequences of the tumor.
                      Last edited by vineyridge; Apr. 5, 2013, 10:26 PM.
                      "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                      Thread killer Extraordinaire

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm lucky enough to be friends with the gentleman that rubbed Hoist the Flag. He was an evil SOB, mounted the Man O' War statue at Belmont, bit every horse in a race one time.The stallion that savaged me was a Riverman out of a Hoist the Flag mare.

                        I also knew the guy who rubbed Nepal. He required body armor and had tie chains on each side of his halter and one under his chin to the front
                        Originally posted by The Saddle
                        Perhaps I need my flocking adjusted.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I don't remember hearing much about how he was on the track but I've heard that the late Real Quiet was quite nasty in the breeding shed.
                          Blog: My journey with two OTTB's

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Nothing stood out to me about Seeking the Gold rewatching the 1988 BC video. They didn't spend much paddock screen time, though. Feature on Kentucky and then a feature on Julie Krone both wedged in between the Turf and the Classic.

                            This is from Woody Stevens' autobiography on Bold Bidder. He took on Bold Bidder as a 4-year-old after an inconsistent career before that. "As soon as I saw him work out, I knew there was a lot of speed in him; what he lacked was consistency. I'd have to gear him up so he'd put his heart into it and obey instruction every time the gate went up, not pick and choose how he was going to run."

                            "He seemed to have been raised obstinate, not caring much whether he won or lost, and that was a habit he had to be rid of, which wouldn't be easy at his age. He had to get feeling pleased with himself when he beat out the field, and he had the class to do it if I tried. So what I did most of was to pay him attention, fuss over him, beef up his responses."

                            Later on about Cannonade, sired by Bold Bidder: "The colt had inherited enough Nasrullah blood from his sire to make him as tricky to handle as Bold Bidder had been in his day. . . he'd bite and kick - not viciously but kind of rough - but it was clear he had the makings of a winner, provided he was trained right." And worrying about Cannonade having PP #2 of 23 in the Derby field and loading early: "He was a fussy animal."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by vineyridge View Post
                              Bold Bidder was Nasty, and his nastiness was also passed down to generations of his stallion sons. Not all got it, but a good number did. His full brother, Independence, was also quite a handful.
                              Bold Ruler was the full brother to Independence: Miss Disco produced 5 offspring by Nasrullah.
                              Bold Bidder was a son of Bold Ruler.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by nasalberry View Post
                                Bold Ruler was the full brother to Independence: Miss Disco produced 5 offspring by Nasrullah.
                                Bold Bidder was a son of Bold Ruler.
                                You're right. Nasrullah on top and a Fair Play grandson as damsire. Seems like a recipe for difficult.
                                "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                                Thread killer Extraordinaire

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  A nice article about Vyjack (gelded due to temperament) who just came in 3rd in the Wood Memorial.http://cs.bloodhorse.com/blogs/horse...of-vyjack.aspx

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I went to Claiborne last summer and I had my picture taken with Pulpit. I thought he was grossly overweight as well. I do body work on horses and I thought he felt like a brick wall. I was sadly not surprised when he died last fall.
                                    Blame was there as well. Agree about Arch and StG.
                                    Was wondering if Tapit will be in that stall now that Pulpit has gone.

                                    Originally posted by dressagetraks View Post
                                    I'm a total ammy on racing compared to many here, but I was really struck by Pulpit when I toured Claiborne during my WEG trip.

                                    I remembered from watching Pulpit's Derby and went back and reviewed it since that he was said on the broadcast to be a handful. Not mean per se, but definitely quite a handful, implied more so than the average racer, and he was one of the ones in the Derby field they were specifically watching for potential meltdown in the hoopla. I think the commentators were talking about his bloodlines and where this possibly came down.

                                    Pulpit at Claiborne was extremely laid back. The groom said when he went to get him that he was one of the most steady stallions there. Any Tom, Dick, or Harry on the tour was invited to come up and give him a pat and get pictures taken. And this definitely was not applicable to all of their stallions, because while we were shown Arch, we were also warned to keep our distance. Arch apparently bites. Granted, Pulpit was also, IMHO, very obese. But still, trying to match his racetrack reputation per that Derby broadcast with his retirement temperament was a stretch for me. He stood there like an old pony and never batted an eye at any of us.

                                    ETA: I have no idea what Seeking the Gold was like on the track, and I didn't see him, though took a picture of his stall door. He was turned out at the time. But the same groom who was praising Pulpit's temperament said that StG was plain mean. In fact, even though retired, he said he hadn't been moved out of the active stud barn to their retirement area so that the more experienced active stud grooms would still be the ones handling him, because they were afraid he might hurt someone at the other barn.
                                    The problem with political jokes is that they get elected.
                                    H. Cate

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by JGHIRETIRE View Post
                                      Was wondering if Tapit will be in that stall now that Pulpit has gone.
                                      Tapit isn't at Claiborne. He's at Gainesway.

                                      I thought of another example. I read an interview with Larry Jones when Hard Spun was racing. He said that Hard Spun was a nice, pleasant horse and he rode to/from the track in the mornings like a trail horse. He said that Hard Spun could easily be a pet. When I saw Hard Spun at Darley, he still seemed like a pleasant horse. The stallions were out in their paddocks when we visited and Hard Spun was one of the few that came to the fence to say hello and be petted.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I remember a Derby broadcast feature from years ago that had Bill Hartack going back to visit Northern Dancer at stud. Northern Dancer was apparently a stubborn handful on the track, and he certainly looked it even as a now retired stud. Can't have been long before he died. Hartack was commenting that he hadn't apparently settled down much in his old age and would probably be just as willing to buck him off if he hopped up there.

                                        I still have the 1997 Kentucky Derby issue of Blood Horse, and I pulled it out this morning to see what they said about Pulpit. They described him as "notorious for his coiled personality" and said he was excused from the Derby post parade, so he definitely settled down a WHOLE lot at stud. In the Derby, Pulpit led a good way, faded to 4th, was found after the race to have an apparently fresh displaced chip in his knee, and underwent surgery. Didn't look like a bad race to me considering.

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