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Need opinions about breeding two former racehorses

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  • Need opinions about breeding two former racehorses

    Hello all!! This year fate brought us two horses that we love dearly. One is a stallion named "Slip Me A Mickey" and a beautiful mare named "Lady On A Run". They were both former racehorses. We are hoping to breed this spring. I don't know much about this horse racing business yet but the pedegrees did have some horses I was familiar with like Bold Ruler, Secretariat, Northern Dancer, Mr. Prospector, Danzig, Caller I.D., and the like. Some of the other horses in the bloodline I know nothing about though. I was just wondering what anybody thought about this match up and if there would be any chance that we should think about racing the foal of this breeding pair. Thanks in advance. I'm in the learning stages of all this.

  • #2
    What do you hope to do with the resulting foal? Any registered thoroughbred can race but a foal from this mating is very unlikely to be successful at the track. Think of it as buying lottery tickets. This one is one in a million chance of making money. Buy one that has a 50/50 chance.
    McDowell Racing Stables

    Home Away From Home


    • Original Poster

      Well since you say my horses are complete duds and worthless I guess I won't breed them. I just thought there may have been some small hope there but I guess not. Thanks, I guess. I would be stupid to have a foal with absolutely no chance to ever win a race.


      • #4
        I did not say they were complete duds or worthless. There is always small hope but why settle for small when you could get big hopes elsewhere for the same amount of money?
        McDowell Racing Stables

        Home Away From Home


        • Original Poster

          Because I prayed and they came to me by chance. I didn't seek them out, and it was the strongest gut feeling I've ever felt in my life about anything. Like I had to do it. But here I am asking other people's opinions which make me doubt.


          • #6
            The golden rule in breeding is breed the best to the best and hope for the best. Coming in a close second is never breed unproven to unproven. That said, if you are willing to care for the resulting foal regardless and would not be gambling the grocery money on sending it to the track, go for it.
            McDowell Racing Stables

            Home Away From Home


            • #7
              Because you prayed?

              Don't rely on chance. There are enough racehorses in the world. Geld the stallion and ride them. They will be much happier animals that way, and you will enjoy them more!

              I see distances. Most times more than one. Sometimes I pick the right one, sometimes I pick the wrong one, and sometimes I close my eyes and let Jesus take the wheel.


              • #8
                Since you posted this in sport horse breeding, I would've guessed that's what you were after -- a sport horse. What do the pair look like? Are they well-balanced with good legs, etc,? Do either one show a talent for dressage or jumping? Perhaps before breeding them, find out what they're good at.


                • #9
                  No one wants to dash anyone's dreams -- but knowing a bit about what needs to happen to make your dreams come true (entails) can help you prepare to get there. If you know all this - consider it a PSA for others:

                  TBs are readily available (needing a home) and fate comes every day to any horse shopper in the form of an nice TB. A large number of thoroughbreds ex-racers are looking for homes across the US. Check out any CANTER or other reputable re-homing / second career organization's website and you can get stallions, geldings and mares for little money or free.

                  Before breeding and putting foals on the ground - please realize it takes buckets of money to support the foals / train race horses -- otherwise you are looking for someone else to support the offspring - or the feed lot to clean up the mess.

                  If you have a breeding that will create a fabulous sport horse - go for it. But it's always a gamble. - Stepping off soap box...
                  Last edited by Justa Bob; Dec. 30, 2012, 03:17 AM.


                  • Original Poster

                    Ok, I get the point. I just shouldn't breed these two. I have 4 horses. Two TB's, One Appendix, and one pony. These horses are well taken care of and other than my kids they are my life. Since I was a little girl I thought I would have a Derby horse and since these two came into my life this year I thought there might have been a shadow of a hope but I guess it was just a silly childhood dream. Anyway thanks for your responses and bringing my head out of the clouds. I guess I had too many losses this year and was just looking for some kind of hope in these two horses to produce one foal that no matter the outcome would be loved and become part of the family.


                    • Original Poster

                      I really wish I would have never started this thread but I saw another one that had so many positive things to say about their racehorse breeding that I thought maybe to get some support here but all I've done is ended up in tears. Please stop posting to this thread or how do I erase it or something. I'm new here today.


                      • #12
                        No one wants you to feel badly, and feeling a childhood dream slipping away is painful. I always wanted a black stallion (gee, I wonder where I ever got that dream from) and now that I breed my own horses, that would be the last thing I want. I know your horses will love you for caring for them forever. If you do decide to get into racing/breeding, you need to find a mentor who has done this and excelled at it so it has the best chance of success. That is one expensive hobby, as if horses alone aren't. l wish you the best this holiday and am sorry if it feels like your parade got thunderstormed on.


                        • #13
                          Maybe try moving the thread or a similar one to the racing specific thread. There are many many knowledgeable persons that even if their opinions are contrary to your hopes or conflicting to your dreams who are simply trying to share their experiences with you and perhaps help you to avoid some of the more difficult learning paths they have traveled to get to where they are today.

                          I think someone said it perfectly breeding is always a gamble and hence why most choose to stack the deck breeding the best and most proven to another equal. Even then its risky.
                          "I would not beleive her if her tongue came notorized"


                          • #14
                            Posters here are giving you the benefit of YEARS of experience. No one wants to hurt your feelings or dash your dreams, but one thing for sure...when you ask a question on COTH.... you WILL get answers!! The cost of raisng, breaking, training all the way to the starting gate is beyond your wildest dream. Even the big breeders are cutting back. Unless you are a millionare, starting with two unproven parents and hoping to make it to the winner's circle is a "Wild Dream". No offense intended...but you did ask. Good luck with your new horses.
                            Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma


                            • #15
                              Reaper, both of your horses have some nice sport horse names in their pedigrees.

                              Neither was anything special on the track.

                              Unless you have a bucket of money to promote the stallion--which includes years of professional training, an extensive show calendar, and an advertising budget--then please geld him and enjoy him as a gelding. Geldings generally have far better, richer lives than stallions, and are far, far easier to manage appropriately.

                              See what they both can do under saddle in whatever discipline you prefer. If the mare really excels and *proves* that she's worth breeding, then you can find a stallion that has performed well and produced well and get a foal out of her then.


                              • #16
                                If you think you have the funds required to breed, grow and eventually race a thoroughbred, and at some point you decide you really want to breed your mare, a good website to help make a decision is http://werkhorse.com/

                                It's free to create an account, and once you do you can access a feature called Mare Match. You enter your mare's registered name and select which area of the country you want to look for stallions in. Of course, the program will only show stallions that are sponsored on the website by their owners, but it will give you a good idea of which bloodlines nick well with your mare's. A good nicking match means your chances of (hopefully) producing a successful racehorse are increased compared to if you just bred 2 horses randomly.

                                Like others have said, it is not a business for the faint of heart and shallow pockets. And there are literally hundreds that come off the tracks every year that have poor chances of getting second careers, so please do think about your commitment to any offspring you might produce before deciding to breed your mare. Best of luck with your new horses!


                                • #17

                                  Is your mare Lady on a Run, 2006 California bred by Momentum out of Lady Snerd?

                                  If your dream or goal is to breed a derby horse, this mare is NOT going to be the one to produce it. She's not. She may be a lovely mare, but she does not have the single biggest thing a racehorse mare needs to produce stakes-winning foals, and that is consistent running talent in her family. I am not being mean or harsh. You can look this up yourself on Equibase.

                                  This mare broke her maiden in a low-level maiden claiming at Beulah, followed by two more wins at a similar level. She had a sister who won a state restricted stakes as an early juvenile and placed in another, but as soon as she met open company (and the ones who matured later), she was unable to continue. Her dam Lady Snerd had solid ham and eggs claiming talent in California, not at all shabby (ham and eggs are good when you're hungry) but for whatever reason her trainers kept running her over her head in allowance company. When she dropped into the claiming ranks, she won or placed. The second dam, Close In, had listed stakes-level talent, never making it at the graded level but winning two listed stakes. There is useful racing talent in the claiming ranks in this family and very occasional low-level restricted stakes talent. Lady On A Run herself is a multiple winner, which puts her in the top 30% of thoroughbreds nationwide.


                                  The level of talent needed to produce a stakes horse is in the top 10% of horses nationwide. That 20% talent differential is massive. To go from a stakes horse to a Grade I stakes horse is to go from the top 10% to the top 2%. Lady on a Run does NOT have this kind of talent, not if her only wins were in bottom-level claimers at Beulah. Neither did her dam, her sister, or her granddam. The genetic capacity for high-level aerobic performance is just not there.

                                  As for Slip Me a Mickey, he does not have proven performance capacity for graded stakes production either. He won two races at a higher racing class than Lady on a Run.....but it was at mid-tier allowance levels, again in the top 30% but not anywhere close enough to the top 10% of talent for stakes/top 2% for graded stakes. If you use him as a stallion, he will throw the ability he has--mid-tier to lower-level allowance/claiming. Not what you're dreaming of! I concur with the rest: geld him, make him into a great riding horse, and have fun with him.

                                  If you want to get into the racing game, you are FAR more likely to:

                                  (a) have a horse who will run, win, and make money;
                                  (b) have fun watching a horse win;
                                  (c) not pay thousands of dollars a year for a horse who is too slow to win

                                  if you start by claiming a mid-tier running horse or by buying a 2yo in training, you can see the level of performance you want. It's also far cheaper to claim a horse already running or buy a young horse than it is to breed your own....they're already grown, they already have a known level of performance, they are already broke and trained.

                                  Another possible way to get a horse with more running potential is to go to the Keeneland January sale and look for an older broodmare in foal to a good stallion.

                                  TL;DR: breed this mare to this stallion if you want, but know that neither one of them will make your Derby dream come true because they just do not have the talent they need to compete at that level.


                                  • #18
                                    OP I feel your pain. Dreams are what life is made of. Especially for those of us who make our living with horses. I have worked with Thoroughbreds my entire life. And have been very fortunate to have owned parts of some very good ones that took us to the “big show”. We have bred and sold 3 in the last few years that showed enough talent to have been nominated to the Triple Crown and one came close to getting the gate on the first Saturday in May. For me the only reason I would like to breed a Derby horse is for the financial reward. Which would give us the financial security to continue to do what we love without constituently having to worry about making the numbers work. It would also allow me to chase my dream of winning The Maryland Hunt Cup 3 times and retiring the Trophy.

                                    But the reality of racing by the numbers;

                                    Breed, foal, raise until the horse is ready to be broken. Doing everything your self not including stud fees cost of the mare. $8-10,000
                                    Breaking done by a pro 150 days $6-10,000
                                    Most likely another 180 days at the track
                                    before getting in the starting gate $13,000
                                    Vet, and other expenses $2-3,000

                                    $29,000 to $36,000 before you will know if your horse is really good enough. And these number are on the low side. IMO

                                    But never let a dream get in the way of hoping or trying! And Derby horses have come from all walks of life. Thanks for posting because you represent a lot of people who feel the same but are afraid to.


                                    • #19
                                      Helen gave a great response - it will be cheaper if you purchase an already broke 2 yr old... or as she also mentioned, go to the January sale and buy a nice mare that is in foal to a proven stallion that already has runners and winners. Having worked on a TB breeding farm, breeding, foaling out, and raising a foal is EXPENSIVE and a BIG gamble. Foals get injured, sick, etc. Need trims every 2-3 weeks from the time they are born until they get shoes as long yearlings. Proper nutrition (not just being turned out in a field with grass and hay) is key as well. So many factors. Then you have to send them off to be broke and go to a trainer.

                                      Say you breed in 2013. You will not have a foal on the ground until 2014. Won't be broke until late 2015 and possibly in races in 2016. That is 3 years of expenses and waiting - all for a total unknown. Huge risk. You could at least minimize the risk by buying a proven mare in foal to a proven stallion that will foal in 2013 - or by purchasing a 2 yr old in training this spring - then you could possibly get it to the races this summer/fall.

                                      Horse racing is fun and addicting. I LOVE TBs and the industry - but it is a ALOT of ups and downs and nothing is guaranteed - you just have to try and minimize risks as much as possible.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                                        What do you hope to do with the resulting foal? Any registered thoroughbred can race but a foal from this mating is very unlikely to be successful at the track. Think of it as buying lottery tickets. This one is one in a million chance of making money. Buy one that has a 50/50 chance.
                                        powerball lottery tickets sound better to me.
                                        Discipline is the Bridge between Dreams and Accomplishments