Silver Train Enjoying a Fast Start as a 4th year Sire
In promoting a Stallion to prospective breeders, owners rightfully emphasize money earned, winners, and repeat winners. Also, a “homerun” at an auction for the sale of an off spring at a good price is almost certain to result in immediate outward promotion of the Stallion.
Recently, “Blood-horse Magazine” published a study by Research Today sponsored by the Grayson Jockey Club Research Foundation tracking two additional key metrics valuable in making breeding decisions. These are important if you breed to sell because they will help determine what others will be willing to pay for your foal, but if you breed to race they are invaluable because they will likely determine your profitability not to mention how much excitement, enjoyment and fun your horse will generate for you.
One is Lifetime % of Foals of Racing Age Started. In order to be listed, a sire had to be in the top 200 official ranking for 2012. With the % of horses that reach the races around 70%, leaders in this category are seen to be way above average. Approximately 75% of Silver Train’s foals reach the starter’s gate making him a very attractive choice based on these criteria.
The other key criteria in this study are average starts per starter. The decline in this metric is seen as an indicator of the “decrease in the durability” of thoroughbreds. According to the Grayson Jockey Club study the average starts per year for North American starters have decreased from 11 in 1960 to 6.31 in 2012. It has been under 7 since year 2000. There are many reasons for this decline, but undeniably, one is the soundness and economic viability of the offspring of a Sire. If a thoroughbred is sound, generates modest veterinary bills, and at least comes close to covering its’ upkeep, the horse will continue to race.
Only one 4th crop sire made the Grayson-Jockey Club list because they have a limited number of older horses that are racing. Therefore, it is revealing to compare Silver Train to the top 25 Sires in his Sire Class. Only one stallion has better races per starter rating than Silver Train’s current 11.85 starts per starter. Silver Train’s races per racer number have continued to improve rapidly and were 11.1 three months ago in December 2012
What does this all mean? If you are breeding in the Mid-Atlantic region and you want to produce a profitable racehorse, you should give serious consideration to Silver Train. He is 2nd in PA and 5th in the Northeast based on earnings. He has earned this status even though he is just a 4th year sire. He is also, 2nd in PA in winners, 3rd in the Northeast and 31st Nationally. When it comes to repeat winners, he is 1st in PA and 1st in the Northeast and 4th Nationally.
Couple this with 75% foals of racing age getting to the starter’s gate, 11.85 starts per starter and a fair priced $5000 stud fee, Silver Train represents real value, if not The Best Value among stallions in the Mid-Atlantic.
Henry R. “Hank” Nothhaft