Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Whose horse is it anyway?

"The most important single central fact about a free market is that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit."

-- Milton Friedman

A lot of racing topics are discussed on Facebook, but a certain thread took me aback today. The thread had to do with the announcement that Line of David, the longshot winner of the Gr. 1 2010 Arkansas Derby (defeating 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver, among others), was retired and will stand at Spendthrift Farm in Kentucky. What struck me as odd was how several contributors to the thread DESPISED this transaction, as if they had any input on the matter. I'll just show the content of the posts without the names.

#1: Yes he's (Line of David) one of the most non exciting prospects to enter stud in a long time.

#2: He'll be in Oklahoma or South America soon enough. Personally I would cut him (geld him. i.e. remove his testicles) and try to have a nice 4 year old...

#3: Either they thought he couldn't stay racing sound or thought he only had one Grade 1 win in him. Nothing else makes much sense. So . . .Line of David and Battle Plan with, what?, 13 wins between them. Three cheers for fragility.

#1: Until the industry rejects these "one hit wonders" they will continue to leave them intact and allow them to pass along their genes. "He won't stand for a lot" in other words if your mare has ovaries that have produced a runner you get the season for free..

Wow! I wonder how many Graded stakes winners #1, #2 and/or #3 have been involved with? Obviously they "know" what the racing industry needs. My thinking is they know little, except in their own "purple-skied" world. Certainly they know how to disparage other horses, owners, farms, etc.

This deal with Line of David and Spendthrift Farm was a deal made between consenting adults, and we have to assume that the deal was beneficial to all parties. The owners of Line of David probably got a multi-million dollar deal and get to stand their horse in Kentucky, where the best mares are. Spendthrift Farm got a very good looking speed sire with a solid Grade 1 win on his resume'. Line of David gets to meet a lot of female mares. This whole agreement has win-win-win all over it.

Now, #1, #2 and #3 are certainly UNHAPPY, but the beauty of the free market is they can breed to horses like Empire Maker for $60,000 a shot and hope the horse will break it's maiden before it turns five. The beauty of the free market (and in general the world's equine markets have very few restrictions besides capital requirements) is that people get to CHOOSE what they want to do. Please don't hate on people for choosing.

1 comment:

  1. Tony
    I think it's premature for the detractors to predict what kind of sire Line of David will be. His pedigree is not super stellar, but it's not without promise, either. The way Line of David was training up to the Derby, and his performance in that race, lead me to believe his retirement may have been in his best interest. He did have injury issues previously as well.
    It will be interesting to see his progeny in the future!