Juvenile Handicapping by Sire


For a long time now I've been trying to figure out how to handicap Juvenile maiden races. The hard part is to figure out what their pedigree brings to the table insofar as how mature the colt/filly is at that point. And while we know the characteristics of most sires (Dynaformers are turf horses; FuPegs like running long and on the lawn) none of that really applies at the 2yo age. There are two major factors at play on top of the usual considerations, maturity/size and the rate of growth of the colt/filly. Other factors don't exist (usually) since most juvenile races are rarely more than 7f and are usually on the dirt/synthetic.

So I took a look at the Juvenile Sire list and attempted to distill what I could from the data available to the public.

So here's the raw data: Juvenile Sire Breakdown (There's also some stuff in there that I look at just to see value for breeding purposes, but just ignore that)

I've presorted the spreadsheet for Starters, just to show which horses have had the most success at getting horses to the track. I'm using that as a measure of size. Second is Winners, which I use as a proxy for maturity. The increase of those two accounts for the rate of growth of a sire's progeny, which is not reflected here, as it is a one time snapshot .

Now the win percentage is the most important thing, in my mind. Once you see which stallions are putting a high number of runners on the track (meaning that they tend to be further along in their growth) you really get a picture of which ones are doing a good job producing winners at a young age.

I think a correlation can be drawn between total runners, winners and win %. While the traditional Juvenile Sire Rankings only take into account total winnings of 2yo progeny, that, in my mind, does not directly equate to which sires are most efficient, or even most likely to win in any race. For instance, whatever horse wins the Breeder's Cup Juvenile will make their sire skyrocket up the Juvenile Sire List. But does that make it a good bet? Especially when you really need to look at 2yos as a different subset than general runners. So, with that taken into account, these are my new rankings:

Name Strs Wnrs Win% Handi. Value Handi Rank
Scat Daddy 47 18  38.3% 24.89 1
Exchange Rate 30 16  53.3% 24.53 2
Songandaprayer 37 16  43.2% 22.92 3
Hard Spun 39 16  41.0% 22.56 4
Street Cry (IRE) 41 15  36.6% 20.49 5
Tale of the Cat 32 14  43.8% 20.13 6
Henny Hughes 28 13  46.4% 19.04 7
Macho Uno 28 13  46.4% 19.04 8
Tribal Rule 30 13  43.3% 18.63 9
Grand Slam 33 12  36.4% 16.36 10

 

Handicap (Handi.) Value = (Starters + Winners) * Win%. Honestly, this came out even better than I expected. Scat Daddy is without question the best Juvenile Sire this year and everything else makes sense as well. Henny Hughes drops from #2 in the TB Times rankings to #7 here, but that jives too, since 20% of his earning come from one colt (She Digs Me). All this really does is try to eliminate the big dollar winners and determine which sires are actually going to produce winners at all levels regardless of class.

I'm not sure if this helps or not, but I think it is a better ranking for handicapping purposes at the 2yo age than just the regular ranking or even the general sire listings. Unfortunately, you cannot do this for a general sire list since you end up with too many variables between surfaces and distances.

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