What have we learned or seen in Triple Crown 2022 to date - Thoughts of a TB owner and horse lover

I don’t like being disrespectful. But here’s my frustration with your opinions: following the Kentucky Derby since 1975 is not equivalent to boots on the ground experience. Of course, I sometimes forget everyone else doesn’t have 2 decades of “knowing” some of these posters.

I am also frustrated with myself for being very hypocritical— I am continuously irritated when racetrackers do exactly what I’m doing now, which is rudely brush off fans instead of engaging in discourse and education.

My problem with point 1 is that you imply that a $200k colt by one of the hottest sires in KY has poor bloodlines. Then you go on to state the obvious as if it is a great revelation. I know this is where I lost confidence in what you were using to support your opinions.

My problem with point 3 is a general disconnect to how things work in racing. It is one of the greatest compliments in racing to be a “horseman.” This is not a flavor of the month. And I don’t even understand what you are trying to say with the last sentence. Can you clarify that?

Your claim about Lukas in statement 4 was based on an incorrect understanding of how things work and a likely misinterpretation of Lukas’ statement.

I agree Epicenter is gorgeous.

I am really glad you are a fan and so passionate about this. It’s frustrating when assumptions are made about trainers/owners intentions. There are some real a$$holes in racing, but at the same time, what is happening at the apex of the sport each May isn’t as nefarious as you are implying. Not to be the “tone police,” but you haven’t presented yourself as someone receptive correcting wrong ideas. Maybe that’s where I am jumping to conclusions.


The fact that Rich Strike is 3 x 2 to Smart Strike, and that it is unusual to breed that close, is not a matter of opinion. His breeding has nothing to do with commercial breeding vs breeding to race and it may be problematic for a stallion prospect, unlike Early Voting, who has a stallion’s pedigree.

We’ll see.


The “Derby group” also includes a few active TB breeders. Whose opinion most definitely matters, as their like or dislike of stallions affects the stallion’s desirability, location, and stud fee. 3x2 Smart Strike is a not a positive for many, when there are better choices available.

There are many VERY successful racehorses with millions in earnings who get exiled to state bred programs and foreign countries because their pedigrees are less desirable. It is quite true that a great runner can come from anywhere; but as a breeder when it’s your hard earned money and time on the line, you want a very proven female family with sire power supporting the stallion…not merely his own success.


I think what people forget and where the OP holds a strong opinion founded in ignorance is that “commercialism” is ultimately based on racing. Commercial matings are made on the premise that the resulting foal has a high probability to win races.

The problem lies in the fact that the buyers that breeders have to cater to only want to buy a very specific type of racehorse. They either want one of the top 10 proven sires whose fees are out of reach for mere mortals, OR they want to get a piece of the “next big thing” freshman sire. They predominately want dirt pedigrees that will hopefully get them to the 3 year old classics.

Rich Strike has quite a few things going against him on paper right now that make people skeptical he will be “the next big thing.” But I don’t have a crystal ball.


Reminiscent of C.C.to me.


A fair comparison. Although in post-Preakness May 2014, I think Chrome had more going for him on paper than Rich Stike currently does. Comparing their pages it’s six of one, half dozen of the other— both had more to knock about their pedigrees than to get excited about. But by May, Chrome had proved to be ahead of where Rich Strike is now performance-wise with more major wins to his name.

It’s all just speculation. Breeding success never makes perfect sense and most of what we know comes from hindsight.


I think I’ll Have Another is a good comparison, thus far anyway.


What, exactly, is a “ commercial breeder”? Seriously. Would think all breeders who produce animals with the intent of selling them are “commercial” to some extent, “ commercial breeder” seems redundant. Does she mean high volume? More famous?



Since Rich Strike’s dam had no “Monetary value,” he was born and had been passed along. Was she along the way or on the path to Mexico or Canada? I know there are some limited broodmare rescues, but not many. $1,700 is not much for what once was a Calumet may. Just curious, what do the breeders do with the 21-year-old mares in the industry once they use them up and they have “no monetary value?” Thye Zanyettas of the world that the owners love to have a home, but what happens to the rest?

Totally unnecessary, Chill. If you are angry give yourself a big hug. Below is my post . Take care.

On the big Kentucky farms, it’s not unusual to have a “retired mare field”. Even the smaller farm where my mares live has one. Rich Strike’s dam was sold when she was still of breeding age but her former connections hadn’t been able to get her in foal for several years–she was bought in the hope that new connections might do better (perhaps with more diligence than a big farm wanted to offer.)

I take issue with the idea that TB broodmares are “used up”. They are bred most years, but usually have a year off every 5-6 years, if not more frequently (that part being up to Mother Nature). And as TB broodmares they live a life of total equine luxury. I’d be willing to bet that most horses in the U.S, would swap lives with them in a heartbeat.

Zenyatta had owners who enjoyed promoting her on social media. There are hundreds of TB owners who do just as well by their mares but don’t feel the need to advertise that fact to the world.


It’s kind of insensitive and ignorant to assume every non-Zenyatta, aged broodmare ends up on a truck to Mexico. :roll_eyes: Does it happen? Sure. Happens to QH and backyard mares too.

But many of those older, infertile mares end up as hormonally-induced nursemares who are VERY valued and cared for. They are kept as weanling babysitters. A 22yo mare who has kindly raised 8-10 foals makes a wonderful nursemare and is pretty easy to return to lactation. Other farms have a designated “old lady field” where the retirees live out their days. Some end up at auction-- OBS, not the killers-- and are bought to use as leisurely trail horses. Some are given away to good homes (and then may fall victim to a neglect situation, outside of the breeder’s control). And on rare occasions, a failed broodmare is humanely euthanized if she cant be guaranteed a safe, productive and healthy life.


Recall Our M Iims from Calumet Farms, Alyday’s half-sister, and the Three Year Old Champion Filly? She was found on someone’s property starving, with skin and bones, and not in a good situation at all. Somewhere’ at some point her "life of “luxury ended,” she had “no monetary value,” to Calumet and she ended up in a bad place. The person that rescued her started a broodmare rescue farm in her name. I think she has a very different perspective on how the industry treats the older mares or aged broodmares once they can no longer produce and have no “monetary value.”

It is a challenge to rehome the TBs of the track once they start racing. I find it very difficult to believe that every aged broodmare with “no value monetary,” is going to spend her last days in the “retirement band,” of the farm. Sticking only to actual facts and numbers retrieved from reputable sources what percentage of broodmares end up on the slaughter path and what percentage end up in retirement once they have no “monetary value,” and can no longer be used for breeding? Do you know?

No one can promise that every aged broodmare is ensured a soft landing any more than they can promise that when you send your 8 year old child to school in the morning he won’t be shot. But the TB industry–with which you don’t seem very familiar–tries very hard to take care of the horses that support it.

If you have “actual facts and numbers from reputable sources” disputing that, I would be interested in seeing them. If you don’t, then there’s not much point in continuing to throw out scattershot accusations.

What happened to Our Mims was terribly unfortunate. It didn’t happen because her breeders and owners didn’t care about her, however. They both died and their heirs sold off the farm and all the horses. Had they been alive, Our Mims would have lived out her life at Calumet.


This is why trying to have a conversation of opinions can be beyond frustrating and why people often resort to rudeness.

I would hope anyone reading this can tell the OP is grasping at straws to rationalize her opinions. Yet she wants to cling to them streadfastly, even when presented with experience that counters her opinions.


I assume that less than 10 -25% of the posters here on this site are actively involved in the TB industry as a livelihood and business. Please correct me if I am wrong.

I recognize that may be some small breeders here and some trainers. Some of the breeders here may be “commercial breeders” for auction, and others may be bred to race under their “siks” I have no idea how many trainers here race at the more prominent tracks (e.g., Belmont, Santa Anita, etc.). I am clueless about whether the breeders or trainers on this site compete in the Grade 1 stakes or lower-level races ( e.g., claiming races) at our smaller tracks. I have no idea what your level of success is or not in the TB industry. However, for those who claim to be so knowledgeable, please share the “facts” rather than the attacks.

I am far from ignorant about the industry and recognize TB racing for what it is, both for the beauty of the sport and not. Nothing wrong with that. I have had many rescued TBs of the tracks, and I have seen the “other side” of the sport. Like myself most ( not all) of us are likely fans of the sport or amateur owners/trainers. And sharing an opinion not necessarily supported by fact. I have not claimed to be an expert in the industry. However, I have the right to share my thoughts and opinions; some may not agree. To those I say, you are not obligated to agree with my thoughts and comments but respect my right to say it… this is America.

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I’m not the norm by any means, but my last TB broodmare retired at 21 when I couldn’t get her in foal. I kept her until she had to be euthanized at 28 due to an injury earlier this year. This mare was challenging to keep in every way: she would eat you out of house and home trying to keep weight on her, she needed experienced handlers (thankfully her foals didn’t get her quirks), and she had a propensity for catastrophic injuries on the regular. Yet she was spared no expense in my care for her.

Do you know how many times friends told me to sell her, give her away, or euthanize her out of convenience? Jokes about me being a sucker and an idiot were (and still are) nonstop. These are the same friends who will criticize horse industries for not doing enough to prevent slaughter, but in the same breath, they judge me for choosing to provide a home for a “useless” retired horse when I could just send her down the line to be someone else’s problem.


Just out of curiosity, what was her breeding, and what did she produce for you? I am not asking to be judgmental- I am curious about the breeding program for anyone on here. I love reading about EventerAJ’s mares, stallion, and her breeding choices to outside stallions.

Good for you for holding on. I had a gelding that I bailed out of a boarding situation- owner couldn’t pay, horse was starving, and they were going to take him to the sale. He was a 17 plus hand TB gelding. I never actually identified him. He was a horrible keeper, but a gorgeous horse. I showed him once, as a dressage horse.The judge, who was German, said, “this one, he is a powder keg!” But, I loved him. He died here some years back.

Well she produced nothing for me. :rofl: Part of the reason everyone said kick her to the curb. But boy oh boy did I sure try to get a foal out of her. I got her in her late teens after she was already a proven broodmare.


I just brought it up because it was implied every mare who is less than a superstar is at risk of slaughter. Yet ironically, the very type of people who make those claims also thought I needed to get out from under my own broodmare by letting her be someone else’s problem.