FTISPR20 Recap: OPTIMAL Mating Selections Prove Profitable

optimal mating

Sales Recap

The two-day auction at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium produced numbers on par with last year’s record sale, emboldening the spirits of those involved in the business of buying and selling juvenile racing prospects. From 563 head cataloged, Fasig-Tipton reported 303 horses grossed $23,572,500, for an average $77,797 and a $40,000 median. The 72 horses that went unsold represented an RNA rate of 19.2%.

For the fifth consecutive year, a seven-figure juvenile topped the sale. The sale-topper came during Monday’s session, when Hip 118, a colt by record-breaking champion freshman sire Uncle Mo sold for $1.1 million to Donato Lanni, agent for Michael Lund Petersen. The dark bay or brown colt was consigned by Pike Racing, agent.

The sale marked the first time online bidding was available at a Fasig-Tipton auction; more than 50 horses received online bids, and approximately 15 were sold online.

Back to Normal?

The Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale, delayed two months due to the coronavirus pandemic, opened Monday with trepidation in the air, but the clouds of fear and doubt dissipated and, for two days at least, there was a feeling of a return to normalcy in the industry. The auction featured solid demand for horses at all levels and concluded with a remarkable 19.2% buy-back rate.

Prior to the sale, I had fully expected to walk into a buyer’s market. Man, was I wrong! After vetting and performing cardio scans on six horses and settling on four of them, I was severely outbid on three. Thank goodness for the supplemental catalog because that’s where I finally secured Hip 554, a Union Rags colt from the consignment of Julie Davies.

Bidding was as spirited as I can recall it ever being. Especially, for the right horses. Again, the OPTIMAL Mating Selections pointed to performance potential and those that passed physical inspection and vetting sold extremely well. Those horses were Hips 27, 44, 137, 307 and 554 for me. Here’s how the Short List performed overall:  OPTIMAL Matings (1)

optimal mating
Hip 554 Union Rags colt oo Song Sung True by Unbridleds Song Purchased for Highlander Training Center for $210000

OPTIMAL Mating Analysis

Horses bred on OPTIMAL Matings have proven to possess more potential to become superior racehorses. In fact, most will break their maiden in the first two starts. Combined with a good physical, good vetting and a price that falls within a budget, OPTIMAL Matings help to focus on buying or breeding better racehorses.

optimal mating


OPTIMAL Mating Factors for Hip 554

  • Outcross Percentage = 77% (OPTIMAL >= 70%)
  • Linebreeding Balance = 6 (OPTIMAL <= 10)
  • 2nd Generation Linebreeding Balance = 8 (OPTIMAL <= 17)
  • Grand sire/Grand dam Pair Percentage = 12% (OPTIMAL <= 17%)
  • Gender-balanced Linebreeding Difference = 2 (OPTIMAL <= 2)
  • Number of Dominant Runner Female Families = 7 (OPTIMAL >= 4)
  • Number of Dominant Sire Female Families = 2 (OPTIMAL >= 1)

NOTE: All 7 factors are met.

Key Linebreedings

  • 5,4×5,5,6 Mr. Prospector – gender balanced through sons Gone West and Fappiano and through daughters She’s A Talent and Yarn – similar to SW Bullet Gone Astray (Gone Astray), SW Unionizer (Union Rags), SW Noble Drama (Gone Astray), SW Volatile (Violence), SW Buy Sell Hold (Violence), SW Souper Striking (Brilliant Speed) & SW Lover’s Key (Frost Giant)
  • 5×6 Secretariat – through daughters Secrettame and Terlingua – similar to Unionizer (Union Rags)
  • 4,5×6 Northern Dancer – through sons Dixieland Band, Nijinsky II and Storm Bird – similar to G2W Pretty N Cool (Scat Daddy), SW Unionizer (Union Rags), SW Golden Barows (Tapit), SW Exulting (Tapit) & SW Magical (Tapit)

Whether you are new to the game, experiencing more losses than wins or just looking for a new approach, I am confident that I can help you breed or buy a better racehorse. To find out more about OPTIMAL Matings and how they can help your program, please subscribe to my Blog/News page HERE to receive future information on complimentary mating recommendations, sales short lists, stakes winner pedigree analysis, news on personal client success and any other random thoughts or ideas that I may have. Also, receive a complimentary copy of my report “Blind Luck or Designed Luck? – How A Kentucky Derby Winner Was Bred” sent directly to your inbox.

For inquiries or more information about Shepherd Equine Advisers, please contact Clark Shepherd at 859-321-6618, or by email at clark@bloodstock-agent-ky.com.

I would love to hear any comments or questions that you may have. Please submit them below. Maybe we can address them in a future post!

I offer my expertise as a bloodstock agent, sales consultant, and pedigree analyst to assist in breeding or purchasing superior thoroughbred racehorses through sound pedigree principles, horsemanship, and consistent implementation of well-designed plans. To find out more about how my services can help your program, please contact me at 859-321-6618, or by email at clark@bloodstock-agent-ky.com.

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