A Year On -- TrueNicks Scores From the 2008 March OBS Sale of 2-Year-Olds

As a prelude to the stallion study -- which is currently "under construction" as we determine the best way to track all the horses that we have rated by each sire throughout the world -- we thought that it was worthwhile going back and taking a look at the 2008 OBS March sale of 2-year-olds to examine the horses that rated well with TrueNicks from that sale.

A lot has changed in a year. Indeed as BloodHorse.com noted at the time, "news is flooded with negative reports about the American economy" If only we knew how relevant those words were! As part of the Data Digest for the OBS sale, the TrueNicks ratings were displayed for 2-year-olds that had a Truenicks rating of A+ or A++.

In all, 109 of the 460 catalogued hips garnered these superior ratings. This marks a significantly higher percentage than the general population in our own studies but we are continually noting that the commercial population -- especially those that have undergone a prior selection process by being exposed to a yearling sale and then re-offered at a 2-year-old sale -- are generating figures where closer to 25% of the population are earning superior ratings.

It is fairly early to be making definitive judgments of most of the horses that went through the ring that day. After all, we are talking about this group of horses being in the spring of their 3-year-old year and while some showed plenty of speed, this does not necessarily mean that it translates into precocity. Just examining the A+ and A++ rated horses bears this out. Twenty-five of the 109 are yet to see the starter's gate, which is not an unusual figure at this time of their life (just take a look at any second-crop sire's cumulative figures).

Of the 109, however, there are a couple of standouts. The stakes winners that rated A+ or A++ include the top class Canadian 2-year-old Southern Exchange who set a new track record at his first start and won three of his five starts at 2. Interestingly, 12 of the 109 are stakes-placed to date, including Darley's Coronet of a Baron who placed in both the Del Mar Futurity (gr. I) and the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf. There are also a number of promising young horses who have just broken their maiden and look set to contest stakes events over the upcoming months. It will be interesting to look back at these horses later in the year when time has had an opportunity to tell us what to make of them.

That's not to say that we got it 100% right by just including "A+ or better" rated horses. Indeed if we had put the mark at B+ or better -- the rating that we feel is the tipping point of positive sire-line affinities -- the current results would be even more impressive. This cut-off point would have included the West Coast's rising star The Pamplemousse who rated a B+. This colt, purchased by agent Alex Solis II at the sale, heads to the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) this weekend and all going well will then move to Louisville for the first Saturday in May.  

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