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A++ or F? What Is The True Nick?

Derrick asks: I ran my Shadeed mare, Sweet Shadeed, through Truenicks and came up with an A++ rating with a 23.32 Variant. Yet I ran the same match through another nicking service and came up with an F rating. Why such a huge disparity?

Alan's response: Thank you for your question. We are always happy to compare the TrueNicks ratings with those of other nicking programs and the the Offlee Wild (TrueNicks,SRO) - Sweet Shadeed mating is particularly instructive.

TrueNicks is designed to calculate the rating on the basis of the cross nearest the original parents as possible. It is also unique among nicking programs in basing it's calculation on the actual number of foals, starters and stakes winners bred on the cross, and using data supplied by the U.S. Jockey Club. There have yet to be any stakes winners on the Offlee Wild cross with mares by Shadeed and his sons, nor are there 15 starters on the cross. However, If we look at stakes winners by Wild Again (sire of Offlee Wild) and his sons, out of mares by Shadeed and his sons, we find that there are three stakes winners on the cross. This represents a very significant improvement over opportunity, and thus is TrueNicks rated A++.

The other nicking program in question defaults to the broader Wild Again/Nijinsky II cross, so considers Wild Again with mares descending from Nijinsky II, a much broader and more diverse group. Even at this level, the competing program lacks the data to take into account the number of foals and starters bred on the cross. It therefore computes the cross on the basis of the stakes winners bred on the cross that it is aware of, compared to percentage of Wild Again line stakes winners and percentage of stakes winners out of mares descending from Nijinsky II, that make it into it's data base. The competing program still only finds two stakes winners on this much broader cross, and thus rates it F. The rating doesn't take into account any of the stakes winners bred on the Wild Again/Shadeed cross (the specific cross that the TrueNicks program examines), and interestingly enough, also omits the most prestigious winner bred on the Wild Again/Nijinsky II cross, the South American grade II winner Frairie (who would appear in the TrueNicks report if you run Offlee Wild with a Nijinsky II mare).



What would also be instructive is if each nicking service published their quantitative criteria for the assignment of specific letter grades. That assignment is arbitrary, in general, but does it vary across services (along with the crosses considered as eligible data for computing the nick)? What does a nicking ratio/percentage have to be, in order to be assigned a particular letter grade?

Caroline 16 Dec 2009 1:30 PM

The TrueNicks letter graded were calibrated on a test froup of over 100,000 horses (two coplete North American foal crops).

The actually scale for the conversion of raw nick ratings cane found in the "About" section of this site. truenicks.com/.../about.aspx

Alan Porter 17 Dec 2009 6:49 PM

What does the differences in "Variant".  With A++ True Nicks, there are variants ranging from 7.25 to 46.23.

Woodwin Farms 18 Dec 2009 2:25 PM

Wild Again over Shadeed does get a good VGS of 6.1 based on 2 SWs.

Michael Ventura 19 Dec 2009 1:48 PM

for 2 SW of the wild again shadeed cross, how many failure of the same cross? Does this tool(true nick)integrate this data for the final rating?    

Alex Miceli 30 Dec 2009 2:03 PM

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