@2017 by Performance Genetics LLC

The Will to Win

The concept of VO2 max was first introduced by Nobel Prize-winning physiologist A.V. Hill in 1923, who found that the amount of oxygen consumed by his muscles increased as he ran at a steadily increasing pace – up to a point. Eventually, his oxygen consumption would plateau, even if he continued to run faster and faster until he reached exhaustion. That plateau, he argued, represented his body’s “maximal oxygen uptake,” or VO2max. Vo2Max (also maximal oxygen consumption, maximal oxygen uptake, peak oxygen uptake or aerobic capacity) is the maximum capacity of an individual's body to transport and use oxygen during incremental exercise, which reflects the physical fitness of the individual. T

A Racing Post Viewpoint

We were asked to provide a viewpoint for Europe's largest racing paper in the Racing Post, talking about our services and how they can be applied to the Thoroughbred Industry. Click Here to take a look at it. #Thoroughbred #RacingPost

The 2YO Death Spiral

A death spiral is potentially awaiting us. Internationally, there has been a decline in the annual thoroughbred crop with thoroughbred numbers dropping from a high in the mid 1990's towards levels in some areas that have not been recorded since the 1950's. In years to come, there will be significantly smaller foal crops, and without rationalization of racetrack numbers in a meaningful way, racetracks will be putting on races with smaller field sizes which equals lesser betting handle and overall interest in the game, smaller crowds at racetracks, anaemic returns to owners, lower yearling sale prices, lesser foals, and the spiral goes on.... Setting aside racetrack rationalization as an obvio

Black Caviar...not that fast?

Black Caviar, not that fast? That’s a seemingly bizarre statement to make about a sprinter who has just notched her 18th straight win, and was officially rated the best older horse in the World last year. Of course, in making that statement, we are actually indulging in some hyperbole as prelude to making some points about speed in the racehorse, whether pure speed is what sets Black Caviar apart, and how that all relates to the Two-Year-Old in Training Sales (which are just over the horizon if you live in the Northern Hemisphere). This line of thinking was initiated by an intriguing article that appeared on the Australian Courier Mail web site . The article focuses in some of the in-race fr

Mitochondria and Elite Performance

A paper on humans was released last week that outlined some variations in the control region of mitochondrial DNA associated with elite Japanese athletic status. A quick primer - Mitochondria are the cell's power producers. They convert energy into forms that are usable by the cell. Located in the cytoplasm, they are the sites of cellular respiration which ultimately generates fuel for the cell's activities so good mitochondria, in terms of its ability to respirate muscle and make it use lactic acid properly, would ultimately mean better athletic performance. Mitochondria are also involved in other cell processes such as cell division and growth, as well as cell death. Mitochondrial DNA is t

The Equine SNP Chip

In the middle of January on PLOS One, the paper that outlined the development of the Equine 50K SNP chip was released. The chip, or genotyping array, was actually developed back in 2008 and since that time they have gone on to add another 11,000 SNP's to another chip tabbed the Equine 70K chip (even though it only has ~65,000 usable SNP's), which was the technology that we used to complete our genome wide study on athletic performance in thoroughbreds and in turn create the genetic component of the Sales Select report. The 50K equine SNP genotyping array was developed and evaluated on a panel of samples representing 14 domestic horse breeds and 18 evolutionarily related species including a t

The Optimal Distance Test

Performance Genetics is pleased to announce the launch of its “Optimal Distance Test”, a genetic test that uses multiple variations in the equine DNA code to determine the optimal racing distance of thoroughbreds. The test follows the release of the company’s highly successful Sales Select product last year. The test, which is available for all untried stock, yearlings and older, has been developed using the latest genomic sequencing techniques and modeling. Developed and tested on over 800 horses, this new product indicates if the tested horse is likely to be a sprinter or a route/distance runner. “After the launch of our Sales Select product last year, which includes a prediction of both o

Speed is not Class

A lot has been written in the last week in regards to the concept of the ‘speed gene’ and exactly how and when this variant (change or mutation in the DNA code) found itself in the thoroughbred population. Firstly, it must be clearly stated that we don’t take any issue with the science of the paper in terms of how the research was conducted and completed. It was good work. The paper also shows how modern genetics can be useful in solving intriguing questions regarding the history of the thoroughbred, which is something that we believe is well overdue, so at a certain level we are really excited that the paper received such widespread coverage. In addition, the paper also demonstrated how rac