The Breeders' Cup races have been run and won for another year and we are really happy to say that we had the good fortune to have some involvement in New Year's Day, the young racehorse that now gives trainer Bob Baffert and his owners Gary and Mary West some 'Derby Fever' after impressively winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (GI).
My business partner Alan Porter at Pedigree Consultants has been advising the breeder of New Years Day, Clearsky Farm, on their matings with this crop of two year olds being the first of his recommendations. Clearsky is now run by the brothers Bernard and Eamonn Cleary who took over the farm following the passing of their father Eamon last year.
Eamon (Sr) asked us to run a Sales Select test on New Years Day as a yearling prior to him selling at the Keeneland September Yearling Sales that year for Clearsky Farm. This time, his genetics and cardio matched up with the pedigree. He had one of the best cardio's that we tested in a yearling that year (a "bullseye") and had a good genetic score that suggested he could get two turns. A $425,000 yearling, he obviously had what people like to see in a yearling and fell to a good judge in agent Ben Glass, but what Ben couldn't see in just looking at the horse was a great cardio and variants we associate with elite performance which also fitted his grand physique.
New Year's Day wasn't the only representative at the Breeders' Cup for us. While he didn't quite find his "A" game in the Breeders Cup Mile (GI), Verrazano retires to Ashford Stud as a highly talented son of the dual hemisphere sire More Than Ready. We've found a modest correlation between high rated horses becoming successful sires and producers so we are really looking forward to seeing the first of his progeny in years to come. Verrazano was in the first crop of horses that we tested at the yearling sales so to have him emerge after testing well for us was gratifying and we are thankful to clients Let's Go Racing.
Having New Year's Day and Verrazano appear in the first two years of testing horses is gratifying and does provide some proof of concept. That said, now armed with more data and a much better understanding of the best applications of the technology (along with a quicker way of sequencing DNA at sales) we are working on some better and more comprehensive tests to find the next New Year's Day or Verrazano at the sales. Stay tuned.