Letter To The Editor: John Ed Anthony On The Disappearing ‘Throwback Horse’ – Horse Racing Information


The Brett Beasley letter of June 9 was so finish in the analysis of the adjustments in racing because the 1970s-’80s that I should produce to say “Amen.” Our Loblolly Steady was energetic throughout that period (1972-’95) and liked some good results: three Champions and 100-in addition stakes wins mainly at household in Arkansas and New York.

On the other hand, by the 1990s it was needed to disperse Loblolly to dissolve a marital partnership. Loblolly disappeared and Shortleaf Steady appeared. (I mature trees for a living­ to find the money for to race horses.) Both equally endeavors have to have tolerance and prolonged-time period dedication.

Just after a dozen several years of Shortleaf racing only a number of head, my pedigree analyst son Ed (skilled by Bill Oppenheim) inspired me to get critical yet again in 2010.

What I promptly recognized was how distinctive the sector had become in the 15 decades considering that Loblolly was dispersed and specially considering that I entered the activity 50-furthermore decades ago.

The most important big difference I noted was how rigid present day trainers have turn into about insisting on weeks and even months among begins. This is totally opposite to how Hall of Fame trainers operated in the “old times.” We’ve regarded and raced against some of the greats: Woody Stephens, Allen Jerkens, LeRoy Jolley, Laz Barrera, Mack Miller, Jack Van Berg, and many others.

I remember Conquistador Cielo in 1982 successful the Fulfilled Mile on Monday and the Belmont on Saturday for Woody. Indeed, in 1980 our colt Temperence Hill ran a few races in 13 times for Joe Cantey his third was profitable the Belmont Stakes. “Lazy SOB,” I recall Joe commenting.

Cox’s Ridge at 3 in New York in 1977 from August to November ran nine periods, successful 8 stakes with races spaced at 15, 12, 16, 14, 14, and 12 times. He was normally loaded with 130 kilos in the handicaps. He experienced 27 starts in two-moreover yrs. But, he was not a Winner. Seattle Slew acquired in the way, but he was a fantastic sire.

We could go on and on with Champions Vanlandingham, Prairie Bayou, and a great number of many others creating sound in the course of that era, all following the identical plan. Doc Lavin in Goshen, Ky., was a significant variable in our achievements. Clever male. Excellent counsel.

Just one can generally conjure aberrations to the norm to make a place, but the patterns of earlier racing are extremely various from nowadays. Even so, even with the trainers’ new suggestions, the horses never run any more rapidly, keep audio any extended, or present any significant advancement from 50 several years back. Racing followers are lacking about 50 percent of what they once savored in racing. I have provided up seeking to change their designs.

And breeding was pretty unique then. Syndication of stallions was 36 shares. 4 breeding legal rights were reserved for the farm. Then the Breeders’ Cup arrived on. Four additional seasons. How will the stallion at any time go over them all? Vets uncovered and devices enhanced. Credit score to John Gaines for his ahead thinking in racing and breeding, which was opposed by just about all main gamers. Tradition.

But far more than any other transform is that the media covers the gross sales and amplifies their importance far much more than racing. Of study course, which is exactly where the advertising and marketing dollars is. Breeding to race is passé and only a couple of do that presently, unlike the before period when racing was king and the product sales were considered to be for the significant breeders’ discards. Professional breeding and income now dictate industry affairs and product sales horses are a great deal enhanced.

I also recall the profits of the 1970s and ’80s. Most purchasers sought only pedigree and often by no means seemed at the horses on the catalog webpage. Excellent for Loblolly. Cantey had us concentration on the “splendid individual” with pedigree as a secondary thing to consider with Doc Lavin advising. Cox’s Ridge and Temperence Hill ended up the benefits. Before long, conformation and scope became the order of the working day and now prospective buyers primarily hone in on the very same horses. We now largely increase our have horses at Stone Farm, a bluegrass institution in the Hancock custom, and at McDowell Farm in Arkansas.

I’m nonetheless self-assured that the “throwback horse” will prevail disproportionately to their quantities, but that will not mean it is a balanced natural environment for the industry in the extended expression.

John E. Anthony, President
Shortleaf Steady, Inc.
Incredibly hot Springs, Arkansas


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