News came out today that recently pensioned sire Storm Cat will make a semi-comeback, artificially inseminating quarter horse mares for $20,000 a pop.
This announcement brings to mind three questions…
1. Why didn’t someone think to do this earlier?
2. How would this change things in both Thoroughbred and quarter horse racing/breeding if the experiment is successful?
3. Would Walt Disney have gotten a theme park named after himself if his last name was something that didn’t roll off the tongue as easily, like “Blagojevich?”
Okay, the last one really doesn’t have anything to do with the situation at hand, but it is still a worthy question to ponder.
Anyway, I have my doubts about Storm Cat’s chances of duplicating his success on the drag racing circuit.
Though it can hardly be considered an accurate sampling of potential Thoroughbred/quarter horse crosses, the occasional cross-breed will find itself in the gates at Mount Pleasant Meadows. In most instances, the horse will have been sired by a Thoroughbred stallion who I would assume live covered a quarter horse mare.
Of all the instances I have witnessed of cross-breeds racing at Mount Pleasant, I can only recall one finding the winner’s circle – a gelding named Binarebel by local Thoroughbred sire Binalong. This serves quite to the contrary to my general impression of Binalong’s foals, who largely struggled at shorter tracks like Great Lakes Downs, but improved their form at tracks with longer stretches. It will be intriguing to see if Storm Cat’s foals will be able to show that initial burst needed to be successful in the quarter horse ranks after years of progeny bred to run at the classic distances.
It will also be worth keeping track of others following in Storm Cat’s footsteps into artificial breeding when they are no longer able to cover a mare. If he does hit it big and inspires a legion of copy “cats” (ah, puns) to do the same, it will be interesting to see how the quarter horse industry reacts. Will quarter horse stallion owners feel threatened by the potential influx of sires that are not of their kind?
Perhaps AI to quarter horses could also be used as a last resort for stallions whose foals don’t live up to expectations. Even at a reduced stud fee, the chance to recoup a portion of the money invested in a stallion could be worth keeping him around for a few more years. Who knows? Maybe he just missed his calling.
This way too much speculation over a horse that has only officially impregnated one mare.
In other news, the positive reviews just keep rolling in for the blog you are reading right now.
As was announced in a previous comment, my last post was chosen to be on Raceday 360’s “Best of the Wire” list, giving me two in a row. My recent Haiku Handicapper post breaking down the Eclipse awards also drew some notoriety from high places, landing on the front page of Equidaily. Thanks largely to that link, my blog’s view total reached an all-time high in recent days. The good folks at Equidaily even got into the game a bit with the link. Have a look…
Might be weeded out
If style trumped
Finally, this is the last call for voting in my Photo of the Year poll. The winner will be announced and displayed the next time we convene and a new question will be presented for your amusement. See you then.