Friday, September 26, 2008

Useful Angle For Auctions?

A not too serious post on the dos and donts of claiming horses by Frank over at That's Amore Stable generated some discussion about awful horse names. That got me thinking...are there any names that are so awful that it would impact potential buyers' interest in purchasing the horses? Never one to avoid an interesting research topic, I'd like to try to answer this question. The study design shouldn't be that hard:

1. Go through a list of horses about to be sold, and select the worst of the worst names.
2. Collect the racing of an unbiased sample of horses sold at the same auction.
3. Compare the racing results of the oddly named horses with the rest.

This could be done retrospectively as long as I'm not familiar with ANY of the horses sold in the auction, since I wouldn't want that to bias which names I select.

Actually, an even simpler study might begin to answer the question:

1. Go through a list of horses about to be sold, and select the worst of the worst names.
2. Compare the auction prices (relative to sire's stud fee) of the poorly named horses with those of all horses in the auction.

In order to do either of these studies, I need a good understanding of what names people really hate. Which horses have such bad names that somebody would be embarrassed to tell their friends if they owned the horse? I polled the folks over at the Thoroughbred Champions Forum to get some ideas of the worst of the worst names. I'll share the list in my next post.

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