Monday, October 13, 2008

Oops...Blood-Ex Going Ahead After All

I just received confirmation from the folks at Blood-Ex that they will be going ahead with their launch over the Winter after all. The two members of their team that have been publicly identified (Valentine Feerick and Nick Carthy) are both still involved, and they intend to update the website soon. That's definitely good news, as I'm very interested in to see things play out.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Very Quick Update

When someone asks a good question in the comments on an old post, I'm never sure whether they'll see my response if I address it there. Winston asked whether I'm going to have trouble with my study of how lousy horse names impact auction prices, because most two year olds sold at auction are unnamed. The answer is a resounding 'yes'! I hadn't realized how few are named prior to the auctions, so it will take quite a while to find enough that have lousy names for any kind of study. I probably won't bother.

I've mentioned baseball and fantasy baseball a few times, mostly as an excuse when I don't post for a while. My inspiration for starting Thoroughmetrics was the statistical research that's been done in baseball over the past 25 years or so. As an example of how strong the predictive value of that analysis can be, I just won a car by coming in first in a fantasy baseball competition with over 14,000 contestants. While the details are different, I'm using the basic statistical techniques in my analysis of horse racing, and I expect to find similarly valuable results.

I'm also going to have agree with Winston's assessment that Blood-Ex failed before it ever launched. Their website hasn't been updated since the end of June.

Friday, October 10, 2008

AEI and CI Revisited

A few weeks ago I wrote about an idea I had for calculating AEI and CI by crop. It turns out that one part of what I wrote was accurate - things are rarely as straightforward as they seem in statistical analysis!

The reason I want to calculate AEI and CI by crop is to see what kind of crop to crop correlation there is for AEI and AEI/CI for sires and evaluate the value of these measures as predictive statistics.

It does look like there's a way to do this, but it's more complicted than I had anticipated. First, I'll need to calculate my own version of AEI by crop based on following a group of stallions data through The Bloodhorse's 'Leading First Crop', 'Leading Second Crop', 'Leading Third Crop' lists. Basically, I'll figure out average earnings per starter in each of those crops.

Then I'll need to figure out the CI for each crop for those sires. I should be able to do this by using the following formula:

Crop CI = ((Total CI * Total Starters) – (Previous Year’s Total CI * Previous Year’s Total Career Starters))/Starters In Crop

Basically I'll be looking at changes in career CI from year to year, and based on the number of starters in this crop compared to the number of career starters the sire has had, figuring out what the CI for the current crop would have had to be to impact the career CI by the amount it changed by.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Unraced Mares and Unraced Sires

Starting today, Scot Gillies' blog at The Bloodhorse will be featuring a series of mares for sale at the upcoming Keeneland November Sales. He's looking for reader input, and one of the questions he asked in regards to today's feature mare is 'what do you think of unraced mares'.

I'll give my opinion on that here. Most horses, regardless of breeding are relatively unsuccessful on the racetrack. Certainly most are not successful enough to warrant much interest as broodmares. So statistically, you have to go on the assumption that most unraced mares would not have been good enough to be worth much for breeding. This is even more true once you consider that they may have remained unraced due to soundness issues that they could potentially pass along to their offspring. No matter how well bred, I would assume an unraced broodmare should be a cheap broodmare.

An obviously extension of this line of thinking is that an unraced stallion is NEVER worth trying out. I don't care that he's a son of Storm Cat out of a top mare. The odds that he would have been successful enough to warrant a career at stud are incredibly low...certainly never high enough to justify an expensive breeding experiment.