WHAT ARE THE ODDS YOU WILL OWN A RACEHORSE THIS WEEK?

BY DAVID MATTIA

DID YOU EVER HEAR THE STORY ABOUT A GUY NAMED JOE AVERAGE?  EACH MORNING, JOE AVERAGE WAKES UP, GRABS THE NEWSPAPER AND READS THE OBITUARY PAGE.  IF HIS NAME ISN'T ON IT, HE GETS OUT OF BED AND EATS BREAKFAST.  

FOR THE NEXT TWENTY-FOUR HOURS, JOE'S WORLD IS HAUNTED BY STRANGE ODDS AND STATISTICS AND RISKS INSCRIBED UPON HIS LIFE BY VARIOUS INSURANCE COMPANIES, MARKETING FIRMS AND ALL KINDS OF GOOGLE-ABLE MONEY-GRABS.  EVERYTHING JOE AVERAGE DOES FROM DAY TO DAY IS MEASURED IN RISKS AND PROBABILITIES.  DOES HE SMOKE?  DOES HE DRIVE TOO FAST OR TOO SLOW OR NOT AT ALL?  DOES HE CHECK HIS SMOKE DETECTOR BATTERIES REGULARLY?  DOES HE EXERCISE, EAT SENSIBLY AND WEAR A FIT BIT?  DOES HE OWN A HARNESS RACEHORSE?  

WHOA!  WAIT A SECOND.  IF JOE AVERAGE IS SO "AVERAGE" WHAT'S HE DOING OWNING A HARNESS RACEHORSE?  JOE AVERAGE CAN'T AFFORD TO BUY AND MAINTAIN A RACEHORSE, CAN HE?  UH, WITH PARTNERSHIPS LIKE TEAM ALLARD, HE CAN.  ONE WAY IS TO BUY IN WITH REAL MONEY, AND THE OTHER WAY IS TO WIN THE DARN CONTEST THAT YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO ENTER WEEKS AGO!!!   

READ ON, PLEASE.

Yes, folks, TEAM ALLARD'S  FREE YEARLING GIVE AWAY is coming up.  The yearlings have been chosen, and the odds of YOU being the lucky winner aren't all that bad -- currently about 600 to 1 --  depending on how many people enter their names by draw time.  Sounds like one lucky Joe Average, has a shot at becoming Joe Not-So-Average or Joe Above-Average.  

 

It's totally true.  For the same botanical odds as finding a four-leaf clover without actually looking for one -- and that's a real statistic -  you can own a free share in a Team Allard yearling partnership.  Your odds of winning any one of a number of smaller prizes are even better because Rene Allard and his gang are giving away a whole bunch of groovy stuff.  How about a set of signed Tim Tetrick colors, or an SLS Equine Custom Halter with a Browband or a selection of totally awesome gift bags -- signed by some of harness racing's top drivers?  The prizes just keep pouring down.   

 

So, yeah, in a few days one lucky Joe (or Jane) Average will win the Grand Prize.  They'll get to choose between owning a 5% share in a daughter of Sweet Lou named MY SWEET MEMORY, or owning a 5% share in a son of Bettor's Delight named BETTOR'S ACCOUNT. 

 

Both yearlings were purchased at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale on October 4, 2017.  My Sweet Memory (Hip #117) commanded a price of $50,000 and Bettor's Account (Hip # 123) was collared for $47,000.  

 

So, which will it be, the boy or the girl?   If you manage to punt past that 600-1 morning line long-shot, the odds of you choosing the better horse instantly plummet to a solid 50-50.  If you look up at the tote board, that's what they call even money.  Thereafter, the odds of your "baby" going on to earn money on the racetrack are pretty good too because both horses are bred by the best and hand-picked by the best to be the best.  

 

Basically, there's really no way to lose this contest -- if you happen to win it.  Does that make sense?  Sure it does. The odds, at least in this case, are totally in your favor.  The chance of either horse going on to be a great TROTTER, however, are a million to one because they're both PACERS.  Do you know the difference?  If you don't, you'll figure it all out when you get to pal around with your new peers --  all the other big shot owners who belong to Team Allard.  

 

And, by the way, don't let that 5% thing make you feel like small potatoes.  You're an owner, man.  Remember that harness racing drivers, even greats like Brian Sears or Dave Miller or any one of those guys, are only in it for 5% of the action too.  Think of it as being part of the 5% group -- it sounds very prosperous.

 

So, what are the odds of a juvenile horse going on to fame and fortune?  That's the billion dollar question.  It all depends on a whole lot of things that we'll only partially get to in a moment, but let's digress.  Let's go back to the life of Joe Average.  Maybe it will help us to understand how a little bit of scrutiny and serendipity clump together with a whole lot of luck to create a champion pacer. 

 

On any given day, Joe Average's odds of being struck by lightening are about a million to one.  But, odds can change without mercy.  If Joe golfs or fishes regularly, that bolt of lightning with his name on it is getting a nice second-over trip.  If Joe chooses to pursue those same hobbies on the west coast of Florida where thunderstorms pop up out of nowhere, the aforementioned lightning bolt is getting a pocket trip behind a late-tiring favorite.  Wait a second.  Did Joe Average even enter his name into the Team Allard yearling giveaway?  Odds are that he did not.  Joe Average does not enter contests because he figures he'll never win.  Don't be like Joe Average.  He deserves to get struck by lightning for being so stupid and lazy.  

 

Okay, so, let's say you win this contest.  What are the odds that you'll make money?  What difference does it make?  You've already won just by winning.  Don't get too antsy about it.  Geez, you've just become an instant racehorse owner and a member of a very prestigious harness racing partnership and you already want to name the horse after your grandson?   Ain't gonna happen.  Don't worry about lightening or crazy stuff like that.  Nobody really cares about Joe Average -- that's why he's average.

 

Here's the thing.  Let the chips fall where they may, okay?  Buy yourself some Cuban cigars and a nice smoking jacket.  Sit back and relax in a hammock.  Be content in the knowledge that your "baby" is in great hands, and that his or her possibilities are endless.  Let the other 95-percenters worry about the bottom line.  

 

But seriously, what are the odds that a "baby" will make it to the races?  Which Team Allard baby is the better choice?  Again, it's all about odds and stats that really don't mean anything when you boil it all down. 

 

Let's take this all apart statistically -- just like Joe Average's insurance company would.

 

Bettor's Account, the colt you might pick, is sired by Bettor's Delight.  He's a proven sire.  Bettor's Delight has been breeding for several years and his progeny have done very well.  On the other hand, My Sweet Memory, the filly by Sweet Lou, is what some folks in racing might call "chancy" in that Sweet Lou is just starting out as a stallion.  This is his first crop of babies so there are no stats or odds connected with his ability to sire good racehorses.  

 

While there are no stats for Sweet Lou as a sire, there are other stats that might sway someone towards his filly.  For example:   Sweet Lou took a record of 1:47 and earned $3,478,894.  Bettor's Delight took a record of 1:49.4 and earned $2,581,461.  What does that tell you?  It doesn't really tell you anything except for the basic facts that Sweet Lou's race record is nearly 2 seconds faster than Bettor's Delight's record, and that Sweet Lou Earned close to a million more dollars than Bettor's Delight.   Does that mean his babies will be better than Bettor's Delight's babies?   There's no way to know until the sons and daughters of Sweet Lou start racing next year.   

 

Stats alone can't predict the future, and that there is no way to know if a stallion carries a good genetic deck of cards or a bad deck.  Some of the fastest horses in history have been duds at stud. That happens fairly often.  On the flip side, some really solid stallions weren't exactly stellar performers on the track.  It's not very common, but it happens.  One thing positive that can already be said about Sweet Lou as a stallion is that his foals look good enough to bring in some really big bids from people who know a good prospect when they see one.  Sometimes seasoned buyers have alligator arms when it comes to buying yearlings from a first crop sire, but this was not the case with Sweet Lou.  They didn't come cheap.   Then of course you have your undeniable upside to Bettor's Delight because it's already known that he sires top flight horses.  He's already served notice to the harness racing industry that he is definitely not a dud at stud.  

 

Then there's the matter of sex.  One yearling is a filly and the other is a colt.  Isn't a colt more valuable?  Well, for starters, you can see for yourself that MY SWEET MEMORY cost $3,000 more than BETTOR'S ACCOUNT.   Does that mean anything?  Who knows?  Perhaps there are somewhat less earning opportunities for female horses, but a great filly will earn far more than a good colt.  Remember that both of these horses are staked to various events, and there will be plenty of purse money going around regardless of gender. 

 

Keep in mind that these horses have mothers too -- and that accounts for a whole lot.  It's sad to say, however, that horses don't seem to know anything about the accomplishments of their father or mother of siblings.    A very talented trainer once said, "Don't worry about the damn pedigree.  They don't know who their mommy and daddy are."  

 

MY SWEET MEMORY's dam is a mare named All Memory.  She earned about $75,000 and took a race record of1:54.  That's not too shabby when you compare her to the average mare.   What makes All Memory even more interesting is that she's already had two foals and both are really good horses.  One has already earned over $300,000.   MY SWEET MEMORY is the third foal.  Will she keep the family streak going?  There's no way to know until next year or the year after that, but right now, that's one impressive pedigree.

My Sweet Memory

 

BETTOR'S ACCOUNT's dam is a mare named Art Account.  She only took a qualifying record of 2:02, and she never earned a penny.  We don't know why she failed as a racehorse, but we don't really care at this point because she's a fantastic producer.  She's already had ten foals, and three of them are monsters.  She's the dam of a sub1:48 pacer named Big Town Hero.  He's earned over $478,000.  She's also the dam of That's The Ticket, a 2-year old monster filly who has earned over $268,000, and Hurrikane Jon Paul who has earned $255,000.  Basically, this tells us that BETTOR'S ACCOUNT comes from a rock solid family.  He's got proven breeding on the top and on the bottom.  Will he be a money-maker too?  You'll just have to wait and see.  The odds suggest that he has great potential.

123+Bettor's+Account+Team+Allard.jpg

 

In a sense, yearlings are a lot like Joe Average.   Their lives, careers and futures are all about the odds and perhaps some luck too.  Even if you don't win the grand prize, or any of the prizes, at least you learned a little bit about harness horses and breeding and some of the awesome things that might happen after you become a part owner in a royally bred harness racehorse.  Hopefully, you'll walk away from this page better equipped to enjoy the thrill of racehorse ownership.   Good Luck !