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  • Breeding Ratings

    Here's one to really have you love me, or hate me. But please hear me out.

    I think that horses should have a breeding rating revealed. There are numerous ways to do this via a rating system, similar to the one entered for the jockey's (though I know that's manually done).

    Here are some facts:
    - The best part of this game is breeding. Let's be honest, it's what we all love to do, and it's what generates the site the most money.
    - The bloodlines in this game right now are significantly weaker than when I joined in 2009. It's like night and day.
    - Public breeding and breeders in auction are generating very little for both the owners, and the site.
    - There are less players playing actively today, which means the site could use more horses per owner, but many small stable owners are reluctant to breed.
    - Creates get gelded, like, a lot. And with that cut, so goes many future bloodlines needed to keep the site going for seasons to come.

    Letting people see an A-F score on their horses breeding potential eliminates SO much of that. How many great breeders are lying around that were used only once or twice? The owner stopped because the first one or two were duds. Who in their right mind would keep throwing money into the dark hoping that it was just unlucky? No one.

    What ends up happening is the talent pool weakens because great breeding horses aren't used. Obviously with creates its an absolute shot in the dark, but even with bloodlines it's near impossible to tell what a solid breeder is. I know admin points to hints and things to look for, but on this side of the screen, never seeing how the game works internally with code, it's extremely frustrating. And for every owner who does well at breeding, and finding the right matches, I'm sure they could go back in time and count hundreds of dollars they also spent trying out duds.

    Look at a horse like Crooked Track. Who in their right mind, looking at blood lines and racing career, would have thought THAT horse would be a monster breeder? But it is! How many of them are sitting around?

    I know the site doesn't want to give away parts of the game, but for me this is long-term game breaking. We're having to ungeld horses just to pump in solid blood. Imagine if gelded 50% less creates because of their blood. How many more horses would be on the track long term? How many more horses would people breed?

    Yes, the site will lose the income of people throwing bad money at low breeding rated horses. But they will MAXIMIZE on solid breeding ones. The auctions will be totally relevant again. Public breeding prices will go back up, bringing in income for owners and the site.

    Not to mention, it removes the NUMBER ONE obstacle new players to the game struggle to figure out, but still have to put the most money into. How many have we lost out of frustration of this?

    I brought up auto training (assistant trainer) and jockey ratings in the past. Both were initially thought as giving away too much info, but I think we'd all agree both are positive changes to the game.

    Granted, this idea is much larger. But IMO, with the current state of the site, this is a needed change.

  • #2
    I know the site can't give away too much of how it works. But the fact is, we already are putting money into something that we simply don't understand how it operates. And breeding is the biggest obstacle there.

    To continue to want to put money into something, we have to have faith in it. Or have some semblance of direction. I think this would provide some confidence into breeding, buying, not gelding, and racing.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by South Jersey Stables View Post

      Look at a horse like Crooked Track. Who in their right mind, looking at blood lines and racing career, would have thought THAT horse would be a monster breeder? But it is! How many of them are sitting around?
      Well..... me? lol

      Great post SJS. It's nice to see a well thought out, constructive post here occasionally.

      I don't personally have a strong view either way currently, but it certainly is fuel for thought. It definitely feels at times here we're expected to solve a 20 variable equation by only being given 3 constants sometimes. And I think you're right, missing on breeds can be very painful for the newer and small budget stables. It can feel like it's a right of passage to tip a few hundred dollars into breeds to try and find a few that work well. Again, if that's working as intended then I don't have a string view either way as there are ways around that.

      I will caution that I participate at another site which does allocate a rating to breeders ( a star system ) but only once the horse is retired to the shed. This would see more horses reach the 10 race threshold potentially I guess. But that system has caused more problems than solved honestly, because once you start assigning a grade, people expect them to perform to that grade and that could potentially be difficult to code. I mean, could you imagine parts of the community here if they bred a 5 star Sire with a 5 star Mare and it threw a dud. Oh lord the tears!

      One other aspect is the balance between does the site want to be a simulation or a game? Again I don't have a strong view either way but adding ratings or lots of other adjustments that could be made take it in the game direction and that could possibly attract people, or deter people, just like the current state of the site does the same. I think if admin has a vision changes like this either fit with it or don't and that's where the decision gets made ultimately.

      I also disagree with the weaker bloodlines. I think stables aren't breeding out same Sire/Mare pairs as much, instead owning more of a variety and mixing breeds,I think the prize money is down from some periods in history affecting some stats in that regard. Overall I think the quality of horses on the site has improved, as shown by the work times and track times. Unless this is down to tweaks to the racing engine, it would also be down to better quality horses being bred. Possibly since we now know breeding traits are determined at birth, stables have become better at spotting potential breeders and finding the right pair.

      Again great post, those are just some initial thoughts, but it's worth more thought certainly.
      Jason, owner of Aragon Stables operating out of Perth, Australia

      Comment


      • #4
        I would like to make it a little easier . We do not enjoy people breeding bad horse . That is short term thinking for the site . We want to make the site more enjoyable for everyone . We would consider anything as long as the community agrees by a large percentage - 75%



        now back to Crooked Track - That was a great 1k claim - Both her parents have stake winning offspring . On the mare side you have some real winners . Troll Cody ,Sheza Troll x2, Monti's My Main Man x2 , Trollinandrollin and Trafficker


        ​That is the reason we added another generation to breeding stats . Bloodlines matter . Thanks for the idea lets see the communities feedback .
        Admin.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Aragon Stables View Post

          Well..... me? lol

          Great post SJS. It's nice to see a well thought out, constructive post here occasionally.

          I don't personally have a strong view either way currently, but it certainly is fuel for thought. It definitely feels at times here we're expected to solve a 20 variable equation by only being given 3 constants sometimes. And I think you're right, missing on breeds can be very painful for the newer and small budget stables. It can feel like it's a right of passage to tip a few hundred dollars into breeds to try and find a few that work well. Again, if that's working as intended then I don't have a string view either way as there are ways around that.

          I will caution that I participate at another site which does allocate a rating to breeders ( a star system ) but only once the horse is retired to the shed. This would see more horses reach the 10 race threshold potentially I guess. But that system has caused more problems than solved honestly, because once you start assigning a grade, people expect them to perform to that grade and that could potentially be difficult to code. I mean, could you imagine parts of the community here if they bred a 5 star Sire with a 5 star Mare and it threw a dud. Oh lord the tears!

          One other aspect is the balance between does the site want to be a simulation or a game? Again I don't have a strong view either way but adding ratings or lots of other adjustments that could be made take it in the game direction and that could possibly attract people, or deter people, just like the current state of the site does the same. I think if admin has a vision changes like this either fit with it or don't and that's where the decision gets made ultimately.

          I also disagree with the weaker bloodlines. I think stables aren't breeding out same Sire/Mare pairs as much, instead owning more of a variety and mixing breeds,I think the prize money is down from some periods in history affecting some stats in that regard. Overall I think the quality of horses on the site has improved, as shown by the work times and track times. Unless this is down to tweaks to the racing engine, it would also be down to better quality horses being bred. Possibly since we now know breeding traits are determined at birth, stables have become better at spotting potential breeders and finding the right pair.

          Again great post, those are just some initial thoughts, but it's worth more thought certainly.

          Lol wasn't intended as a knock. Obviously you, you've bred to her. Was more from an outsiders perspective.

          And good points out the system. Everything in a game like this will have people complain. But its like workout times. People aren't happy their horse doesn't live up to workout times, but they get on with it and the game, as they would for this system. I personally see the pluses outweighing the minuses, especially for stables that don't have an income level to afford throwing money around to find something that works. The game should always be dominated by stables that can, but I'm trying to find a way to help people get less frustrated and breed more.

          Thanks for the feedback.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Lone Star Stables View Post
            I would like to make it a little easier . We do not enjoy people breeding bad horse . That is short term thinking for the site . We want to make the site more enjoyable for everyone . We would consider anything as long as the community agrees by a large percentage - 75%



            now back to Crooked Track - That was a great 1k claim - Both her parents have stake winning offspring . On the mare side you have some real winners . Troll Cody ,Sheza Troll x2, Monti's My Main Man x2 , Trollinandrollin and Trafficker


            ​That is the reason we added another generation to breeding stats . Bloodlines matter . Thanks for the idea lets see the communities feedback .

            Thanks for an open and positive response. And I hear you with Crooked Track, but take a look at a horse like my Ticket To Venus. Looks like very solid lines. Two dud breeds. Was it the sires fault? I can't afford to throw money at her to find out. She may be a super breeder with those lines, but there she sits for me at least.

            Comment


            • #7
              First off,

              No less than 8 or 9 of us breed hundreds of horse combinations per season, and then smaller stables breed 9 or 10, and expect a similar result. I have always bred over 125 horses each season since I have been here, that is nearly 1000 horses. For me, I see no problem with the current situation, and those that get lucky with a GREAT breeder out of 5 or 6 attempts are simply lucky, and that's great! Those who invest the most on many occasions yield the most success, but not always.

              I believe I have built up some Orb bloodlines, and a few hybrids with my own new blood, that have become VERY successful, as Orblivion is an example of one of my grassroots cornerstones through the seasons.

              With Creates, its simple..... It takes in most cases a HECK of a lot of creates to get a good one, and if this changes, it would be the WORST thing that happened AGAIN to this site - the "Super Create Destroyer" before my time. I spent a bajillion on creates too, and consequently, many of those are my best breeders over time, AND my worst breeders!


              Breeding Success takes equal parts practice, money, trial and error, and luck.

              Everyone wants a star, and everyone wants to be able to PAY for glory.

              I would contend that the market should determine this, not more information from Admin. What I personally have done is offer VERY successful breeders at affordable prices, and so have a few others. For many seasons, Steve at Royal Oaks offered up 50 breeders all season for $5k or less.

              Then, there are stable sales, auctions, claimers, horse sales, trades, etc.....

              The opportunities abound, but the guarantees do not.

              I like where you are going with this, but I think it should be - like Aragon stated - taken as a "Tip Sheet" more than anything else. We already have enough information from Admin, before the game becomes a money spending race.

              [EDIT - I have 3 friends who are happy as a lark when they were part of the Fairmount Park $3000 and $5000 claiming circuit, claiming 6 year old geldings who ran 1:14:00 at 6F..... This is because they LEVEL-SET their expectations that they were $3000 claiming investors, not Steve Asmussen.

              The game offers an affordable and successful avenue for EVERY budget in my judgment, and this would take a TON of investment away from those who invested in learning who their best breeders are.]


              My best,

              Orb
              Last edited by Orb Farms; 09-22-2017, 08:23 PM.
              - Orb Farms

              Comment


              • #8
                First Off, congratulations on an extremely well presented idea.

                I tend to feel a bit like Aragon on this one in that i dont have strong feelings either way. I think the idea would certainly benefit my stable even though i would consider myself a medium size breeder ( about 50 a year ) i still struggle to breed many ( or any at all if i am honest) top end horses.
                I think it would help newer stables a lot because i believe there are a few wrong assumptions out there on what resembles a good breeder. There seems to be a lot of emphasis on Ave earnings per race and taken by itself it can be very misleading.

                Comment


                • #9
                  There seems to be a lot of emphasis on Ave earnings per race and taken by itself it can be very misleading.

                  EXAMPLE - A YOUNG breeder is perhaps the most difficult to interpret, but:

                  Because I know my own breeders the best, I wanted to look at 2 examples:

                  Orbsanity - 11 Races from 5 horses bred. $8965.45 / Race
                  - 4 Wins, 5 Places, and 1 Show, with the lone non-board-hit race being a 4th place finish by 1 length.
                  - Thus, so far ALL 5 horses bred so far have carried success through their 2, 3, 4 or 5 races. Looks like he can breed speed and maintain class. His best is yet to come in my opinion, and While Orbtation was gelded, it was not necessary - I just got greedy and knew I would see gaudy 1:08.65 and 1:35.50 workouts.

                  However, on the other hand:
                  Ollie The Destroyer - 20 Races from 9 horses bred. Respectable at Just Under $3000/ Race
                  - Looking with more inspection, this breeder has SIX horses with $0.00 earnings, and they are dead. Just one horse earned $46K, misleading the earnings per race.
                  - This is not to say that this breeder is STILL NOT CAPABLE of being a good breeder, or that he cannot produce a Stakes winner....Heck, his pedigree looks SOLID. But on the surface, to Dragon's point, the earnings per race does not "Square" with the "1 for 9" horses producing money.


                  I could NOT agree with the Dragon more......This ALONE has caused me to be nanoseconds away from pulling the trigger on someone else's blood, to grow some diversity in my stable....While I believe it is CRUCIAL to have bloodline diversity (and I know this because the TOP players in history still use some of my breeders, and vice versa), the average earnings per race - if ALL of the earnings came from ONE lucky horse - can be misinterpreted. I look for three things when choosing "outside" blood from my stable:

                  COLTS, not Geldings with earnings
                  A consistent run of form from offspring who tend to maintain their class
                  and MOST importantly, I look THREE Generations back, at pairs, trying to avoid a lot of inbreeding occasions, and I like Mare speed to Colt stamina

                  These are My PERSONAL preferences, and I look for Stakes wins and WINS in general from 3/4 of the 8 to 12 generational pedigree backlog.

                  Everyone has a different way of doing it, but perhaps the LEAST important attribute is the performance of the ACTUAL breeder itself!

                  Good luck everyone, great post....... I was not trying to come off in my response as "If we do this, Digi owes me an $8 million credit backpay due to trial an error before any potential changes because I spend a lot". Instead, I wanted to caution that many of us who spend a lot breeding will need to be considered, if we grow a consensus decision here. I am ALL for whatever the community decides, and I accept change management as part of this and ANY aspect of life....I just wanted to raise the issue from one perspective.

                  Now we have a small, medium, and larger stable perspective, so this is an EXCELLENT post for everyone to voice their analysis

                  Excellent thread,

                  Orb
                  Last edited by Orb Farms; 09-23-2017, 08:28 AM.
                  - Orb Farms

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    To be honest, this was never meant to be a small vs big stable thing. I've lived both lives, with both of my stables, and have put thousands on thousands into the site as well.

                    My real goal was removing some frustrating obstacles that simply make the game less "fun" for players of all levels. Small stables will be able to maximize their dollar, and large stables will be able to do the exact same thing but on a greater scale.

                    This whole thing was triggered by the Ecko situation, where the site is trying to help people get into a solid bloodline. It made me think that the game was designed in a specific way where there are X amount of horses from each breeder that will carry the "good" traits. But as fewer and fewer of those good gene carrying breeders are not being used, either by people not realizing they are good breeders, or by people leaving the game, the bloodlines carrying good traits start to thin out. Subsequently, creates are the only way to "fix" the situation to make sure players are getting race worthy horses, hence the "super create" period. I think that was a short term solution to a long term problem. Site needed good blood to prevent people from getting frustrated as there just wasn't enough traits in the ACTIVE breeding pool to make that happen.

                    Regardless of you being a small or big stable, the big stables are still going to breed more. Instead of thinking you'd be losing an advantage, you'd be getting an equal boost that will allow the bigger spenders to max out your solid breeders, or bring some back out of the hundred you may have hiding in your shed. I don't see this dynamic as "closing the gap" between your discovered skill and new players having information already at hand, but that's just my personal opinion.

                    My entire goal in this was to make the game more fun by helping people overcome an obstacle that frankly no one has ever "figured out," because you simply don't have all the information. We all have theories, but don't know for sure. Truth be told, to mirror real life racing, having something like this adds realism to the breeding game. Anyone in the real life industry knows purely based on bloodline if a horse will have a good chance (not for certain) to be a good breeder. They know if it will like turf, distance, etc, just based on genes. My ownership group has a mare right now pumping out solid racing stock and she never even ran a race. She was just really well bred and didn't develop fully enough for the track due to an injury. And trust me, I know the people who study deep into the game can read into the lines and have a better chance at getting a solid breed than someone just crapping into the wind. I just think this is something that will help rejuvenate the site for the majority of the players and certainly help newcomers stay.

                    -Mike

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by South Jersey Stables View Post
                      Truth be told, to mirror real life racing, having something like this adds realism to the breeding game. Anyone in the real life industry knows purely based on bloodline if a horse will have a good chance (not for certain) to be a good breeder. They know if it will like turf, distance, etc, just based on genes. My ownership group has a mare right now pumping out solid racing stock and she never even ran a race. She was just really well bred and didn't develop fully enough for the track due to an injury. And trust me, I know the people who study deep into the game can read into the lines and have a better chance at getting a solid breed than someone just crapping into the wind. I just think this is something that will help rejuvenate the site for the majority of the players and certainly help newcomers stay.
                      -Mike
                      I have owned race horses and have bred many. Mike is correct that bloodlines do give an indication but only an indication of what a horse might produce. The more I think about the rating idea the less I think I like it. Just like real bloodlines one can also get an indication from DD bloodlines. Adding a rating scale takes that skill away from the game. I agree with Dragon and Orb that some may place too much emphasis on one particular aspect...i.e. avg. earnings per race or per offspring, etc. Just like those who put the time into thoroughly researching a claim the same research needs to be put into selecting our breeding based on bloodlines.

                      The one area we don't have a pedigree to go by are creates. They are quite frankly a crap shoot. I'm still not sure I like a rating system for them either though...although I could be open to something minor...maybe something along the lines of what Lone did a couple seasons back where he bought 100 creates and culled them based on racing potential to the top 50 or whatever number it was and sold them. Perhaps something that simply indicates whether a create has a better or worse than average chance to be a good breeder would work but I'm against having a scale of this one is a 10, this one a 9, etc.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I agree with having some sort of scale to judge breeding. I don't have a lot of breeders but have acquired some with some good bloodlines that have not produced. In fact my only breeder producing stakes horses is Steadyshegoes which was a create filly from my first season that I believe never won anything better than a 12k claimer and ran well worse times than the standard 10900 13600. This makes me wonder how many great breeders could be going to the glue factory when they could have produced top tier horses on the track.

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