Why would Big Brown's owners race him again after the Belmont?

I read that Big Brown’s breeding rights were sold for about $60 million. If something very unfortunate happens to him during a race, someone will be out $60 million. Depending on how these sale agreements are structured, either the buyer, the seller or an insurer (or even all 3) won’t be happy. Actually, isn’t it financially crazy to even race him in the Belmont? If I was his owner, and someone just paid me $60 million for his breeding rights, I’d ground him immediately.

IANA Horse Breeder, but don’t you think they’ve already gotten quite a few vials of . . . er, Big Brown Stuff on ice? If something adverse happens and Mr. Brown has to be put down, I think the Stuff is still pretty valuable. A horse that’s won the Derby and the Preakness is still a valuable stud even post mortem.

I have no idea really, but perhaps those breeding rights were contingent upon being a triple-crown winner. Most Contracts reported in the media only brush the surface of what’s going on, and report the highest number involved. But the value of the offspring of a crown winner-is worth so much more in visibilty than the offspring of a two-out of three. Perhaps(pulled out of my ass example) the actual rights are structured for 60M if he wins it, but drop to 10M payed if he loses or doesn’t run.

I may have incorrectly assumed that a 3-year old horse wouldn’t be mature enough to produce good “stuff”.

The rules of Thoroughbred Horse breeding require “live” cover, not artificial insemination. (Thororoughbred horses are the only type allowed to race in the Belmont, the Kentucky Derby, the Preakeness and other thoroughbred horse races.)

It is my general impression that not all 3 or 4 year old horses are mature enough to be really interested in breeding, but that’s a separate issue. The big bucks in Thoroughbred horse breeding require live cover.

Thoroughbreds have to be conceived by “natural cover”–that is, not by Big Brown Stuff on Ice. It’s still somewhat valuable for use with other breeds, but he can’t sire another Derby winner from beyond the grave.

Cool simulpost, and I never heard of “natural cover” conception, horse or any other animal.

Keeps supply low, and you can’t go around slapping “Big Brown” on all the vials of horse sperm you’ve got lying around in the freezer.

Not to derail my own thread, but why is “natural cover” so important? Is it to reduce fears of any genetic manipulation? And I’m sure it makes the horse happier vs. a guy wearing a rubber glove.

Upon preview, I think this question is answered.

Because anyone could claim the stuff was “frozen Big Brown” and how could you argue with that? “Natural cover” guarantees that Big Brown is the sire.

I know about this rule, and it made sense in the days before genetic testing, but now that we can determine paternity through a blood test, I kind of surprised that rule hasn’t been changed. It seems like artificial insemination would be safer for the mare.

Sure, but what if something like this were to occur.
Owner/trainer wants a winning horse. Secretly acquires some of Big Brown’s Stuff.
Shoves a fistful into a thoroughbred mare on Tuesday night. Wednesday morning the same mare has a session with a lessor known less costly thoroughbred stud giving you the ‘natural cover’ required for lineage.
There, offspring with genes of Big Brown but the lineage of Slow Truck.

Unless they perform a DNA test on all the thoroughbreds.

Natural cover is important because the Thoroughbred Horse Racing Association (whose title I may have wrong) says it is. I do think that control of supply is a factor–requiring live cover limits a particular stud to covering only so many mares a season.

Still, the Standardbred Horse Racing Association allows (maybe requires) artificial insemination. Standardbred horses compete in harness racing–that’s where they have the horses pull the little surreys around, and where what matters is less how fast the horse can get from point A to point B but how fast the horse can get there while maintaining it’s stride–Pacing versus Trotting.

So I think there’s a certain amount of TRADITION in maintaining the requirement for live cover with Thoroughbreds.

(Note: all my knowledge comes from a couple of visits to the Kentucky Horse Park. I am by no means an expert).

The mares have managed without artificial insemination for – oh, at least a couple of decades. Maybe longer.

Well, that horse (we’ll call it Slow Brown, or UPS for short) would have to win a lot more races to be worth any money. Whereas the live cover foal of Big Brown would be worth more to start out with. Plus, one supposes we could always do testing.

Can you imagine the brainstorming session where they came up with that one?

“Okay, people, take your seats, please. Welcome to Nasty, Brutish & Short, Creative Consultants. What we’re looking for today is a way for Kentucky dowagers engaged in the Sport of Kings to talk about horses having sex. Ideas?”

surrey sulky

Sorry for the nitpick, but I cracked up thinking of surrey races.

Limiting the number of females impregnated by a single male is really quite a good reason, no matter what the species. In dogs and cats, at least, there is some concern among responsible breeders about “popular sire syndrome”. Of course cats and dogs usually have litters, while horses usually have just the one foal a year, but still, it’s something to think about. If a popular sire turns out to have some sort of genetic defect, it might be very difficult to breed that trait out of that breed once it’s become widespread.

Don 't apologize. I knew there was something funny looking about the word surrey,but was too lazy to spend time googling to figure out what it was.

As a matter of fact the stallion is at a lot more risk than the mare. The risk to the mare is pretty minimal. She might be kicked and scraped along the ribs or bitten on the neck but that’s about it. The size and weight of the horse is not a real problem. They are both horses, after all.

A stallion in full sexual excitement is an impressive sight and his extended and erect member is a big target. A mare in heat tends to be a bit flighty. If she is not fully willing her natural reaction to an unwelcome violation is to kick. A stallion with a raptured penis is a dead stallion. A breeder with any sense will gate squeeze and hobble the mare and tease her with some second string horse. The stud gets his shot only when the mare is fully ready, even eager, and pretty well hogtied and confined.

You just don’t let valuable horse flesh engage in unsupervised pasture breeding.