Sep 072019

Bloodhorse – The Jockey Club Exploring Book Size Limits

Phil heard a rumour that the the agents for the Thoroughbred Stallions’ Union have hired a few legal beagles to file a grievance with the Jockey Club for failure to consult. Maybe they can hire away a few of the obstructionist lawyers from BC and we can finally get a pipeline built.

BNN Bloomberg – CP – Kane – Trans Mountain faces new hurdle as federal court allows six challenges

Phil has a question:

Since when has consultation started to mean money.

“But the plans were on display…”
“On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”
“That’s the display department.”
“With a flashlight.”
“Ah, well, the lights had probably gone.”
“So had the stairs.”
“But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?”
“Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.”
Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Sixty Minute Man

The Thoroughbred exists because its selection has depended, not on experts, technicians, or zoologists, but on a piece of wood: the winning post of the Epsom Derby. If you base your criteria on anything else, you will get something else, not the Thoroughbred.

Federico Tesio

The agents representing the stallions want to remind us that their recent complaint should be taken seriously as the stallions aren’t no twitter patter twits like that Bozo who keeps degrading the White House and that fool who degraded the heritage of the Raiders.

The stallions wanted you to know that it’s been inaccurately assumed that they’d be fans of teams with names like Colts, Broncos, Mustangs or Stampeders.  Most of the colts and stallions are Raiders fans and long for the return to the glory days of Kenny the Snake Stabler and that dumpy slow guy who played quarterback. Some of the trendy east coast stallions favour the Pats, but all stallions agree that if the US ever goes to war again please dump Donald and get Bill to lead us.

CBS Sports – Sullivan – Antonio Brown agrees to contract with Patriots reportedly worth up to $15 million hours after Raiders grant release

ESPN – Agent: AB ready to ‘fit in, work hard’ for Belichick

The stallions would like to thank Keeneland for their improvements to their barn area.

Bloodhorse – Eric Mitchell – Barn Improvements Earn Positive Reaction at Keeneland

My father kept me busy from dawn to dusk when I was a kid. When I wasn’t pitching hay, hauling corn or running a tractor, I was heaving a baseball into his mitt behind the barn… If all the parents in the country followed his rule, juvenile delinquency would be cut in half in a year’s time.

Bob Feller

Murder in the Red Barn

Seems that the top stallions believe that unlimited books of mares after a spectacular racing career are just compensation for enduring years of arduous training, tough competition, drugs that they were never consulted about, being put to the whip and thousands of fans who only care how good your last race was. Not to mention the oft times humiliating, degrading names that belie the noble heritage of the thoroughbred. What colt wants to be named Kitten’s Joy rather than Roaring Tiger.

Take away that reward and why would a colt want to run his heart out. The oats are just as good win or lose. What’s a colt gonna do with a shelf full of trophies, plaques, vases and trays. A colt can’t buy a Ferrari with his winnings. Where’s a colt gonna hang a Picasso.

The colts and stallions are also a tad miffed that they are never consulted on the penalties doled out to the cheaters who fill them full of unwanted unnecessary chemicals that taint the proud heritage of the thoroughbred.


ProPublica – Miller – How Kentucky Gambled for Hundreds of Millions of Dollars From a Broadband Program It Didn’t Qualify for

The stallions want the public to know that the Broadband program did them no good.

We that walk upright on 2 legs seem to think that we’re the only ones that can communicate. If we could speak coltese we’d soon learn that once a colt hits the training barn the first thing he hears about are the Top Stallions who get retired after spectacular racing careers and get to live their retirement in palatial surroundings where they get to do it with a couple of hundred different partners a year. Run your heart out, win a few majors and retire to a life of making babies with a selection of the top prospects every year. Of course you have to be able to produce a couple of winners along the way, but even if you don’t your get a few years of superb salacious action.

And you thought that they run their hearts oat for an extra handful of oats after a victory.  That might be different if they ever got a plate of beet risoato after a victory.

Wild Thing

Phil heard that the stallions think that this idea of capping the number of mares at 140 stems from too much bourbon being produced in Kentucky. Gotta admit this idea sure sounds like the kind that sounds good at 3:00 AM when you’ve hit the bottom of the fifth a few too many times. Unfortunately, those mentioning this idea don’t seem to have give it a rethought a couple of days later when their eyes were less bleary and their brains more cleary.

In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

Yogi Berra

The Top Stallions understand better than we who walk on only 2 that bureaucracy is pervasive throughout human society and not just limited to government. They know that Ronald Reagan’s famous most terrifying 9 words in the English language –  “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” extend to bureaucracy of any type. The Top Stallions may not be able to get around as much as they’d like but they’ve heard that there are no monuments anywhere in the world dedicated to bureaucrats or committees. Stallions come from herds where there is only one leader of the pack and no useless committees of 13 that come up with 13 ideas to waste horsepayer dollars justifying their existence.

Wild Thing

I’m not a fan of the NCAA. I don’t think they make decisions for the kids. They make decisions for bureaucracy and for their structure.

John Calipari

The stallions understand that bureaucracies like politicians like to create problems where none exist then come up with solutions for the nonexistent problem that guarantee the expenditure of scarce resources to guarantee their own existence. The stallions shake their head and snicker every time they hear Donald Trump who they refer to as a jackass talk about building a wall to keep out the immigrants who want to come to the US, work and prosper when the far bigger problem in the cities are the hundreds of thousands of homeless who either won’t or can’t work and are a drain on the economy rather than a driver.

Rolling Stone – Stuart – Why Can’t California Solve Its Housing Crisis?

Fuck Me Pumps

Bureaucracy is a giant mechanism operated by pygmies.

Honore de Balzac

When the stallions heard the rumour on the cap of mares that they can service they hoped that the bureaucrats proposing this measure would give it some serious consideration in the light of the day when their eyes were less bleary and their brains more cleary. Then they realized that this idea wasn’t the result of too many fifths of Pappy Van Winkle. That’s when they called their agents to get their legal pieces working on a judicial review of this proposal based on failure to consult with the stallions.

The stallions have spoken to their agents and the question the stallions asked that was not answered in any of the statistical mumble jumble or platitudes emanating from the Jockey Club is has the diversity of the thoroughbred actually declined since the early 1900s. With pedigree records that go back to the time that Columbus sailed the ocean blue some statistician somewhere should be able to determine is diversity is actually declining. When the stallions hear the mumble jumble about foal crop size and platitudes emanating from the jockey Club without historic statistical analysis of the actual ratios of diversity the stallions highly doubt the veracity of the Jockey Club’s claims.

The mythology surrounding the breeding of thoroughbreds is pervasive. A few of these myths are the astonishing stupidity of the dosage system, the absurd overemphasis on the female family, and the irrational belief in the validity of nicks. 

John R. Gaines

Racing Post – Eric Mitchell – Early opinions mixed on American Jockey Club proposal to limit book size

TDN – TD Thornton – Industry Split on Proposal To Cap Stallion Covers at 140

Do You Love Me Now

The stallions unlike the bureaucrats proposing this measure want to know if this measure will achieve what its goals are. The stallions see the goal as producing the best and most diverse thoroughbred crop that the US can produce. The bureaucrats may mouth those same words as their goal but we all now that bureaucrats goals are to create busy work that begets more bureaucrats doing bust work as infinitum.

From what Phil can garner the stallions are free market small “c” conservatives who don’t want interference in the breeding market. They heard from their Russian comrades that communal farms may have sounded like a good idea but were an abject failure.

There are certain characteristics that define a good chimp mother. She is patient, she is protective but she is not over-protective – that is really important. She is tolerant, but she can impose discipline. She is affectionate. She plays. And the most important of all: she is supportive.

Jane Goodall

Honky Tonk Women

The first thing that the stallions want to ascertain is if lack of diversity is occurring in the US thoroughbred industry. Second they want to know if the large books of the top stallions are creating the problem. Third they want to know if the lack of diversity is actually a problem.

Girls marry for love. Boys marry because of a chronic irritation that causes them to gravitate in the direction of objects with certain curvilinear properties.

Ashley Montagu

Whole Lotta Love

The key question the stallions also want to know is what are the bureaucrats getting at when they talk of lack of diversity. Are they speaking of the lack of diversity in only familial terms or are they speaking of the lack of diversity in terms of characteristics like stamina, speed, durability, size, confirmation, precociousness, tendency for EIH, ad infinitum.

The stallions understand that you may have familial diversity, but if all the families have the same traits you are not getting trait diversity.

What the stallions see is that the bureaucrats are proposing a 140 mare cap for Top Stallions without even defining the problem they want to solve. The stallions have seen so useless many government committees and bureaucrats start programs that don’t work and the stallions don’t want their reproductive curtailment to be another of them.

Simplicity is a great element of good breeding.
Fanny Kemble


Although the stallions don’t have opposable thumbs and can’t work a calculator or a keyboard they understand that thoroughbred horse breeding is not a simple arithmetic equation. If the Jockey Club has learned the formula and can show that their 140 mare cap will improve the thoroughbred population in the US, then please share the formula with the rest of the breeders. Thoroughbred breeding is more difficult than performing Chinese linear algebra with variables to the ∞ power using Roman numerals and trying to get an answer.

The Stallions have seen the movie Twins.

Lady Marmalade

I sighed. I hated the maze of bureaucracy with a passion, but I’ve found the best way to deal with it is to smile and act stupid. That way, no one gets confused.
Kim Harrison

The stallions have also looked at the practical problems that the bureaucrats don’t understand.

Limit the book of mares to 140 and the breeders will use favorable nicks to try and maximize their chances of breeding a winner and in the process concentrate familial inbreeding exacerbating the alleged problem of lack of familial diversity.

Limit the book of mares to 140 and the breeders will breed to less popular sons of the sire they wanted doing absolutely nothing to improve familial diversity and introducing more inferior stock into the market place.

The stallions have seen Escape Clause this year and last and there’s a couple of them vying to meet her next spring, but they’ve also seen that breeding inferior stallions to common mares produces A tracks runners and Graded winners as often as Canada’s 4 western province produce Escape Clauses.

The Top US stallions mostly stem from the Bold Ruler and Raise a Native lines, but in the last few years we’ve seen an influx of Northern Dancer sires coming  back from Europe, a reemergence of the Hail to Reason Line, the Caro line becoming more influential and members of the Bold Ruler and Raise a Native line returning from other jurisdictions with female crosses that are not prevalent in the US.

Phil like the stallions says let the market decide.

Gold Dust Woman

I have tried lately to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dull that it nauseated me.

Charles Darwin

The stallions would like to thank the Jockey Club for maintaining live cover rather than going to delivering a message in a bottle like them inferior jiggies do. No stallion wants to sit in his stall waiting to be milked like Clarabelle the cow. A stallion wants to be ready for some action and to get it on and stallions don’t even need a gong, but they do ring a few bells.

For All The Cows

In any bureaucracy, the people devoted to the benefit of the bureaucracy itself always get in control, and those dedicated to the goals the bureaucracy is supposed to accomplish have less and less influence, and sometimes are eliminated entirely.
Jerry Pournelle

Phil thanks the stallions for giving him the exclusive on their proposed class action suit for failure to consult and wishes the stallions long and prosperous careers.

Tiny Dancer

On behalf of the thoroughbred racing bettors and fans who again were not consulted Phil thinks that this Jockey Club proposal is ill-conceived. One of the most common complaints from fans and bettors alike is the early retirement of racing stars to the breeding shed. Put a cap on the number of mares a top stallion can service and you’ll push the owners to retire more stars prematurely. With a cap on the number of mares a top stallion will need to be retired as a weanling to earn the same as they would now. With a cap you’ll need more stallions so more of the stars will be retired early.

Thoroughbred racing is having a tough enough time competing for the entertainment dollar as it is, take away more of the stars too early and you’ll exacerbate a problem that no one is rushing to solve right now.

Phil like the stallions says let the market decide.

It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.

William Shakespeare

Only in the darkness can you see the stars.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Man on The Moon


Phil M Stockmen

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