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Can J Vet Res. 1986 Oct;50(4):457-70.

Career profile of the Canadian Standardbred. II. Influence of age, gait and sex upon number of races, money won and race times.


The objective of the study was to examine the career profile of the average racehorse in order to establish normal values for performance. Records of race performance for a population of 762 horses randomly-selected from the 1972 registrations of the Canadian Standardbred Horse Society were summarized to provide annual statistics for number of races, money won, and times for the mile (race times) over the period 1974 to 1983 inclusive. Results were analyzed to determine the influence of sex, gait, age, and year of the first race. The transformation log (1 + X) was used to achieve normality where necessary. The 95% confidence interval for the mean (mean range) for career total for number of races was 21.8 to 69.6. Of the horses which raced, 30% raced 20 or fewer times, 29% raced more than 100 times. Females raced significantly less often than either males or geldings (p less than 0.001), pacers significantly more often than trotters (p less than 0.01). Regardless of the age at which they first competed all horses were raced lightly in their first race year. Mean range for career total for money won was $2,212 to $2,798 (n = 507). Of 507 horses which raced, 65.8% earned less than $10,000, 6.3% more than $50,000. Trotting geldings had the highest mean money won, mean range $2,448 to $38,105. Mean range for money won per race for all horses racing was $67.77 to $74.51. Overall, 58% of horses earned less than $100 per race, 4.5% over $500. Only 4.5% of horses racing met their immediate training expenses. Increase in age at first race was associated with highly significant and progressive reductions in career races, money won, and money won per race. Of 507 horses which raced, 409 or 80% won at least one race and thus acquired an official winning time or mark. Population mean for career mark was 2.126 min (2.07.3.). Population trend in mean mark was for progressive improvement over the ten year racing period amounting to 0.0968 min or 5.81 s. The average horse achieved its best winning time 2.55 years after starting racing, at a mean age of 5.27 years. The results suggest that the best nonwinning time may be a better indicator of potential than the best winning time. For the average as opposed to the superlative horse, number of races appears to be of greater importance than speed.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

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