For a beginner, pedigree is overwhelming, confusing and seems unnecessary. Even for the experienced handicapper, pedigree is often glanced over with barely a second look. I will admit, at first inspection sire books and dosage profiles are just a bunch of numbers and letters strung together to mean something significant. Once you get familiar with what you’re looking at, these types of pedigree resources are worth their weight in gold. Pedigree is especially important when handicapping route races and two year olds.
Dosage profiles are great tools for route races with no obvious stand out. The profiles will show who is capable of getting the distance and who is not. One example is Altona Road, who ran at Woodbine on July 2, 2009 in the fifth race. He ran a mile and a quarter, winning by three quarters of a length. Altona Road’s dosage profile suggests he was bred to run forever. He proved this by winning at a mile and quarter, Kentucky Derby length. The dosage profile will also eliminate horse from the field; making the handicapper’s job easier. With a high dosage profile, Target Date (who also ran in the fifth on July 2) was no match for Altona Roads extremely low profile. This was proven when Target date crossed the line in eighth place.
Two year olds starting for the first time are always a big question mark, but with a little pedigree knowledge you can find a “diamond in the rough”. Having a look at how the two year olds sire does with its progeny is very important, other then workouts its all you have. How the sire does first out, on polytrack and on turf are just a few of the key elements used to pick out a star two year old. The dosage profile can also shed light on two year old route races. A horse with a low dosage number suggests that it will perform well at longer distances.
Two year old Dashing Debby debuted in The J J’s Dream Stakes, the fifth race at Calder on July 11, 2009. She, the only first time starter, crushed the field by an astounding ten and a quarter lengths. Her low dosage profile suggests she’s bred for longer distances, yet she destroyed the field at six furlongs. Her sire, Medaglia D’oro, is an A sire for first time starts and also produced Rachel Alexander. Both Fillies were recently purchased privately by Jess Jackson and Stoner Street Stables. Seems to me, Dashing Debby is headed down the same path as her half sister, Rachel Alexander.
Lucky for our generation, we have the internet. Learning anything is just a click away. Okay, I’m being cheesy, but it’s true. For varying fees, all the resources you need to understand pedigree can be found online. I recently have invested in a few and am glad I did. They are the driving force behind my many two year old virtual barns. Whether it’s for interest sake or to improve your handicapping, knowledge of pedigree is an invaluable tool for horse racing enthusiasts.