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Just down the electronic pike at Boojum’s Bonanza, the Boojum had a discussion of Frankel and his staying potential in the light of his pedigree, which is both very good and not limited for stamina.

Discussion of physique and the stud potential of the European champion brought the following response from me:

Frankel, in conformation and in motion, is as good as his record on the course. And I believe your reading of his pedigree is in keeping with his physical ability. He is uncommonly talented, both strong and fast. The issue, from the statements of those closest to the colt, is the concern that he is headstrong to a fault, and only the most careful handling and training have kept Frankel on track to show his best time and again, rather than allow him to become a tearaway who runs himself into the ground repeatedly, shortening his career and making him “only” a sprinter.

Their handling of Frankel is important to his expected career as a stallion because he will retire to stud as one of the most desirable stallion prospects in many years, and that should give him the best opportunity to become as good a stallion as he can be. His stud career may or may not be a mirror of his racing career. They are not the same things.

That goes for mares, even more than stallions, because they have so few opportunities to prove themselves before the limitations of health and expectations begin to limit things for them. For instance, imagine if a stallion’s stud career depended on only 10 foals, which most mares are lucky to produce.

So Zenyatta is trying to buck the odds in a very difficult game by producing foals of extremely high class and ability from the beginning of her production career. Since there is no stallion of equal proven ability to Galileo in the States, I’d have made him my first choice for the mare. Without any proof from Frankel at stud, he would still rank highly as a prospective mate because of his outstanding ability and speed. But another son of Galileo, Derby winner New Approach, may prove of equal interest if the Mosses should choose to send their prized mare to Europe for covering.

Could there be a better reason to allow AI than the absurdity of needing to cross oceans to breed horses on different continents? It is expensive, dangerous, and upsetting to horses and the people closest to them. Et cetera.

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