What do you do with your late bloomers?

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Ma Springs
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What do you do with your late bloomers?

Post by Ma Springs » 4 months ago

What the title says. Just curious how you all go about it.

Do you train and run them?
Put them in a "wait for improvment" barn and check back every 9 weeks?
GP all claimers and solids?

(I really need to get fewer active horses racing, it's taking a bit too much time juggling the hundreds I've been racing this year. But I have absolutely no skills getting rid of any. Store a bunch of late blooming claimers in my training barn. And since I read a comment from The Steward about a GPed youngster that "would have been great as a 4 yo" I cannot manage to toss a singel one! :o That's the kind of remark that so elegantly fuels any anxiety or hoarding tendencies you might have! Cannot risk GPing my next freak! :lol: No really, please help me. :? )

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Regina Moore
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Re: What do you do with your late bloomers?

Post by Regina Moore » 4 months ago

This is one of those things that I feel it's easy to over-think.

I train and race all my late bloomers along with all my others and start racing them right away. I can't tell that they win or lose any more often than any other horse.

Where I apply that comment is if the horse is doing poorly, or I was able to nab a win right away, but now it can't seem to accomplish anything else. If it's a "late bloomer", then I'll put it aside for a while, until I think the races at its condition level might be softer via attrition, or if it moves up to "progressive" or jumps straight to "peak" when gallops can change (beginning of Week 1 and Week 9.)

Likewise, if I have a "peak" horse that isn't doing well, I'm more apt to retire it then, rather than put it side, since I don't have reason to think it'll get any better.

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Laura Smith
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Re: What do you do with your late bloomers?

Post by Laura Smith » 4 months ago

Race 'em. If they sit in a barn doing nothing, they're just costing you money.

The exception (for me) is the really well bred fillies that gallop poorly. I know they won't be competitive outside claiming company, and I don't want to lose them to claims, so I'll set them aside.
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Tammy Stawicki
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Re: What do you do with your late bloomers?

Post by Tammy Stawicki » 4 months ago

So while certainly there are incidents of horses improving with age it is still fairly rare that a horse is going to improve dramatically. Also worth noting pedigree still matters so while the random slide is definitely a thing some horses are more likely to be successful one day than others. I think there is a balancing act of wanting to make money of your horses and not just sit them in a barn and also not missing out on a potential top horse. Here is how I walk it... and as a disclaimer I run turf milers, paint sprinters and paint middle distance horses. So they are not as nototrious for blossoming latter in life the way routers are

All my colts run at 2. Maybe one day I'll think about showing more patience with wellbred late bloomers but for now I can't be bothered. I will race them where they are competitive which in many cases means claiming races. Also if they are not consistently winning races and competitive in stakes races the terror scissors are coming out. In my years of simming off the top of my head I can think of maybe 2 cases where I latter wished a horse still had his manhood and for all I know the horse never would have been as good if they didn't get the gelding talent boost anyway.

I have recently been a bit more patient with my fillies. Here I will look at pedigree and whether this is going to be a filly that I want in my broodmare band in the future given said pedigree. If it is a nicely bred filly with a sub allowance nonpeak gallop I will park her in a barn to see if she can improve. Even some of the higher gallopers if they aren't winning after a few races will get parked in the barn for awhile. Big reason here is that I have found nicely bred fillies get claimed away from you so I don't want to risk running them in the claiming races they can be competitive in. Once they hit peak if the comment is still low I will again gut check whether I really want this filly in my broodmare band if yes she gets retired if no I'll try racing her at that point and take the claimer risk.

Since the new gallop comments have come out I definitely have seen horses improve (more so than in the past) but so far only one comment. So I think if you have a mediocre bred claimer late bloomer you might as well race it as it is unlikely to ever become a superstar but a decently bred productive/allowance galloper that can't really compete in open company yea throw it in a barn for a bit to see if it can get better.
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Glenn Escobar
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Re: What do you do with your late bloomers?

Post by Glenn Escobar » 4 months ago

I truly don't pay attention to peak/late bloomer comments at any time, in any context.

The reason is simply this. Those comments, while interesting as a new feature, speak only to what the horse may possibly do, skill-wise, relative to where it started and in a vacuum. It still has to be raced against other horses. Which means it needs to be race-placed appropriately and with thought.

I get the idea of keeping an army of claimers in hopes that you have a Freak. But the exceptions I think prove the rule that it doesn't happen often. I mean I own (I think) 9400 horses now so I understand the headaches of managing what, to me at least, is a fairly decent-sized operation. But I still don't put significant stock into the progression comments.

I don't think that these comments, in any direction, are a big enough factor to outweigh correct decision-making on where, when, and against whom to race the horse. So, I just observe them and move along with the horse anyhow.

In that regard, frankly, these are akin to gallop comments. Interesting facts to note on a horse especially before it races, but once it races and until it retires, it's race results are King, Queen, and everything else.
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Dan Kauffman
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Re: What do you do with your late bloomers?

Post by Dan Kauffman » 4 months ago

Glenn Escobar wrote:
4 months ago
In that regard, frankly, these are akin to gallop comments. Interesting facts to note on a horse especially before it races, but once it races and until it retires, it's race results are King, Queen, and everything else.
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Ash Tarasin
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Re: What do you do with your late bloomers?

Post by Ash Tarasin » 4 months ago

I race them. If it gets too difficult finding races with good competition for them I take them off the track and try again when they've peaked.
(Provided they show workout times fast enough for me to bother, obviously).

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Rochelle Zahacy
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Re: What do you do with your late bloomers?

Post by Rochelle Zahacy » 4 months ago

I’m different than everyone above haha

I use custom barns to sort out my Peak/Progressive/Late Bloomer Allowance and below peak horses, and they sit there until they are 4.5yo.

Starting this year I’ve begun only starting stakes+ horses (no matter their bloom comment). I still have some allowance and productive horses from my few couple years that I’ve been racing forever haha but as they slow down they get pensioned :) The only exception to is when I have an Allowance that works at Stakes times.

The burnout was real for me after my 2nd year (I had almost 2000 starts 😳) Some people can have fun and run thousands of horses, not my thing 😉 I’m trying to make my barn smaller and smaller, but it’s tough because my natural instinct is to hoard all the things 🤣

One thing that’s been really helping me is that if a horse didn’t finish on the board in it’s last 3 starts, if it’s under 4.5yo it gets stuck in its Bloom barn, if it’s over they get retired/pensioned.

Another unpopular opinion (😳) I don’t really mess with geldings now that I’m out in the real world, vs in TP or JHP. I’d rather take the money spent and use it on a nice filly. Yes racing geldings will earn you money, but personally, I’d rather spend that time and energy on horses that will be used to expand my breeding program.

Well, I went off on a random tangent...but from one hoarder to another, being strict in your limits really helps with the hoarding and burnout ☺️
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The Harlequins
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Re: What do you do with your late bloomers?

Post by The Harlequins » 4 months ago

The only thing that sits in my barn Ma ,is me :lol:
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Darcy McBride
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Re: What do you do with your late bloomers?

Post by Darcy McBride » 4 months ago

I don't run as big a barn as some, but this is what I do. For the past few SIM years, I have one created barn, which I call the "Holding" Barn, regardless of their comment. I did see one that went from Stakes to Allowance to Stakes in a couple of years, and he was at Peak the whole time. All Claimers and Solids go into this barn after they hit 2 years of age. I gallop them twice a year: at the beginning of the new SIM year, and WK9, to see if any improved. It is rare, but it does happen. I am one of the people who had a "Hard to Tell'" foal (can't remember if it was a Claimer or Solid, back then) leap to a Scary (Freak today). So, now, my claimers and solids sit and wait. I run Productive in claimers, unless it is a well bred filly. I run Allowance & up in non claiming races. On occasion, I will Hold back an Allowance or Stakes if I know it is from a late maturing line. I don't see any sense in ruining their confidence by running them over and over again in races they can not win.

Once they hit 4 or 5, with no changes, or are at Peak, I will geld the colts. Retire and pension, and wait until they turn 5 so I can GP them. Will also do with fillies I'm not crazy about keeping.

Anyway, that's how I have been handling it for now.

It's really up to the owner to decide what is important to them, and how they want to handle it. Sometimes, it takes some experimentation.

Good Luck, Ma!

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Nini Hunter
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Re: What do you do with your late bloomers?

Post by Nini Hunter » 4 months ago

Laura Smith wrote:
4 months ago
Race 'em. If they sit in a barn doing nothing, they're just costing you money.

The exception (for me) is the really well bred fillies that gallop poorly. I know they won't be competitive outside claiming company, and I don't want to lose them to claims, so I'll set them aside.
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Lori Hamill
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Re: What do you do with your late bloomers?

Post by Lori Hamill » 4 months ago

Glenn Escobar wrote:
4 months ago


I mean I own (I think) 9400 horses now so I understand the headaches of managing what, to me at least, is a fairly decent-sized operation.
:shock: :o

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Cleo Patra
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Re: What do you do with your late bloomers?

Post by Cleo Patra » 4 months ago

Don’t forget that some horses won’t improve until they race.

I have all routers. I leave the late bloomers until they are 3yos. Unless they are freaks. The main reason for this is I find the 2yo races are usually deep in talent, but if you wait until they are 3 then the very best horses have usually already broken their maiden. Second reason is a lot of my horses want 10 furlongs plus and busting their confidence in 3 races as 2yos that are too short doesn’t help anything.

The main thing I use maturity for is to figure out when to retire. You’re on a deadline of 2-3 seasons after they hit peak, from what I understand.
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Ma Springs
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Re: What do you do with your late bloomers?

Post by Ma Springs » 4 months ago

Wow, really, thank you so much for sharing! It's food for thought, some different ideas about the subject naturally but I think I can extract a way forward from here. At least it's getting clearer.

Might write a thesis on the Sim some day when I have it all boxed. :P If you ever do... Guess not...

One thing seems clear and that is that claimers and solids often are not competitive even in claim races. And I'm afraid the majority of my ponies that have done ok at Trial Park (two weeks left :shock: ) will struggle outside in the real world. Need to scrap some and find some limits to hold on to! I'm getting there...

(Are routers more often late bloomers than sprinters? Or does it run in the family and the peak time is relative to the length of the career..? Ah, sorry, don't mean to over think it but some of your comments there made me a little curious... Will go have a look in my barn. :) )

Thank you all, love it, taking notes!

Ma Springs
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Re: What do you do with your late bloomers?

Post by Ma Springs » 4 months ago

Frank Chilton wrote:
4 months ago
The only thing that sits in my barn Ma ,is me :lol:
Of course it is Frank! :lol: Hope you have a comfy chair and stay out of the hay! ;)

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