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Information about Thoroughbred Racing

What are those numbers on my OTTB's pedigree?  Not the obvious number of races run and money earned (if s/he was lucky enough to be "in the money"), but things like "Dosage Index" "Center of Distribution" etc.  In a nutshell, it's basically a mathematical formula that predicts how well-suited a particular horse is to short vs. long distance races (i.e., a sprinter vs a longer distance horse) Here are some links to very good tutorials on those subjects: Clicking on a link will open a new window.

Explanation of Dosage, (Bloodstock Research Information Services, Inc.) - includes a list of sires that are considered "Chefs de Race" which will add points to a horse's score.

Dosage in a Nutshell,

Beyer Numbers, Daily Racing Form - these would be listed next to a horse's name in the racing form and are meant to be a tool for bettors to determine a horse's potential in a given race. The higher the number the better the horse in terms of race class and earnings potential at a given distance and track.

What is an "Allowance" race vs. a Claiming or stakes?  What does it mean to be a "Graded Stakes" horse?

Understanding the Types and Classes of Horse Races, Horse Racing

An Explanation of the Graded Stakes Process, Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association

Graded Stakes Races (US), Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association

You know you have a Thoroughbred that raced, but you have no idea who s/he might be?  There is help available! And, even better - that help is FREE.  The Jockey Club Information Services offers a tool that can help you to identify your horse based on his or her tattoo.  You do need some basic information such as color, sex, markings and some of the letters to use the online tool. If the tattoo is completely illegible, you can take photos of your horse, including photos of the tattoo and good clear photos of distinguishing markings/whorls and send it to the Jockey Club for help.  You can watch a video and find out more about the fine art of reading tattoos on the link below:

Tattoo Lookup and Research, The Jockey Club Registry

If you do know your horse's registered Jockey Club name, you can look up your horse's official race record (including charts and videos if the racing was recent, though you do have to pay for the videos) at - this is a free service and it is accurate.  You can also look up a full official pedigree at for free.  Equineline is part of the Jockey Club Information System, so you can be certain it is accurate. There are other pedigree sites out there, but they can be edited by anyone and are sometimes incorrect.

A good article, written by Heather Benson, about ways to look up racing history of your horse - lots of good links and advice in this article: Who Was Your OTTB in a Past Life,

Training Resources for the OTTB

Retraining Thoroughbreds for Dressage, article by RRTP founder and President, Steuart Pittman in Dressage Today, January 2013.

 Dressage for Ex-Racehorses session at the Pennsylvania Horse World Expo, February 2012:

The Thoroughbred: The Original Sporthorse - our guide to finding an Off-the-Track Thoroughbred for Dressage, Amber Heinzberger, USDF Connection July/August, 2012

New Track, New Life, a free online guide by Thoroughbred Placement Resources Founder and President, Kimberly Clark.

100-Day Thoroughbred Challenge Videos:

Follow the progress of four very different, yet also very typical retired racehorses as they undergo 100 days of post-race training at Dodon Farm Training Center in Davidsonville, MD. December 1, 2012 - March 10, 2013.

Gunport (2009 filly, 1 race, unplaced, last race was approximately 6 months prior to start of challenge)
Day 1:
Week 2:
30 days:
Gunport was lame due to a kick to the hock on the day we videoed the free-jumping sessions.

Alluring Punch (2009 gelding, 10 starts, 1 first, 2 second, last race was 3 months prior to the start of challenge)
Day 1:
Week 2:
30 days:
Free Jump:

Suave Jazz (2003 gelding, stakes winner with 70 starts, 17 first, 16, second, 12 third, last race was 4 months prior to start of challenge)
Day 1:
Week 2:
30 days:
Free Jump:

Declan's Moon (2002 gelding, Eclipse-award winning 2 year old in 2004, Derby Favorite in 2005 until injury sidelined him, 18 starts, 6 first, 2 second, 2 third, last race was 4 1/2 years before the challenge started)
Day 1:
Stone bruise kept Declan out of work during the second week, so no video
30 days:
Free Jump:

2012 Retired Racehorse Trainer Challenge:

Great instructional video from Trainer Challenge participant, Eric Dierks, of his first ride on OTTB Brazilian Wedding:

And Eric with Brazilian Wedding about 2 weeks into training:

Jumping for Ex-racehorses (PA Horse World Expo, February 2012):

Health and Soundness Guidelines for the OTTB

Soundness Issues with Retired Racehorses: - American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP)

In-Depth: Joint Therapies - The Horse's review of Joint Therapies session (not specific to TBs) from 2011 AAEP  Convention. NOTE: requires (free) site registration to download entire article.

Racehorse Topics - The Horse's publication of 2010 AAEP Convention session on track surface relationship with fatalities and injuries, bone chips, angular limb deformities and other race-specific research. NOTE: requires (free) site registration to download entire article.

Behavioral Issues in the Retired Racehorse:

Transitioning the Retired Racehorse to a New Life - Presentation by RRTP board member, Erin Pittman at 2010 Maryland and 2013 Pennsylvania Horse World Expo (also includes some hoof care and nutritional issues)
Black & White PDF, 6 slides per page 
With Speaker notes, no photos

Hoof Care:

Hoof Care: The Horse's review of the 2010 AAEP Convention session on hoof care including vet/farrier teamwork, hoof crack repair, and heel support. NOTE: requires (free) site registration to download entire article.

Proper Physiological Horseshoeing: What is it? How do we apply it? - Stephen E. O'Grady, BVSc, MRCVS

Underrun Heels in Horses - Vance Glenn, Practical Horseman

Successfully Shoeing the Thoroughbred Racehorse, via American Farrier's Journal:

Saddle-Fitting (Stubben) for Thoroughbreds:

Nutritional Guidelines for the OTTB

Change in Career may Necessitate Change in Diet - Kentucky Equine Research

Feeding Afer the Finish Line - Kentucky Equine Research

Feeding the Broodmare

Transitioning the Retired Racehorse to a New Life - Presentation by RRTP board member, Erin Pittman at 2010 Maryland Horse World Expo (also includes some hoof care and behavioral issues)
Black & White PDF, 6 slides per page 
With Speaker notes, no photos