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Looking at Yearlings Part II

I have had a number of inquiries on what we look for in yearlings.

They don't breeze, or gallop, all you get to see the walk and peruse their physical prowess and project their potential, but first and foremost you need to assess their ability to stay sound and handle the stress of a training regiment

I have a number examples to show you:

See right front and right hind.

The right hind does rotate and being a bit close behind can strike left, but the real issue is the right nearly crossing over to the left and foot lands on outside heel.

Imagine such movement at 30 miles per hour.

This is a pretty bad flaw and for those asking it doesn't improve nor does the pedigree supersede this flaw.

This is why $500K pedigree goes for less than $100K, for me even $10K is too much of a chance. Fails.

This extremely well bred horse, below, has a great body, but look at the action behind and up front, specifically how left front puts pressure on left inside sesamoid area behind the fetlock joint, the ankle.

There is already, from what I can see, pressure on those sesamoids, especially the area where the suspensory branch meets is attached to the sesamoid bone, those show up as medial sesamoitis and only with an scan you can see if there is any damage to the ligament itself. This horse has a very small chance to make it as a racehorse, in my opinion. Fails.

The next sample is a bit subtle and a bit more palatable at the right price.

I like the smoothness through the knees, slight rotation on the right ankle. Also, walking on the grass, its different than a level paved surface and harder to see. I do not buy off an inspection on grass.

Also, this chestnut doesn't pick feet too far off the ground, a daisy cutter. Yes.

Love the movement here, relatively little rotation, smooth through knees, again its grass, and I need to see movement on a paved surface but you can see how square

the front feet land on the ground.

This is very good, and would pass inspection and be a strong prospect to handle the stress of racing.

So, when I am at the sales I follow this protocol and horses have to be within these guidelines we have set for a possible purchase.

We still have to see joints in radiographs, throat examination and over all physical specimen.

Good horses come in all shapes and sizes but most have balance and ability to stay sound.

For more information for the yearling Sale at Keeneland contact Bruno at


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