Lady and The Track | October 21, 2021

Scroll to top


Home » Horses We Love » Why Breeding Doesn’t Mean A Thing In The Triple Crown Races

Why Breeding Doesn’t Mean A Thing In The Triple Crown Races


Dosage Not A Predictable Factor For Belmont Winners

By Derek Simon

Justify pedigree.

Almost since the beginning of time, man has been fascinated by artificial selection — the idea that through careful manipulation of the breeding process, one can achieve a more desirable result, whether that be a better-tasting broccoli, a fatter cow or a seedless watermelon.

In On the Origin of Species, first published in 1859, Charles Darwin wrote: “Slow though the process of selection may be, if feeble man can do much by his powers of artificial selection, I can see no limit to the amount of change to the beauty and infinite complexity of the coadaptations between all organic beings, one with another and with their physical conditions of life, which may be effected in the long course of time by nature’s power of selection.”

But the verbose Darwin wasn’t the only one who believed in the power of artificial selection, or selective breeding.

Sir Frances Galton coined the term “eugenics” (the use of selective breeding to improve the human condition) and his book, Hereditary Genius (1869), was the first to examine superior intelligence and greatness from a scientific standpoint. Heck, even Plato was fond of artificial selection, arguing — in 400 BC, mind you — for state-sponsored breeding programs designed to produce better, smarter people.

Obviously, Plato’s dream was never realized, as a quick perusal of social media on any given day will… (more)