Reflections: More Yearlings With Four White Feet; Spendthrift Farm Has Two That Are Tops; Mendel Was Right Regarding Coat Color; Dr. Eslie Asbury Talks About Genetics, Daily Racing Form, 1952-05-09


view raw text

REFLECTIONS 1 By Nelson Dunstan i iMore More Yearlings With Four White Feet Spendthrift Farm Has Two That Are Tops Mendel Was Right Regarding Coat Color Dr Eslie Asbury Talks About Genetics GeneticsLEXINGTON LEXINGTON Ky May 8 8During During recent years the horse with four white feet has come in for considerable discussion in this country Our fore ¬ fathers had warned us to avoid such a horse by writing poems jingles and ditties against them But then our grandparents warned us about other matters which through the process of time and knowledge strike us as ridiculous to ¬ day They told us always to avoid the first foal of a mare and for many years buyers of yearlings scanned the catalogue to make sure thay would not bid on first foals Then along came many horses to refute such a theory and Equipoise was just one of the many good ones The latest is Hill Gail who just last Saturday won the Kentucky Derby Hyperion was not the first great horse with four white feet to win important stakes but he was the first to make us moderns sit up and say What is all this tommyrot about horses with four white feet Our breeders tried and tried to buy Hyperion and failing that they bought many of his sons including Alibhai The latter begot the ill fated Your Host a speed ball if there ever was one and once again the theory of four white feet was knocked out of con ¬ sideration siderationA A few days back Leslie Combs n master of Spend ¬ thrift Farm showed us two yearlings one after the other and both have four white feet You are likely to hear much about these youngsters before the Keeneland sales for they are beauties in all that the word implies One is a chestnut colt by Heliopolis Gallawood by Sir Gallahad m and the other is a chestnut filly by Alibhai Durazna by Bull Lea In pedigree they are perfection itself and in appearance it would take a man who knows a lot more about horses than we do to fault them The Alibhai filly would stand out in a big group for besides the four white legs she has a white blaze from the forehead down to the mouth All of these white markings on a rich chestnut coat is going to cause many Ohs and Ahs when she is sent under the auctioneers hammer What immediately struck us was that the colt is by Heliopolis and the filly by Alibhai and that both of these sires are by Hyperion who also had four white feet Hyperion is Englands greatest sire and he has sent us some fine sons but it looks as if his like begets like even extends to the four white feetAny feet Any discussion of coat color or markings of a horse brings Gregor Mendel and his laws to the fore once again Some breed ¬ ers have refuted Mendel as they have Bruce Lowe and his figure system in which he classifies mares Mendel was right more often than he was wrong according to many students of genetics Shrimpton recently stated it this way The Men delian laws have now successfully withstood 80 years of time test By them we know that the characteristics of inheritance beads of a necklace upon the chromosomes which in turn are determined by invisible genes that nature places like the form part of the nucleus of the foal to be Without befogging you with veterinarian jargon these genes make up every factor of character in the unborn foal Thus there are genes for color of coat and eyes speed temperament stamina shape of hock and length of pastern There are undesirable genes that cause breaking of blood vessels wobbling and roaring while there are yet others that are responsible for two factors Thus the embryo is entirely the product of the genes it has received from both its sire and dam at the moment of conception There are a huge and yet completely undetermined number of various combinations that the genes can form Sometimes those of the sire are predominant while at other times nature swings the balance to the dam damMany Many of the theories superstitions and beliefs such as A horse would be found wanting if not of the same coat color as his sire have gone by the boards as the science of genetics has progressed and on the race course horses with four white feet have won stakes recently Dr Eslie Asbury prominent Kentucky breeder gave a very fine address on The Small Breeder and his remarks are of interest to everyone interested in the thoroughbred In part he said Many breeders are not aware of the fact that in recent years great strides have been made in the fast developing science of genetics As you know there have now been discovered a few certain definite laws of genetics These laws have been formulated after the fact They have been formulated from observation of what happens with certain types of matings Of course there are many many theories but we can forge them until out of them has come something definite What one wants is an accumulation of a certain type of performance In order to get this quality in high proportion of matings one must have as many superior genes of the same kind on both sides of the pedigree as possible If one must in breed probably the safest way is through great mares provided everything is favorable For example this year I bred Brownian by Sickle whose dam was Selene to Ali ¬ bhai by Hyperion whose dam also was Selene Many great breeders have used this method with their founda ¬ tion mares and have had great success successWhile While it has little to do with coat color or genetics Dr Asbury concluded his address with some remarks that are of in ¬ terest to the thousand and one people who think or dream of the day they would become a small breeder of thoroughbreds He said In conclusion I should say that after the requisite amount of capital the small breeder needs mast of all intel ¬ ligence and sincerity of purpose The rich man who starts into breeding and racing in a dilettantish sort of way more or less a cocktail party impulse is certainly not going to have either success or satisfaction out of the enterprise A sincere person will attempt to find out all there is to be known about this fascinating sport which is at once an art a science a business and a recreation particularly to sportsminded people after their gameplaying days are over A sincere person soon learns to separate the wheat from the chaff He learns to seek advice from competent people and he pays attention to the often prof ¬ fered gratuitous advice of his many friends and wouldbe friends And above all he learns to be detached about his own bloodstock He learns that the keynote is stop loss and that thatContinued Continued on Page ThirtyOn REFLECTIONS REFLECTIONSBy By NELSON DUNSTAN Continued from Page Forty Fortyall all his geese are not swans and that he must be prepared to get rid of bad animals as soon as possible He learns that it is not enough to obtain knowledge but he must also learn how to apply this knowledge to his own particular animals and problems

Persistent Link:
Local Identifier: drf1952050901_40_2
Library of Congress Record: