Minnesotan Breeders ‘Minimizing’ Footprint Due To Economic Conditions

by | 08.15.2017 | 6:57pm
Minnesota horse racing

Local Minnesotan breeder Dave Astar relayed to the Star-Tribune that the state's Thoroughbred breeding industry is not set up to be profitable, despite the bonuses paid by the breeders' fund and Canterbury Park's purse-enhancement agreement. He reduced the number of mares he bred from eight down to one in 2017.

“Your cost is going to run $23,000 if you breed and try to sell, and it's about $40,000 if you want to run that horse at 2 years old,'' Astar estimated. “And what do you get? You average $10,000 if you sell it. And if you race, the average state-bred horse in Minnesota has lifetime earnings of $20,000 to $25,000.

“I love Minnesota, I love racing and I love breeding. But you can't do much more with it here. Because of the economic conditions, we're minimizing our footprint in the state.''

Other breeders have been following suit. Though the state's smallest foal crop of 96 was in 2012, and the purse-enhancement agreement bumped that number up to 296 the following year, the overall statistics are still not on pace with those of the early 2000s.

Read more at the Star-Tribune.

  • kuzdal

    What economic conditions would suit?

    To start, you don’t have a product to market. Lots of us have varying degrees of “need”. Minnesota needs more than minimal takeout to shift our attention. Casino subsidies aren’t an answer, unless you’re the CEO.

  • jimmy ski

    This story rings so true to many state bred breeders.they put so much time and effort to bring paltry prices at auction.Without the breeders there is no game but who stays in the game with the chance of making a profit almost nil.I follow the sport but have no good ideas what could be done to help the breeders.

    • Peter Scarnati

      You state, “without the breeders there is no game.” If this were true, the racing industry would be healthy.
      The key to the poor economic conditions in Minnesota and countless other states is the support (or lack of) gambling dollars. That is what drives the entire industry. The simple fact is that without enough fans who gamble significant dollars, the industry simply can’t survive as a viable product.

  • Noelle

    While I have sympathy for any individual breeder who is being hurt in the current racing economy, it does seem that there are far too many horses bred today, Even if racing were America’s most popular sport (and not a niche sport, as Penny Chenery described it in 1973) there would still be too many horses bred. In the 1950’s, an average of around !0,000 Thoroughbreds were registered annually with the Jockey Club. In the 2000’s the average was above 36,000 annually.

    If racing can’t support the (relatively) small number of foals bred in Minnesota, then breeding fewer horses there seems just good sense.

    • Bristling

      You do know the foal crop is way down

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