There’s a lot of new numbers being thrown at you in these data tables and I wanted to walk through the process I typically use when looking for a stud. This isn’t the only way to use it, just the most common workflow I go through when looking for a breeding partner and will hopefully give you an idea of how to use all the metrics to your advantage (they’re ALL there for a reason).
Step 1 Have a Plan – Understand the traits of your female and what you’re trying to create with the breed. I won’t dive in to that strategy here, but generally we’re trying to line up traits, limit ancestor potholes, maximize ancestor upside, and generally get to an average trait levels that compares favorably to where you hope to race the horse (our Trait Threshold tool is a great reference).
For this example, I’ll be looking for a stud to match with my best Genesis mare, a Z6 Finney, So Far So Cool. Her Zedge trait line:
We’re going to review these trait scores exactly the same for the stud so good to get use to the process now. First step is verifying the 3 main traits to see how accurate we think they are. This tool is doing it’s best, but it isn’t perfect. It isn’t possible with ZED data so we need to give you reference metrics to spot check.
Start with BA. It’s showing a 58 BA with the average BA of a Z6 being 65. Next step should be checking 16BA and DPBA to see how similar they are. Pretty decent gap there. Having set up the logic (which will be changing shortly), I know the BA metric is using a blend of eBA and 16BA here, despite us having MUCH more data to support the DPBA. In this case, I’m going to trust the DPBA and call this a 61 BA horse.
Next I move to DP. Main metric says 65, which feel is accurate based on my extensive knowledge of this horse. But I still check fDP (flame rate based DP) to make sure it’s telling a similar story. It does here, with both pegging her with moderate long DP, probably in the 2000-2200 range.
Finally VAR, the simplest to check. I’m just looking for overall race total here. With 326 total races, I’m really confident this VAR is accurate. However, if a horse is below 50 total races, you’ll ideally want to head over to Hawku and check the race totals by distance. The more of those races that are in a single distance or two, the better. Having 4-5 races in 9 distances will be far less accurate than if you have 25 races in each of two distances.
Okay, so we’re good calling So Far So Good a 61/65/83. Gives us a solid start in all three categories and some flexibility on what we can create from here.
In this example, I’m trying to create a horse who can compete and win $5 races in Class 2.
Step 2: Check Thresholds – In this example I’m trying to create at minimum a C2 $5 horse. What better way to figure out what that takes than looking at the historical traits of $5 C2 winners (both mean and median):
I prefer the median metrics so I can see I’m going to need at least 60-63 BA and probably 80 VAR in my offspring to compete at this level. DP will be variable here, and I’ll want more BA and VAR the less DP my stud has in order to compete at the higher BA/VAR thresholds in the mid distances. As you can see by SFSC’s traits, she should fare well at 1800-2200 C2 $5 races herself with her traits, so we’re off to a good start. Just need to make sure after the algo degradation, that our average expectation is at or above these thresholds.
Step 3: Setting Your Desired Stud Trait Goals – We know what our mare brings, and we know what we want to create. Now we back into what our stud needs to contribute (based on what we know about degradation in 2.0 and our desired trait outcome). With a 5 point degradation from parent average BA, I know I need at least 70 BA in my stud to maintain an expected BA of 60. (61+70 = 131/2 = 65.5 -5 = 60.5 eBA). Since VAR is my other non-negotiable trait in this breed, and with the degradation closer to -7 with VAR, we’re going to need something special in our stud. A 95 will get us an expected offspring VAR of 82. But we’re now looking for a 70+/X/95+ stud…and those are not cheap!
Step 4: Stud Parents Tab with Filters –
Alright, we’re FINALLY in the stud tool ready to look for our perfect sire. In almost all cases I’m open to bred sires so I like to start in the Parents tab. For a high quality breed like this (it’s all relative), I want to make sure the parent’s of the stud I choose have similar or better traits in case they’re pulled.
Once in the Parents tab, it’s time to set some filters. This is totally a user-choice thing, but I typically set my filters conservatively lower than what I want just in case a unique combination pops up. So for this breed, I’ll set stud races to 100, eBA to 60, VAR to 80, and both mother and father DP to 0-100 (removing short DP) and VAR to 50+. I’ll usually play around with what field to sort by but for this breed VAR is probably the most important…so let’s see what we get (NOTE: if you filter by any parent traits you’ll be omitting all Gen horses as none will qualify, which happened in this case):
Well, there you go. Knew the list would be small with what we were looking for. We also don’t have an ideal option that meets our criteria. At this point we either 1) do the best we can 2) shift our goals or 3) wait for a stud that does meet our criteria. In this example, we’re going to do the best we can…or else this workflow ends awkwardly here:)
I have no interest in paying above min for this breed so I’m down to 3 options:
- Misty Legend – Close to our desired traits, but parents with slight opposite DP, lower VAR, but great BA in his sire.
- Starlet Stone Lizard – suspiciously low BA, meh VAR, same with parents
- Unfolded Lysandra – also suspiciously low BA, meh VAR, but both parents have HUGE VAR hits if pulled.
So it’s easy for me at this point to eliminate Starlet. Worse than Unfolded in every way. So then there was two. Misty Legend probably has the advantage at this point based on the probability of the actual stud’s traits being pulled, but now we want to dive further into their traits (like we did with SFSC) to make sure these are painting an accurate picture. Misty Legend first:
Okay…anything jump out? My first instinct is we need to investigate DP. This horse has a mediocre race total and high VAR making data take longer to normalize. Add that to a fDP that opposes the actual DP AND aligns with both of Misty Legends parents, and I’m highly suspicious that 49 isn’t real. I also see regardless of the BA metric, it’s at best the same as it’s long ability (BA+DP), meaning there probably isn’t very much DP here (at least not 49-worth). From here I check the Hawku finish pattern by distance charts to see how they look next to flame rates. Seems clear to me this horse has very little if any DP. It’s had bad VAR luck in a small sample of short races despite higher flame rates which is lowering it’s short funnel mean speed, throwing a higher than actual DP. Misty Legend is now a 60/0/91 in my eyes.
And now Unfolded Lysandra:
So our biggest goal here is to see if there’s any reason to believe that BA is artificially low due to the horse’s high VAR. The quick check shows 16BA and DPBA almost identical so that’s a solid sign BA is accurate. Our second check is sAB and lAB…for a horse with little DP, these numbers should be similar-ish and fairly in-line with the BA metrics. Another point for lower than expected BA. But if this horse actually had its expected BA of 65, we’d have a real tough choice between it and Misty. Would we take the slightly lower expected VAR in exchange for the upside of ULs parents 97+ VAR? I want to use our newest Race Ability tool to quickly check on UL’s BA+DP across the mid distances to see if anything sticks out.
And there is the nail in Unfolded Lysandra’s coffin, at least for me. No signs of spikes in BADP around 1600 where we could maybe see the unevenness of VAR making our BA score artificially low. Everything points to this horse having low BA. Low enough I won’t chance a min NAK cover hoping for an ancestor roll.
Going through that process, Misty Legend would be my choice for this breed IF I was to follow through. Our expected foal would likely be 58/30/80, so a little short of our desired thresholds BUT with some solid BA upside with an ancestor BA pull. That upside pull mean might sit at 71/30/80 and with a little RNG luck in the breeding algo, might end up with 75/45/85-ish foal. Keep in mind I’m doing this live with what’s in stud right now. In reality I’d probably hold off, waiting for something more ideal or re-searching for the best Szabo/Finney options to keep my cover/expectations down. This exercise was less about the result, and more about the way I work through the data provided here to make my decisions.
Hope it helps!
Lastly: Please reach out if you have any questions or are confused by any of these steps or metrics. Always available in the discord to help: The Zedge Discord