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Handicapping - Pedigree - History - Dosage

Reading a Chart - "Dirty Horse Style"

"Dosage will survive as it has for over a century; perhaps not in its current form, but in a form that integrates current knowledge with what we learn in the future. This is the same process that brought us from the original Dosage concept of Vuillier through Varola to today. It is the process by which science builds on the foundation of what came before. Dosage will continue to evolve as long as there is the desire by pedigree aficionados, owners, breeders and handicappers for a better, more accurate model of the Thoroughbred world of breeding and racing." – Dr. Steven Roman, excerpt from “Dosage, Pedigree and Performance” chapter 24.

There was a huge desire to build on Dr. Roman's theories and for me, this evolution involved the great breeder, Federico Tesio. Based on his work and idea that a colt is built from 60% of his sires and 40% of his mares, what better sires and mares to consult could there possibly be other than the listed Chefs and listed Reines.

Without those lists, none of this would be possible.


Looking at a chart does not simply consist of noting the first and second generation sires and pondering their past performances or how they succeeded or failed at certain distances. It does not mean looking at a few of their offspring and noting if they were sprinters or routers or graded stakes winners, which in turn, leaves the bulk of their offspring out. That is the epitome of cherry-picking and holds zero merit. Reading a chart encompasses all of the information with emphasis on those sires (and mares) who were recognized for their consistent success in passing down certain qualities, traits and average winning distances. The operative word is CONSISTENT. Years of consistency that enables them to be known as "The Masters of the Breed."

In looking at a chart in this way, you are considering each and every one of these important sires (and mares) without giving stronger credence to one over the other. The colt is a compilation of all of them, not simply cherry-picked because they show up in a first or second generation. Those sires and mares are a product of what came before them and the line continues. What we look at gives the full picture and the potential of what the new colt could or should exhibit in his career.

Chart and dosage figures (both chefs and mares) from

THE CHEFS encompass the first 4 generations. There are 3 listed chefs in Epicenter's chart which are circled and highlighted. Giant's Causeway, Sadler's Wells and Ela-Mana-Mou. The chart specifically tells you what category the chef falls into. Note the second line within the box and you will see a letter(s) in parenthesis. You can easily see that Giant's Causeway is a listed Classic Chef as denoted with the [C] next to the year. Sadlers Wells shows a [CS] which means Classic and Solid chef. Ela-Mana-Mou shows a [P] which means Professional. These three chefs are the main contributors to Epicenter. Since Giant's Causeway falls in Epicenter's second generation (closer to him) he will receive greater consideration of influence, with more points designated from him.

FIRST GENERATION listed chefs will deposit 16 total points to the new colt within the designated category. In Epicenter's case, Not This Time is not a listed chef and therefore no points are given. He is a not a listed chef (yet) nor is he a prominent non-chef (yet). First generation sires still could be an additional slight consideration, but that would come at the end.

SECOND GENERATION listed chefs will deposit 8 total points. In Epicenter's case, he has Giant's Causeway who will give him 8 points into his CLASSIC slot. The closer the listed chef is to the colt, the more influence he will bestow.

THIRD GENERATION listed chefs will hand down 4 total points. For Epicenter, he has no chefs in his 3rd generation.

FOURTH GENERATION listed chefs will hand down only two points to his profile. He has Ela-Mana-Mou who is a listed Professional chef so he will receive those 2 points in the last slot of his profile. Sadler's Wells is both a Classic chef and a Solid Chef, which will divide those two points into both categories - one point in the Classic and one point in the solid.

Brilliant Intermediate Classic Solid Professional

[4f-6f] [7f to 9f] [10f - 12f] [13f - 15f] [16f+]

0 0 9 1 2

When you add all of the ingredients together from these three chefs, the profile emerges. 0-0-9-1-2. When you mix them together, the index forms. When you put them on a scale, the CD arrives. A quick glance of the chart itself, you can see each chef, you can see the category designations and you can see the ending profile. Epicenter has no Brilliant or Intermediate chefs. Everything he inherited from his 3 chefs come from the Classic, Solid and Professional slots. All stamina. Not a drop of speed from his listed chefs.

The three sires with stars are "LISTED PROMINENT NON-CHEFS. These sires are not yet chefs, most likely on the short list as they still need more time in evaluation for consistency. They do still impart a high probability of adding either additional speed or additional stamina into the mix, as they have so far shown a propensity to do with a variety of their other offspring. They are showing the consistency so far, but not to the level of a true listed chef. You must always check that list and consider the additional tendency. For Epicenter, he has Candy Ride (speed influence), Storm Cat (speed influence) and Trippi (speed influence). Based on the way that Epicenter runs, the speed influence of those 3 sires considered alongside his chef's profile starts to make complete sense. He is completely lopsided to the stamina end from those chefs, but he obviously has taken a stronghold of those other 3 influential sires. But we are not done yet on the male side.

The final step should also bear a slight consideration for the effects of the immediate sire as well. This step does not supersede the chefs, or even the prominent non-chefs. It should only impart a bit of attention, both in the colt himself ALONG WITH how his other siblings have exhibited the potential effects. There must be evidence from a vast number of offspring to assume that it is present. In some cases, this is quite difficult to do, as many immediate sires are brand new to the scene. This examination could possibly take years to determine, or it could make perfect sense based on repeat evidence. With Epicenter, his sire is Not This Time. It is quite apparent through the exhibited speed that Epicenter delivers is in complete opposition of the way his profile, index and CD are configured. The speed influence of his three non-chefs coupled with the "probable additional" speed of his sire, Not This Time, seems to be pouring through. In addition, based on the way that In Due Time, Aegean Finale, Ain't Life Grand, Simplification, Just One Time, Howling Time, Chasing Time, among others, are leaning on that speed seems reasonable to consider that extra speed influence for each of them. Out of all of those listed, Epicenter is showing the highest favoritism based on his stamina geared profile and his raw ability in speed. The influence is extremely strong given his performances to date.

"Dosage is an intellectually stimulating area of research with infinite possibilities and a broad range of applications. As long as it remains focused on aptitudinal prepotence and rejects a politically correct but scientifically questionable "honor roll of sires" approach, Dosage will enhance our appreciation of the aptitudinal evolution of the Thoroughbred. At the same time, Dosage requires more than a superficial understanding of its principles and how they are applied. As a result, many within the Thoroughbred industry will continue to consider it an esoteric system of pedigree analysis."Dr. Steven Roman

The Mares (Reines)

For the sake of space, I will use a portion of Epicenter's chart. A listed mare (reine) is depicted on a chart by an asterisk. Unlike the chefs which are only from the first 4 generations, the reines will be utilized going all the way back over 100 years. This is because we are looking at the mares BLOODLINES as opposed to the chefs where we are looking at the individual. This is why the profiles for the mares are more packed up, because we are considering many more - going back the generations. These bloodlines depict what the mare PASSED DOWN, not how they fared on the track themselves. This is the major difference in examining the chart of the new colt vs. other "pedigree" people - we look at the inheritance from these bloodlines as opposed to how a mare performed on the track or what she alone produced while mating. It is a major difference and one that better tells the story of what is actually passed down as opposed to looking at a handful of offspring and then making a determination based on just a few outcomes. The colts entire chart is utilized, not simply one or two chosen by somebody who wants to write an article.

In order to distinguish a listed mare from a non-listed mare, on the chart you can easily see the asterisk. You would then change the generations to a much bigger chart and note how the bloodline goes. The profile then takes on each and every one of them without cherry-picking simply the first or second generation and discussing what that mare did on the track herself. That will never tell you what the colt has within himself because you would be missing 80% of his full chart.

At the bottom of the chart, if you are a paid member of Pedigreequery, you can see the full mare profile:

This is how to look at a chart when trying to distinguish between a speed colt, a stamina colt, one with potential based on his initial performances, one who is capable of the Classic distance, or one who may be a sprinter. This is simply STEP ONE of the process. Everything begins with reading the full chart and knowing which influences will combine to give you the capability of any new colt. Understand the chart and the real players within that chart and you will be well on your way to understanding the full capacity of the horse. The additional information that you receive on a Pedigreequery chart as a member is invaluable. Every item discussed in this article is laid out for you on that chart. The work for the first step is already done for you.


Once you establish the groundwork between the chefs and the mares, the two must combine. Federico Tesio said that a colt is made up of 60% sires and 40% mares. This is a good formula to use for overseas, while in the USA, after much work, it appears closer to 50-50 when all other items are added on the sires side - (The prominent non-chefs plus 1st or 2nd generation consideration). In essence, this basically works out to 60-40 after all is said and done.

The way to read these numbers in combination with each other will work in two separate ways. The first being prior to the maiden race. In looking at a vast number of maiden races over the decades, most colts will react and favor the chefs to a much higher degree. This is because the majority of maiden races begin at 6f. Since the mares have a much higher propensity on the stamina side, their influence will not be of much importance at 5.5 or 6.5f. Therefore, the chefs are monumental in reading maidens. They will rely a great deal on those chefs first time out.

As the colt moves into his allowance races or his preps, things begin to open up. Importantly, we are given a foundation to see where the colt is headed with distinct evidence from that maiden. We can see his style, we can see if he is displaying speed that will either coincide with a sprinter or a classic runner. We can judge his reaction to the track and then we can take the mare and chef combinations and blend them together - taking each part as a whole - not just one or two pieces - but as a whole. With evidence in hand, the combinations can then be attached - be it the favoring side, the running style, the type of bias, and where he is headed. Everything within all sets of figures are important - not just the index.

"Understand that the interplay of the DP (Dosage Profile), DI (Dosage Index) and CD (Center of Distribution) is more meaningful than any individual Dosage figure alone. The DI by itself is not sufficient for evaluating aptitudinal type." - Dr. Steven Roman

Once these numbers are combined, the potential of the colt begins to unfold. There are several steps that need to be taken in order to get there but the fundamental idea begins with a full understanding of the separate parts first. You must understand, at the very least, where the numbers come from, how to read a chart, why the numbers are arranged the way they are, and from whom are we gaining these numbers from. We must understand why a profile is set up the way it is and how to read that profile before venturing past it and into combinations. It will all come in time.

"Most important, as noted by the great breeding authority, Abram S. Hewitt, Dosage is as much art as it is science. There are no shortcuts. Applying Dosage to handicapping requires an understanding of its fundamental principles as well as its myriad subtleties. Usefulness comes with experience." - Dr. Steven Roman


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