Talkin' Horses - Live Discussions

Steve Roman, Ph.D. Author, creator of the 'Dosage Index'

Thursday, Feb 28, 2008

Note - Update Feb. 29: Due to a technical issue, a few of Dr. Roman's questions did not post to the chat on Thursday. We have added them onto the bottom of this page. We apologize for any incovenience.

Steven A. Roman is a New York City native who earned a B.S. in Chemistry, City University of New York, in 1963. He furthered his education with a Masters in Organic Chemistry, Columbia University, 1964, and his Ph.D. in Physical-Organic Chemistry, Columbia University, 1967. He has gone on to author some 53 U.S. agricultural and animal health chemical patents.

Romans has been involved in the horse industry for over thirty years as an owner, breeder and early-stage trainer of performance and conformation show horses and over twenty in the Thoroughbred racing business as an owner, consultant, writer and educator.

As the creator of the 'Dosage Index', a technique for classifying Thoroughbred pedigrees according to aptitudinal type, he is a internationally recognized authority on the relationship between Thoroughbred pedigree and racing performance. His book, "Dosage: Pedigree and Performance" was published in 2003. He has also been named by Daily Racing Form as one of the ten most influential people in 20th century Thoroughbred handicapping.

Roman's Dosage: Pedigree & Performance website has in-depth explanation of his theories; plus articles, videos, galleries, and more items related to his Thoroughbred studies.

Lexington, KY:
The modern dosage formula is an adopted version of an old mathematical formula that included important broodmares as part of the equation. How can such a formula be effective if it excludes the influences of half of the gene pool?

The original introduction of Dosage theory by Col. J. J. Vuilier in the early 20th century identified only eight historically significant prepotent sources among early 19th century Thoroughbreds, including just one mare. He was able to identify a total of only fifteen such sources, or chefs-de-race, in the entire 19th century, none of the additional chefs-de-race being mares. In any case, neither Vuillier's work nor Varola's nor ours exclude any part of the gene pool. Every chef-de-race is the result of all the genetic influences behind him, both male and female. The brilliance of Apalachee, for example, can surely be ascribed in large part to his female family through Moccasin and Rough Shod II, and that influence for speed through Apalachee will show up in later generations. And since our work is based on population statistics, the focus on sires has little impact on the statistical results because of the huge difference in the number of foals descended from individual sires and dams.

Fayetteville, AR:
Does Arkansas and other small states have the sire power for a classic dosage? Are old sires such as Pine Bluff a good choice for mating?

Dosage is an expression of aptitudinal type and is only marginally related to what we usually refer to as class. A horse bred to stay a classic distance can be bred anywhere if the sire and dam contribute the appropriate balance of speed and stamina. Whether or not that horse can be competitive at a classic distance at the Grade 1 level is a separate issue. That said, a horse bred in Arkansas with a classic pedigree should have a better opportunity in a classic distance race than a horse from Kentucky bred to stay five furlongs.

As for Pine Bluff in particular, he has already sired at least three graded stakes winners at the American classic distances of 9 ' and 10 furlongs ' Super Frolic, Puzzlement and Pine Dance.

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