One of the groups paying particular attention at the rail the past few mornings at Belmont Park are those who will have some of the participants in their next careers – the farm owners and stallion managers.
Much insight can be gained from observing horses in training, the memory bank calling on those tidbits in the years to come.
"Most of us like to see the colts before they are let down," Doug Cauthen of WinStar Farm near Versailles, Ky., said. "Not just to see them conformationally but you can see their temperament which is important because that breeds through."
Seeing how they train and those they compete with can only help you in the future, Cauthen said. "The more of them you can see the better," he said. "That's why the guys that have been coming to the Breeders' Cup for years come back. It really helps to see the future breeding stars of the game."
WinStar, certainly not alone in this pursuit, likes TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) favorite Lost in the Fog as a stallion prospect. "We saw him first after he had made just three starts," Cauthen said. "It is neat to see his development physically but also to see that he really has the presence and the mind."
Many others from the bloodstock world are like Cauthen, watching horses train and working the barns Breeders' Cup week. Jack Brothers, stallion nominations chief for Adena Springs was nearby Friday morning, as was Bernie Sams of Claiborne Farm, Duncan Taylor of Taylor Made, John Phillips of Darby Dan, and David Greathouse of Glencrest.
Of course it also gives them a chance to see the runners in the eight races Breeders' Cup day by their stallions or that they bred. WinStar, for example, stands Distorted Humor"I think the most important part of watching the horses is to see their temperament," Brothers, who reminisced about pumping gas at a station just outside the stable gate as a kid, said. "A big part of our business is being here watching them."When you see a horse go to the track every day, you see what their mind is like, you see who has class because you know they will return to that class as breeding animals."Brothers mentioned how being on the backside can help you get in early on a young horse. "Sometimes you can get ahead of the posse by showing early interest," he said. "Plus, even if you miss out on a horse, you have built a relationship with the connections that might help you another time."Brothers is a partner in the ownership of Knights Templar, who will run in the Alberto VO5 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).Kentucky bloodstock agent Pete Bradley was watching horses train Friday morning and said because so much of his business involves private sales, it is imperative for him to be present Breeders' Cup week."For one thing, it makes you realize good horses come in all shapes and sizes," Bradley said. "For another, you can see that the good ones all have class, because you can't always see that in them (at the sales) as yearlings."You can see one here that will really leave an indelible mark on you and you carry that with you."