I have to chime in here and put in a good word for the Standies. We own 2 Standardbred geldings, a coming 12 yr old, and a 6 yr old=12 yr old raced, the 6 yr old was track trained but showed no speed to proceed to race.
My boy, Justice-12 yr old-is an incredible horse> He is a 15.3hh very dark bay-almost black looking beauty. I have not had anybody guess that he is a Standie-I have been asked TB, Appendix, or even WB. He is an amazing horse to ride, sure footed, incredible trail horse-w,t,c and very easy to collect for flatwork etc. Have never had him spook at anything-he is my dream horse=not for a green rider however. He can have a bit of attitude at times---nothing serious-you just need to be firm at times.
Hubbies horse, 6 yr old Deiter is an incredible horse - we got him when he was 3 1/2=broke to the training cart--not enough speed to race however.
Had him for several months and just let him get used to our place and learn to relax=he had been handled roughly by one person-a man-and it took a bit of time for him to learn to trust.
I backed him a couple of times-he was great-no problem with me being on him. We decided to send him to a local trainer for a month-my hubby had never been around a horse in his life and Deiter had the making of an incredible horse. He has a great personality and is very bonded to my husband. Deiter was exposed to everything my trainer could throw at him-broke western for the trails. He will go anywhere you point him at-he is super steady-he looks after my husband with great care. He had a dog jump out at him while on a road ride-he sidestepped one step-hubby lost his balance and was literally hanging onto his neck to stay on-his leg had slipped back and was digging into Deiters flank. I could see Deiter actually tense to counter balance himself so he could stay steady while my hubby tried to stay on-which he did. I think he would have come off any other horse-even Justice. It was at that moment that I realized that Deiter would do whatever he could to take care of Dan-he walks very careful through the brush and logs, is absolutely rock steady around traffic, unflappable in bad weather, wind etc. I cannot even think of putting a price on Deiter-to me he is priceless-he amazes me every day-and to see how confident my husband has become as a rider and as a horseperson - thanks to Deiter=makes me almost tear up.
So yes I love the Standardbred. Just as everyone loves their breed of choice. But don't write off the Standies-they truly are wonderful horses.