2 year old race horses have longer careers? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 11 Old 03-02-2013, 04:53 AM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Oregon
Posts: 24
• Horses: 8
Studies have shown that when horses are properly introduced to speed work, their bones remodel to adapt to the stress of racing by building more strength and density. A racehorse must go through the remodeling regardless of what age they're started, but the belief is that a 2YO's bones remodel easier and recover from the stress more quickly than a horse who starts speed work later on.

Of course it's a balancing act though...stressing the bone is important but so is backing off and allowing it to recover before an injury happens. Starting speed work with a young horse does seem to be beneficial to future soundness, but I like to see horses allowed to grow up a little mentally and physically before they actually race, which is obviously more stressful than training. Zenyatta was in training as a 2YO but didn't race until November of her 3YO year, and she always seemed sound and happy and was a lot of fun to watch. But in the years I've been into racing, I haven't really seen any evidence that 2YOs break down more than older horses. I think there are other factors in breakdowns that are more likely than age.
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