07/18/2013 12:17PM

Gone West, Montjeu identified as influential Dosage sires

Barbara D. Livingston
The late Montjeu has along with Gone West been identified as a chef-de-race for the Dosage breeding system.

Dosage proponents Steve Roman and Steve Miller have identified the late stallions Gone West and Montjeu as the system’s newest chefs-de-race, according to a report in Racing Post.

Under the system, chefs-de-race are classified as brilliant, intermediate, classic, solid, or professional. The categories are designed to reflect the aptitude for speed or stamina that a stallion most consistently transmits to his progeny, with “brilliant” indicating the most speed and least stamina and “professional” denoting the least speed and most stamina. Coolmore sire Montjeu has been categorized as a classic/solid chef-de-race, while Mill Ridge stallion Gone West received the designation intermediate/classic.

The “chef-de-race” notation, meaning “chief of the breed,” reflects the Dosage system’s contention that a relatively small group of stallions appear with enough frequency in pedigrees to be considered particularly influential in the breed.

The Dosage system, originally developed in the early 20th century by J. J. Vuillier and modified since, is a method of classifying Thoroughbred pedigrees by type, specifically regarding aptitude for speed or stamina. In its current form, the system now assigns points to all the stallions in the first four generations of a subject horse’s pedigree, eventually arriving after some calculation at a Dosage Index figure that indicates whether that horse will, by pedigree, have more aptitude for speed or stamina. This is considered in conjunction with a second figure, the Center of Distribution, which places the combined effect of four generations of stallions on a sliding scale in which +2.00 is pure speed, -2.00 is pure stamina, and “classic” - the perfect balance between the two - is 0.00.

The Dosage system is one of several pedigree-based approaches commonly used by handicappers, especially during the Triple Crown prep season leading up to the Kentucky Derby. The late Daily Racing Form writer Leon Rasmussen popularized Roman’s modification of the Dosage system in the 1980s and since then Dosage Indexes for all Kentucky Derby contenders are calculated and published in the Form and other outlets each year prior to the race. The system, and its reliance on sire line, is utilized chiefly to estimate whether a particular Derby horse can win at 1 1/4 miles.