SMITH: All right. This is Kim Lady Smith, and today is August 11, 2008.I'm at Three Chimneys Farm interviewing Anne Peters for the University of Kentucky's project on the horse industry. I'll be looking down at this recorder periodically to make sure the level's--
PETERS: Um-hm. Okay.
SMITH: --are okay. I don't want to appear rude. Um, but anyway, toget started why don't you tell me your full name and when and where you were born.
PETERS: Uh, my full name is Anne Marie Tegzes Peters--Tegzes is mymaiden name.
SMITH: How do you spell that?
PETERS: Z-e-s. It's Romanian, Hungarian.
SMITH: Oh, really?
SMITH: Okay. I'm getting a little feedback here, and I'm not sure why.That may be why. Okay. 1:00
PETERS: Is that good?
SMITH: I think we're okay now. I'm not sure why that was up. Yeah. Wegot it.
PETERS: Okay. I was born in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, in 1957. Um, mydad is a doctor. Uh, we were a big family. I'm one of eight kids. I grew up in the suburb-, northern suburbs of Pittsburg.
SMITH: Okay. I'm familiar with the area. I'm from Wheeling, WestVirginia.
PETERS: Are you? Okay.
PETERS: Yeah. They don't have Thoroughbreds around Pittsburg.
PETERS: And I was, I was one of those horse-crazy girls. I was bornwith this somehow, you know.
SMITH: Do you know what got you interested in it?
PETERS: Always-, no. Don't. I just always, always was interested inthem just, uh, there's a, you know, picture of me on my stick horse when I must have been three, and, you know, I, I've used that on a business card once which got a lot of laughs. But we call that one Seattle Stick, Slew of Wood, you know, when I started here with the 2:00Seattle, with the Slew o' Gold and Seattle Slew but just always was a horse-crazy little girl.
SMITH: Now what did your--what was your father's name and what did he do?
PETERS: My father was George Tegzes, and he was an anesthesiologist.What's interesting is that his dad was George Tegzes--actually Giorgi Tegzesh--who came over in 1911 from Romania, and, uh, he was a blacksmith by trade from an old horse dealing family, of Mag-,--I presume they're Magyars from Hungary--so there is a history of horsemanship in the family that I really was not aware about, aware of until I grew up and after my grandfather was gone. I never got to talk to my grandfather about his background in horsemanship and horse trading and his family, but he came over here as a blacksmith and worked in the steel mills in, uh, Leechburg, Pennsylvania.
SMITH: Oh, from Hungary. Is that what you think?
PETERS: Romania, but the, the, they--it, it's a disputed territory. Um,3:00I, it was Hungary. It's, it's politically Romania now, so they came over as Romanians but there's a, they, they spoke Hungarian and, and the word Tegzes is actually a Hungarian word. So it's kind of a mixed culture in that part of Romania.
SMITH: Did they move to Pennsylvania?
PETERS: They--yes. They came in through, uh, through New Jersey andsettled in Pennsylvania in the, the steel mill town. Leechburg is a steel mill town, uh, in, uh, Western Pennsylvania, and, uh, both my parents are from Leechburg.
PETERS: So, um, I just grew up always loving horses. I think, I thinkthere must be something in the blood there coming from Grandpa.
SMITH: Now you said you're one of how many siblings?
PETERS: Eight. One of eight. There's, uh, two boys and five and sixgirls.
SMITH: Where do you fall in that?
PETERS: In the middle towards the end. I think I'm--what am I--fifth?4:00Sixth, sixth in that group.
SMITH: Now do any of them have an interest in horses?
PETERS: Not really. My little sister sort of did when I took, when Ifinally got to take riding lessons in high school. My little sister tagged along with that, my sister, Liz, but nobody was as nuts about horses or animals, for that matter. I mean, we're, we're a nature- loving family but not really. I was the one that got into the animals and the horses and, uh, tried to figure out, uh, how I could make a living doing that, thinking about where I wanted to go to college and thought, Well, maybe I'll, maybe I'll try to be a vet, to, so I can work with animals. So I, uh, went to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst as a pre-vet and, uh, discovered organic chemistry and discovered, okay, maybe I'm not going to be a vet--(laughs)--because organic chemistry was, uh--I was, I was an honors student up to that point and, uh, discovered that I needed to change, change my 5:00curriculum to, to, uh, to have more fun. So, uh, it was, I switched over to--I was in the animal science department. That's where all the pre-vets were--and, uh, I just switched over to horse management. Uh, University of Massachusetts was one of the, uh, rare, early programs that had a horse program, an equine, uh, general equine program and, uh, which is odd for Massachusetts. You wouldn't think that.
SMITH: So you could get a degree in that?
PETERS: You could--well, the degree is, is in, um, uh, through the--it's, it's a master's, it's a bachelor of science, but it was an animal science major and, uh, and then you could go on to pre-vet or horse management or, you know, whatever. So I, I stuck with the horse management option on the, on the animal science major and graduated from UMass with that major.
SMITH: Now you said that, uh, you were in high school when you, uh, took6:00your first riding lesson?
PETERS: Yes. Yes. I could not convince my parents to, to let me havea horse or, or ride. I think my parents were busy with all the other kids and having this little girl always--I mean, it was obvious I wanted to do anything with horses I could do--(laughs)--but I guess the point, an opportunity came up through friends of, of my dad's. We went out with some family, some friends of his, and their daughter was taking riding lessons and they'd said, "Hey, Anne. Why don't you come, come join her for the, on, uh, on lessons." So I did that, and, uh, that was a lot of fun.
SMITH: Where did you take lessons?
PETERS: Uh, it was Hensley's Riding Academy in Gibsonia, Pennsylvania.
SMITH: Now did they teach you on, uh, particular horses or particularstyle or was it just--
PETERS: It was English. It was English, and, uh, you know, you workedyour way up from the, from the ponies up to the, uh, higher level 7:00horses. It wasn't real fancy, but they did have, uh, Hensley was a good teacher and his, his students, his older students were good teachers. They, they handled the beginners, and, uh, I finally worked my way up to ride the big horse in the barn which was a horse called Saint which nobody else, I mean, it was, it was an honor to get to ride him. He was a Thoroughbred, and so when I got to ride Saint on lessons I realized I, I was doing pretty well. And I discovered that, uh--I mean, I'd already, always been a Thoroughbred fanatic when, from when I could start reading about Thoroughbreds in the library--but when I rode Saint, I knew the difference between a Thoroughbred and just any other horse. There was definitely a difference. So, uh, I, I, uh, I wasn't a bad rider and I tried to pursue it in, in college, but I took lessons in college and they wanted me to join the riding team but, uh, I missed the tryouts. One morning I woke--I slept through the 8:00tryouts--(laughs)--so I said, "Okay. This wasn't meant to be. We'll do something, we'll do something else." So, uh, the, the riding side was fun, but I really wanted to do something more hands-on other than riding. So when I did the, uh, the, uh, the horse management option, that was dealing more with running a farm, running a stable, you know, anything to, to day-to-day work with horses.
SMITH: It was, it more on the business end or--
PETERS: It was a well--
SMITH: --the horse care?
PETERS: It, it, sort of both, you know, because when you're dealing withhorses, you're not, it's, it's, it's a mix of hands-on and business. You know, you, you have to know from the ground up hands-on stuff to be able to do the business side of things because you have to know what happens back at the barn to, to do the business. It wasn't really, it wasn't a business-oriented course. It was really a hands-on, ground up-oriented course.
SMITH: Okay. Did you keep riding, though?
PETERS: A little bit. Um, when I, when I went to college, when I9:00graduated college and, and, uh, my first job was on Long Island for about six months. I worked for a vet on Long Island, Dr., uh, Hemphill who was a track vet at Belmont Park, and he had a farm on Long Island; uh, one of the early, New York bred Thoroughbred farms. Uh, I didn't like Long Island. I really knew I should be in Kentucky, so I moved to Kentucky, got a job with Dr., uh, Dr. McGee's farm, uh, Winton Farm as a, as an assistant secretary. And after about a year there, I got my first horse which was a, a Thoroughbred, Welsh Pony cross, and, uh, so I started riding there. And I had been riding--my roommate had horses. I'd, I'd rooming with Margie Stickney who, uh, uh, has done a lot. She used to work at the horse park, but, uh, she had Saddlebreds and she had an extra horse that needed exercise. So I would ride her horse 10:00for exercise, but it was just, it wasn't serious stuff and, and it was, it was just sort of plopping around for fun; not a whole--nothing competitive.
SMITH: Uh, Dr. McGee, you said you worked at his farm.
SMITH: Uh, did you know him very well?
PETERS: Uh, uh, well enough to sort of be in awe of him. I mean, Iknew that he was one of the most important vets in the industry when I started working for him, and he was, you know, you were always sort of- -I was just the assistant secretary. He would come into the office, and he was, he was very, he was a very nice man but he, you know, we didn't chum around. I was just a kid working in the office, but I do remember I learned a lot just watching the vet--I was handling the vet records that came in and transcribing the vet records, and, uh, all of a sudden sort of my, my education was clicking in as I'm watching how they, how they pull a mare through her reproductive cycle to get her bred. It 11:00was like, oh, this is all making sense now. All this stuff I learned in college is actually making sense. Here it is, and, uh, and knowing that this is--I'm sort of being taught this through a Dr. McGee program--was, made me really confident that this is, this is, this is high class. This is the way it's done, and, uh, he did some selection for a client, some, picking out some fillies, uh, some yearlings and, uh, asked me to write up the physical reports that he'd done for these. One of the fillies, it was a Secretariat filly, and he was just very effusive in his description of this horse as one of the best fillies he'd ever seen physically. She was almost perfect. You know, everything about her was, was excellent, excellent, excellent. Um, she--they wound up buying this filly at the sale. I can't remember the price. It was a high price, but her name, they named her Secrettame 12:00and she became the dam of Gone West. So I've always been very fond of that line and knowing that Secrettame was one of the best of the best of the best in Dr. McGee's opinion. So, uh, uh, when I, when it came time for me to leave, uh, that Winton Farm--I was there about one, uh, going on two years, and I just felt like I'd reached the limit of what I could do there. Just, I was just an assistant secretary. It wasn't like I was moving up through any ranks--and I told them I was leaving, and Dr. McGee asked me to stay and they really liked me and they wanted me to stay on. And I was, I was honored that he, that a man of that stature would want me to stay, so in that regard, you know--
SMITH: Did you stay?
PETERS: No, I didn't. I went on and did some other stuff. Wound updoing a little bit of everything.
SMITH: Okay. Now what year did you come to Kentucky?
PETERS: I came to Kentucky in--let's see, '79, in '79 I graduatedcollege--uh, '80. March of 1980 I came to Kentucky.
SMITH: Okay. Hmm.13:00
PETERS: And one of the most fun things I did while I was learning thearea, uh, I was driving around the back roads on the farms looking at, noticing where the great farms were and, uh, stopped by, uh, North Ridge Farm. Uh, there was a bunch of mares in the field on the road, and I got out of my car and went over to the fence and some of the mares came over to the fence. And, uh, uh, I'm chipping mud off this one mare's halter to see what her name was, and it was Desert Vixen and Desert Vixen was a great champion on the racetrack. She was a champion when I was in college, and I'm standing there holding Desert Vixen's halter thinking to myself, I love this place. (laughs) I love it where I can just drive along the road and find Desert Vixen, so I knew I was, I was somewhere I needed to be.
SMITH: Had you ever been to Kentucky before?
PETERS: Uh, once, um, when my brother--my brother who's a year and14:00a half older than me--went to the University of Louisville, and for his orientation, uh--what year was that--for his orientation we came through Lexington and, uh, stopped briefly, uh, for an afternoon, I think. I remember driving around. It was in the July, it was in July because I remember it was during the Keeneland July sale. We actually stopped at Keeneland for the July sale, and I watched a Raise a Native colt go through the ring. And if I could remember his name that would tell me the year, but, uh--well, let's see. It might have been seventy--no. What would it have been? It might have been '72.
SMITH: Okay. Early?
PETERS: Yeah. Early. Um-hm.
SMITH: Okay. Hmm. But you knew this was where you needed to be?
PETERS: Well, it's where the horses were, yeah; the good horses.
SMITH: Okay. So where did you go after you left, uh, Winton. Is that--
PETERS: Winton Farm. Yeah. Um, I went, I believe I went to work at,um, Bloodstock Research. What I probably, probably did after that was 15:00walk hots actually. I probably walked hots at the track because I did that when I first moved down there, and I probably went back to walking hots a little bit until I found that job at Bloodstock Research in the pedigree department and that was just data input, looking up data, pulling out, uh, the stakes winners, in, out of the, uh, Daily Racing Form and putting their pedigrees on a, on a data input sheet. So, uh--
SMITH: Is that the kind of job you were looking for?
PETERS: Well, I wanted something in pedigrees. I'd always loved thepedigrees, but that was a little, a little dry, a little data-driven and I wanted something that was a little more three-dimensional; not just putting, putting names in a computer which is what that was. I mean, that was interesting, but it wasn't, it was limiting. So, uh, I left there after--I'm not even sure I was there a year--um, and 16:00went to work. I believe after that I went to work for Dick Lawson, a bloodstock agent for a company called Data List, and I was making, he was, uh--they were microfilming sales catalogues and indexing sales catalogues for pedigree reference. So I was handling the microfilming which was not a career broadening experience, but I did meet some nice people working there. Uh, and I, I bumped, bump into Dick Lawson from time to time out at the sales and, uh, and met some nice people there. Met, met, uh, his wife at the time, Vicky Van Camp who is now the pedigree person out at Stonerside Farm, so, uh, uh, I have some connections still from there. And from there I, uh, started working, um, looking for another job, and my friend, Barbara Rink, who I met when I started working at Winton Farm, uh, she had since moved over and 17:00was working for Robert Clay's who had established a farm called Three Chimneys Farm and she said they needed help, somebody to help do the, uh, vet records at Three Chimneys Farm. And, uh, so I started working for them part-time in the evenings and then it became a full-time during the day, and, uh, I was the assistant secretary while we were still working over in the log cabin on the main division, the broodmare division now. And, uh, then they expanded in 1984. They bought into Slew o' Gold, the first stallion and bought this property here where we are now, uh, and developed it into the stallion division, built the first stallion barn, and we all moved over into this office from there. And that's sort of when my career shifted because we got a huge new computer complex, and my career shifted from--I was still doing 18:00the data entry, uh, the vet records and that sort of thing and the teasing entries--but then I started doing the, uh, uh, the billing, the accounts receivable and then the accounts payable and then the, the catalogue work for the, the, our sales consignments. I started doing more of the pedigree research and with the stallion, uh, started reviewing the mares that were submitted for the stallions, and then the stallions, we kept adding more and more stallions--Chief's Crown and then Seattle Slew and No Double and Sharistani--and, and so then I started, sort of became the pedigree person here because there needed to be a ped-, a pedigree, a person that fulfilled the role of doing pedigrees here instead of hiring somebody from the outside.
SMITH: Okay. Okay.
PETERS: So that was, that was '84. I was their first pedigree expert.
SMITH: Now when did you first become interested in, in that aspect ofthe--
PETERS: Well, I'd always been interested in that. When I was a kid-19:00-we'll go back to when I was a kid--and in Pittsburg where they have no horses except the Standardbreds at The Meadows, um, I wrote to all the farms when I was in, like, sixth grade. I wrote to all the farms in Kentucky that I could get names for. Calumet Farm in Lexington, Kentucky, "Send me information on your horses. Please." And they would send stuff. It was really great. They would send me their farm brochures. They would send me stallion register ad, pages and ads for their stallions. They would send me all the information on their stallions, and I just absorbed it all, the pedigree, all the pedigree information. I just, I just was sucking it up and remembering it all, and, uh, uh, in fact later when I was working at Winton I started--I was working with a woman named Nancy Jones who was from Greentree Stud. She had grown up on Greentree, and have you, have you talked with Nancy?
PETERS: She's, she's now over at Gainesway, but she came to Winton and,uh, I was, I was--she was talking about how little girls used to write 20:00Greentree Stud all the time asking for pictures of their horses and they would always send out these photos of their stallions; Tom Fool and Stage Door Johnny and Arts and Letters. And I raised my hand and I said, "Nancy, I was one of those little girls, and thank you so much for sending out that information because that's what got me started in the horse business, interested in the Thoroughbreds and the pedigrees, um, was, was, um, all that information those farms so generously sent." And, uh, I read all the books in the library. There was a book in the library at home called Man o' War by, uh, Cooper and Treat, and I was the only person that got that book out for, like, five years in a row. (laughs) My, I was, I kept taking that book out and absorbing all that stuff, so I was always interested in the Thoroughbreds and the pedigrees. When, when you don't have horses in your backyard and you don't ride and you don't have, you know, grandpa doesn't have a horse at the farm, you just you can just read, read about it, and read about it and dream about it and that's what I did.
SMITH: Um-hm. Now as you were growing up there were some, uh, great21:00horses out there. Did you, did you pay attention to racing?
PETERS: Uh, yeah, yeah. I started paying attention to racing really,um, in, like, 1969. I vaguely remember Forward Pass, that name popping up because that was Calumet, and I had gotten the Calumet brochure information. Um, and then, uh, Canonero the second was, uh, won the Kentucky Derby, uh, and then Secretariat, and I, I had written--well, it was Riva Ridge first--I had written to The Meadow, uh, uh, Mrs. Chenery, and in Virginia and said, "Please send me information on your horses." And they sent me photos of Riva Ridge winning the Belmont Stakes and a two-year-old colt named Secretariat winning the Hopeful Stakes, and, uh, I had, I had kept those and, of course, the next year watched Secretariat become Secretariat. And he's everything I ever loved in a horse. I mean, I was a big fan growing up reading about Man 22:00o' War, the big, red horse and here was this new big, red horse, and I'd always, always loved that color of horse to begin with. Whenever we were playing stick horses with the neighbors with Maureen McDunna (??), I would always have a horse. I didn't know what the color was called. It's, we call it chestnut, but I would always call it--it's a chalky, brown horse. I don't know what the color is, but I love that red color. And, uh, here was Secretariat, the color of my dream horse with the markings of my dream horse with a star and a stripe and stockings, and he was fantastic and I was just totally in love with Secretariat and still am totally in love with Secretariat. He's my personal standard. He's the one. I pet him with this hand, you know. He's the one. Everybody has the one, and he's the, he's mine.
SMITH: So I assume you went to see him when you came to Kentucky?
PETERS: Yes. Yes. We--I, when I was in college we got to--there wasa course, a stallion management course, uh, that was spring break in Kentucky and we toured all the farms, and I figured this is the most fantastic four credits I could ever earn. So, and we, we toured the 23:00farms and we saw Secretariat at Claiborne Farm, and I got to pet him and get my picture taken with him and, uh, and nearly get bit by him but that was okay. (laughs) So, uh, that was a wonderful trip, got to see a lot of the farms at that time. That was, I guess that was right after he retired. That must have been. Let's see, '75, no'75 I graduated high school, so that must have been about '78. I saw him, in '78.
SMITH: That's when he was still young.
PETERS: Yeah. He was still--yeah. So that, and of course right afterthat, uh, Ruffian came after that and that was tragic, and I remember crying about her breaking down. And then Seattle Slew came along as a great racehorse and--I, you know, I'm going to admit something horrible. I never liked Seattle Slew as a racehorse. I did not like the name. Uh, I, I didn't root for him. I couldn't argue with the fact that he was a great racehorse, but I just was not enamored of him. But when I came to work here and he came here, I guess, about '86, I 24:00got to like the name just fine--(laughs)--and I really, I got to see, look back on the tapes of his races and see what he, you know, his body of work as a, as a racehorse and a stallion. And, uh, I came to like him just fine.
SMITH: (laughs) Not quite like Secretariat but--
PETERS: Not quite like Secretariat. No, no, no.
SMITH: Um, and then what was it--Affirmed as well?
PETERS: Affirmed came right after that, yeah, and I was always more ofan Alydar fan than an Affirmed fan. I was always rooting for Alydar. Uh, you know, Affirmed's okay, but I'm still more of any Alydar fan that an Affirmed fan. Uh, who came after that lately?
SMITH: That was a big decade.
PETERS: Yeah. That was a big, that was a good, that was a good runwe had. And then the eighties, didn't have any huge favorites in the eighties probably. I liked Risen Star who was a son of Secretariat. You know, Secretariat was not quite as stellar as a stallion as we all would have wanted him to be, but then the next generation came on. And one of the best horses out of a Secretariat mare was, uh--one of the 25:00first good horses out of a Secretariat daughter--was Chief's Crown who we wound up getting as a stallion here which was wonderful for me, and of course Storm Cat came along and Gone West who--I already knew Gone West's mother--and A.P. Indy came along. And at, by that time, I had actually gone into--I had already, uh, been part of a very minor racing partnership. I'd owned one-twentieth of a filly and, named, uh, UK's Lady Cat. Her mother had--was a University of Kentucky project mare actually named Miss UK, and UK's Lady Cat broke her maiden at River Downs by six lengths and then came back and won her next start by six lengths, and they started her in the Pocahontas Stakes at Churchill Downs. We were real excited, we owned part of a filly who could be a stakes horse, and she, she, uh, ran pretty well in the Pocahontas. She was--she actually got to the front at the top of the stretch and 26:00then she got passed by a filly that, uh, was by Secretariat, so I felt, well, okay. She's, if she's going to get beat by anybody it might as well be by a Secretariat daughter. But the Secretariat daughter happened to be Weekend Surprise who was the, became the dam of A.P. Indy and Summer Squall, so I figure I had a connection to Weekend Surprise as well. (laughs) So, um, uh, so I still, we still look for Secretariat in pedigrees but there are other things to look for now. I, uh, uh, I don't have--I'm trying to think do I have any huge, huge--I haven't been in love with a horse like I have--Point Given probably was the next horse I really got, got excited about, and that was, that was after I had left Three Chimneys. I had been working at Three Chimneys through the eighties, and in 1989, um, I was getting, um, I was doing all sorts of stuff here, uh, and I really just wanted 27:00to focus on the pedigree stuff. But I was doing accounts payable, accounts receivable, a lot of things, and I was sort of getting burned out. And, uh, my marriage, I was having some difficulty in my marriage, and, um, in, in fixing things, my husband and I decided, we're going to move to Pennsylvania. He, he had started a career as a blacksmith, and there were opportunities in Pennsylvania. So we moved to Central Pennsylvania, and, uh, I left here in 1989, December of 1989 and lived up in Pennsylvania and lived there for fifteen years. So in that period of time, I was disconnected from Three Chimneys, uh, went out on my own as a pedigree writer and pedigree consultant, but in that time, here comes Point Given who was a big red horse like Man o' War, like Secretariat. Fell in love with him, and, um, uh, it's probably the horse I got most excited about in a long time was Point Given. So 28:00when I came back to Three Chimneys Farm in August of 2004--actually following Smarty Jones here--um, Point Given was here which was really cool. So--
SMITH: Yeah. Okay. I'm going to take you back a little bit. Um, yourhusband, now did, was he from Pennsylvania? When did you get married?
PETERS: No. We, uh, I met him down here, and it's very, verycoincidental. Uh, when I, when I met him, he was working at Big Sink Farm across the road when it was under, under other ownership and actually he was working on this division of, of Big Sink Farm. So, uh, um, he was--his name was Ralph Peters, is Ralph Peters and a great guy, and he was from a New York family of, of old money but he, he was a hands-on kind of person. He didn't want to do the business thing. He wanted to do the outdoorsy, nature--not nature thing--you know, just 29:00he liked to work with his hands and like to be close to the, to animals and, and out of doors. So he was running maintenance at Big Sink Farm, um, and, uh, we met and, uh, uh, my first love. So we got married in '82.
SMITH: Okay. Shortly after you got here.
PETERS: Yeah. Yeah. And, uh, so we also got divorced in '91, moved,moved back to Pennsylvania and, um, things just didn't work out so--again, nice guy. Can't, uh, you know, wasn't his, wasn't--I'm not going to say anything horrible about him because there's nothing to say horrible about him. He's a nice guy. So, uh, just have been on my own since then.
SMITH: Now you stayed in Pennsylvania, though?
PETERS: Stayed in Pennsylvania for fifteen years.
SMITH: Where in Pennsylvania?
PETERS: Uh, living in Carlisle which is the center of the state nearHarrisburg, Harrisburg, Gettysburg. Um, my, I have a sister that lives 30:00there, my sister, Susie, lives there and still lives there, and, uh, it was three hours from Pittsburg which is the area where I grew up so we could go there on, on family events. Uh, and I have another sister who lives further north in the state, so, uh, uh, I had a little farm there, about a thirty-four acre farm, neat old farmhouse, really neat old farmhouse that I miss. But fortunately, since I've moved back here I've sold to some friends, and they're taking care of it. And I had, we had horses at the time. We moved out of Kentucky with three horses; my first horse, that, that Welsh Pony, Thoroughbred cross who was a great little horse and, uh, Ralph had a, uh, Thoroughbred named Sail On Sailor, and, uh, we had a third horse, this Pinto thing that was sort of an experiment. Ralph was, in his blacksmithing phase, and it was a horse that had chronic founder and so he was working on that.
SMITH: Oh. Okay. Okay. And you, did you keep all three horses?
PETERS: Um, up until the divorce. We got divorced and, uh, we, we, the31:00Pinto horse had been given away to somebody, and at the divorce we just had the two, uh, uh; Penny and Sailor. And I loved them dearly, but I couldn't take care of them by myself so I gave them to some friends nearby. And they loved them dearly, and, uh, they lived out their lives in the care of my friends and I got to visit them on a regularly basis. But didn't have--got another horse, um, about the year before I moved back I bought, um--I had been looking to buy a broodmare and with some, with some family members. We thought, If the right mare comes along, we'll buy in and just get our feet wet a little bit in the broodmares and see what we can do. So I bought an old mare named Hero's Hurrah who was a multiple stakes winner, pretty well-bred but she hadn't produced anything, and, uh, she was, uh, about seventeen 32:00when I bought her and, uh, she was just every bad luck story wrapped into one. When I firs-, I bought her, sent her back to Kentucky to be bred, and she colicked and had to have colic surgery and, uh, then she, she got in foal--she recovered from that--got in foal and I sent her back to Pennsylvania where I was living at the time to a farm nearby, uh, Regal Heir Farm. And they took great care of her, uh, and waiting anxiously for the foal, and then the foal was born dead. So all of that for zero. Uh, got her back in foal and she did have that foal, uh, by Rock Slide who's a brother to Mineshaft standing in Maryland, and then bred her back and she didn't catch. And by that time, I'd alread-, I was moving back to Kentucky, arranged to have her moved down here, uh, and found a place, the perfect place for her was Our 33:00Mims Broodmare Retirement Center. They, I just wanted her to have a nice home. I didn't want to breed her. I didn't want to ride her, and they specialized in old broodmares, just taking care of old broodmares. And, uh, Jeanne, um, Jeanne--who runs Our Mims--Jeanne Mirabito--she, it's called Our Mims because she took care of the great racehorse Our Mims in her, that mare's retirement.
SMITH: Now how, how do you spell that?
PETERS: O-u-r, second word Mims, M-i-m-s, which is a Calumet mare. Shehad been sold out of the Calumet dispersal, and Jeanne found her when she was not being well taken care--when the mare wasn't being well taken care of and Jeanne realizing this is a great champion mare. She needs to be taken care of, took her on, brought her back to health and has made a, uh, second--I don't know if you want to call it a career or passion--out of taking care of these old, nice old mares and restoring their dignity and health. And, uh, it's the perfect place for my old mare, and, uh, uh, she had Hero for a couple of months, really started 34:00to love Hero. Hero was a very dignified mare, kind of aloof; not, not a cuddly type. And, uh, uh, Hero colicked again, and, uh, the vets talked us into a second surgery which turned out to be a mistake and the mare died. And Jeanne and I both were just heart-stricken with the loss of Hero because we'd both fallen in love with this wonderful mare who had such dignity and poise and, and, uh, it, uh--so I'm still looking, I'm looking for another mare, but I've decided I'm gonna, if I get another mare it's going to be a young mare. But I do, I do wanna breed horses again. The one filly that I bred in my name is out there. She was by Rock Slide out of Here Comes Doris, and with that kind of background, I mean, really a high quality pedigree. Uh, it wasn't the greatest filly in the world. She didn't bring much at the auction. 35:00They named her Here Comes Doris, so she's out there somewhere named Here Comes Doris. (laughs) She hasn't broken her maiden, yet, but maybe she will someday, but I, I would like to have more than just Here Comes Doris as my racing legacy as a breeder.
SMITH: Oh, she could be a, uh, a broodmare herself, right?
PETERS: She could be, yeah, every once in a while, I saw, uh, there area couple daughters of Hero out there in production that I keep an eye on, but, uh, yeah so. That's, that's my history of horse ownership.
SMITH: So you don't own any right now?
PETERS: No. Not right now, no.
SMITH: Okay. Okay. I'm going to take you back to, uh, your time.Let's go back to, well, uh, when you came to Three Chimneys and how you became involved in the pedigree research and advising. Now is that something that just sort of naturally evolved because there was a need here or was this something you had been working towards?
PETERS: It, it sort of naturally evolved. Three Chimneys had had salesconsignments that kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger, and I remember, uh, Dan Rosenberg coming downstairs one day knowing that I 36:00liked pedigrees. He came downstairs one day and said, "Anne, what do you know about the Irish Bold Lad?" And so I went into a quick spiel about the Irish Bold Lad, uh, as opposed to the American Bold Lad, and, um, that sort of started me doing the catalogue updates for, for consignments. You know, you have--with, with the consignments you have the catalogue page, and when you're selling the horse out of the sales ring you like to be able to have answers to questions that don't appear on this catalogue page, like, what's the mare in foal to now? And, what kind of race did this horse--this horse has five wins. What were, what kind of races were they? So I did, I started doing the pedigree research for the sale consignments, so that grew and as, as our consignments grew, that part of my job grew.
SMITH: At what point did you feel like, hey, this is, this is an area Iwant to specialize in?
PETERS: Oh, I knew all along that that's where I wanted to specializein. It was just, how do you actually make a living doing that? 37:00
SMITH: Were there people making a living?
PETERS: There were people doing catalogue updates and, and pedigrees.Yes. Sissy Woolums was--and I can't remember what the name of her company is. Pedigree something or other--she was located out on North Broadway, and she was the queen of pedigree researchers. She just, she was sort of, she is a legend, was a legend in her time. Um, she had made a living doing it and there were other people that had made a living doing it. Uh, I just wasn't--I didn't have the, the background, the resources at that time to even attempt to make a living doing it, and I was very happy here and thought, Well, if this, if this, if my job expands into this, fantastic. You know, and as, as we got the stallions and my job expanded into checking out the mares that are being bred to these wonderful stallions, it looked pretty fantastic.
SMITH: Okay. So while you were here the first time you had SeattleSlew, Slew o' Gold.
PETERS: Chief's Crown, Sharistani.
SMITH: Now describe your role in helping with the matings.38:00
PETERS: Well, primarily--well, I would help with, um, Robert's mares--Robert's in-house broodmare band--uh, I would make my suggestions on matings for them, uh, and of course Robert had breeding rights to any of the stallions and had some shares in other stallions so, you know, you just try to make the most of what you got, what you already have. And, uh, if they don't work then you, if they don't look, aren't the best choices with the mare then you have to go out and buy a season, but, um, I would start doing that, uh, mak-, advising Robert on his mares. The mares that came into the stallions, a lot of those were shareholder mares, and a lot, you know, and they could, and people that owned shares in stallions can breed whoever they want. So that was just a matter of, uh, looking up their pedigrees and preparing the information for the shareholder reports for other people. But people that wanted to breed to the horse that didn't have shares, that's a matter of, is this mare good enough for this stallion. And for Slew o' Gold, when he retired, I think his stud fee initially was, it was at 39:00least a hundred thousand when he retired to stud initially. So he was, we were looking at the best of the best of the best mares, and it was a matter of one, is the mare good enough quality-wise, race, race record- wise, pedigree-wise--is she good enough to go to Slew o' Gold--and we think this is going to be good cross, you know. And so I would, uh, I would make up a little sheet that would say, okay, here's her pedigree. You know, nothing wrong with this or, well, it's a little light and it's not, not the highest quality, you know, and then I'd, I'd give my opinion of what I thought of the cross based on Slew o' Gold's pedigree, what his sire's already crossing with, you know, evidence of any inbreedings good or bad; things like that so--
SMITH: Okay. So what, what were you looking to breed? I mean was there--what were the, I don't want to say the red flags or the positive pieces that you were looking for when you would make a, advise on whether this 40:00mare was a, a good, a good mare?
PETERS: Well, you just, for young horses starting out and at thetime, all our horses were--well, with the exception of Slew, Seattle Slew--all of them were young starting out, um, you, you just want to get them off to the best possible start, and I learned something from, um, a trip I took. Robert let me go overseas when we got Sharistani- -uh, I can't remember what year that was but, uh, mid-eighties. Uh, Sharistani was owned, bred and owned by the Aga Khan, and, uh, I got the opportunity in October, the year we got him, to talk with the Aga Khan's people in France to see what they recommended and how they approached filling his book initially. And I have been a, a huge admirer of the Aga Khan's program from, from his grandfather back in the 1920s on and how they've made a, they've changed the breed with the breeding program; the amazing number of important horses that have come out of their breeding program. Uh, so I figured, um, if the 41:00current Aga Khan doing as well as he's doing--for instance, breeding this horse, Sharistani, and having bred recently Shergar as well who was a great racehorse--that I want to, you know, I want to work with these people and follow their program and see what they're doing, and the idea that they were, that they imparted to me was you accept as many mares as you can that are high quality. You don't pick and choose the pedigrees initially. You just pick the quality of the pedigrees initially, but you sort of let a random distribution of pedigrees come to the horse of the highest quality and then see what works with the horse. You have a good idea what's going to work, and you can use that, that idea based on, like, Seattle Slew if we're talking about Slew o' Gold, uh, based on what his sire worked with, what his half- brothers have done. But, uh, don't come to, don't limit the outside influence because you might be cutting off something that, you know- -you can't know everything in advance, and you might be, you might be 42:00turning down someone who, uh, uh, that might be the mare that makes the horse. You know, so if you turn them down just on bloodlines, that's the wrong reason to turn them down. So what we were just looking for was the best quality mares from a broad genetic background to get these horses off to a good start; to, to get good yearlings and good runners out. And then, then we see where the chips fall. Then we see what bloodlines are working with the horse once we, once we get them onto the track, but the first stop, the first stop is getting them to the track with the highest quality broodmare base behind them.
SMITH: Um-hm. Did you have to turn many people down? Is that a common--
PETERS: Yeah. You wind up turning people down. Um, usually at thestud feed level you don't have to turn down a lot, um, because the, if people know they're going to have to be paying a hundred thousand dollars, for instance, they, they usually have nice mares. Uh, we did have the problem with Smarty Jones when I came back and Smarty Jones came to stud. There were a lot of people that didn't seem, they would 43:00submit mares that were inappropriate for the stud fee, inappropriate for the level of horse Smarty Jones was, and, uh, but they were huge fans and they, you know, and you hated to turn them down because this was their dream. You know, they want to have a Kentucky Derby winner and they just know in their heart if this nice mare of theirs got bred to Smarty Jones that she could produce a Kentucky Derby winner, and I'm not going to squelch anybody's dreams about breeding a Kentucky Derby winner. That's what we should be dreaming about. That's what every mating should be geared towards, but those, there were a lot of mares that are inappropriate that were submitted for Smarty Jones and we did have to turn down a lot, uh, at that level just because you people aren't--you know, this is a hundred thousand dollar stud fee and no, we're not gonna--we can't foal share with this mare. We can't go halves with you because this mare doesn't have what it takes to get Smarty off to the start. We need him started with, so, so yeah, you turn down mares, you turn down a lot, and you, and you hurt people's 44:00feelings because when you tell somebody their mare isn't good enough it's like saying your baby's ugly. (laughs) You know. It's hard.
SMITH: Yeah. I, I would think so. Hmm. Um, so by the time you lefthere--well, let's take this back again. Now you've got Seattle Slew. What kind of a challenge was that for--
PETERS: Wow. That wasn't a challenge at all. That was just, thatwas, I mean, when Seattle Slew came here--I want to say it was 1985 or 1986--his first crop included Slew o' Gold who was the champion of his year as a two-, as a three-year-old and a four-year-old, so he, and he, his first crop, several crops had produced several champions already. So when he came here he was like a perfect godsend, a perfect made horse, a stallion whose reputation is already proven at the highest level, and here he comes dropped in our lap because we got him because 45:00Spendthrift Farm was having financial difficulties and the ownership wanted him out of there. So we got him. We got the hottest stallion outside of Northern Dancer dropped right in our lap. It was just, the only challenge was that, uh, uh, the demand for him was so high, again, you know, and, and there was limited--at the time, they weren't breeding these huge books. You know, we were only breeding--I think at the time, actually, he might have had sixty mares, a book of sixty mares which was huge at the time. I mean, a lot of books in those days were thirty-six and forty mare books. That was the standard, uh, and that was just in the era where things were starting to creep up. I remember, I think in Slew o' Gold's first book we might have bred sixty- four mares or something like that only because his fertility was so exceptional. We opened it up a little bit when we realized how quickly he was settling his mares, so we deal, we were dealing with a small number of seasons available on an extremely desirable stallion. So the 46:00challenge was just, you know, when you run out, you run out. So, uh--
SMITH: Now, uh, at that level would you run into the problem of turningpeople down with Seattle Slew?
SMITH: Oh, okay.
SMITH: Still the same?
PETERS: Yeah. Um-hm.
SMITH: People willing to pay the price?
PETERS: Well. Yeah. You know, and, and there are some people thateven if their mare is not what we would consider good enough, uh, the person submitting it is a breeder of great renown, who am I, who am I to tell Paul Mellon or Ogden Phipps that he can't breed his mare to Seattle Slew? He can breed whoever he wants to Seattle Slew, you know, that sort of thing. So there's that. There's a little bit of politics involved. You have to consider who owns the mare, but yeah. You're always turning people down, and we're just, there's just a limited number of spots and when that's over, that's over. 47:00
SMITH: So Three Chimneys, after Seattle Slew arrived, how had it grownfrom when you started with it to that point?
PETERS: Well, it was amazing. It was, it was--when we started, wewere--actually, we were two broodmare divisions when we started, when I started there--was it, two broodmare divisions and a yearling division. So they were starting, they were starting their growth, but, uh, when I, when I started it was with the first stallion and we had one stallion our first year with stallions. And when Seattle Slew came, that was like the, that was, um, the seal of approval for the industry when you get a horse like Seattle Slew and you've got Slew o' Gold in the barn and you've got Chief's Crown and the Aga Khan's willing to stand his horse, Sh-, his Darby winner with you. Then it was all, it was the highest of the high standards. We're among the elite farms all of a sudden, and Robert Clay had built that stallion barn down there--one, two, one, two, three, four, five, six--a six-stall stallion 48:00barn and said, "This is all we're going to have. We're going to be the boutique. Elite of the elite," and he filled up that barn really quick and realized, there's more to be done here. Built a second barn. So, but, you know, still, uh, it started out dealing with the elite of the stallions and it's continued to deal with the elite of the stallions even though we've expanded down, expanded out to, I think, we've got fourteen--thirteen available stalls. Uh, it's still the elite of the elite stallions which is amazing to maintain that level, and, and Robert has maintained, uh, that, that, uh, boutique atmosphere even though he's expanded the number of stalls. So it's, the reputation of the farm just soared after that.
SMITH: How did that impact your career and your reputation?
PETERS: Well, at that point, you know--I left in '89, so it was, it wasgood. I mean, everybody, when I said I worked for Three Chimneys Farm, 49:00it was people knew that, and if they didn't recognize that, I would say, "Have you heard of Seattle Slew?" and they would recognize that. So it was, it lent me a lot of name recognition, sure, yeah, but I didn't, I didn't have the industry name. I didn't have the reputation when I left the farm as when I came back. I sort of was, was, uh, people in the industry were starting to know, know who I was, but it was still, to a large degree I was still a girl in the office when I left. And when I went out and made my own name then, then I, you know, with, with off the back, the, the foundation of having worked at Three Chimneys Farm then that helped.
SMITH: Well, let's talk about those--was it fifteen years--that, betweenwhen you left Three Chimneys and when you came back?
SMITH: All right. So, uh, you went to--what did you say--Carlisle?
PETERS: Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
SMITH: And what was your plan then?
PETERS: My plan was--well, we bought this small farm. My husband50:00and I bought this small farm and thought about having a family and getting some horses and maybe expanding, maybe actually having some Thoroughbred broodmares there, um, in time when the opportunity arose, and, uh, that fell apart and the marriage dissolved. And so then I found myself needing a job. So I, uh, got in--I was approached by some people that I had met, uh, while working here, uh, sort of referred by, uh, Les Brinsfield who was a pedigree guru, uh, out, who was on his own. He was, he was retired, uh, from government work but sort of, in his retirement, was acting as a pedigree advisor, and he got me in touch with some people on Long Island who had started a company called Highflyer which had, which had a newsletter and, uh, did pedigree consulting. So I started writing for Highflyer and then I eventually became the editor for Highflyer and their chief consultant 51:00and started doing a lot of consulting through Highflyer, and when Highflyer dissolved, I went out on my own. That was around 2000, maybe even 1999, 2000. Um, uh, I, I started doing my own consulting and also got the opportunity to become the editor of Owner Breeder which was a bigger, more established breeding newsletter, and that really helped get my name out there. I would write regularly. I had regular, several regular columns in Owner Breeder, and I did my own consulting on the side and I also had started writing for um, m-, magazines mainstream, well Thoroughbred magazines; The Blood-Horse and The Thoroughbred Times and The Thoroughbred R-, well it was Thoroughbred Times--and, um, their online Thoroughbred Times. And I did the Web site for Owner Breeder and that sort of thing, so I really got out 52:00there and really got my name out in a lot of publications and started doing the, the pedigree column for the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred which handles all Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, um, Delaware. So really in the Northeast I, I made my name very well-known.
SMITH: Um-hm. Now what kind of challenge did the, and that's a lot ofdifferent kinds of freelancing. What kind of challenge was that for you?
PETERS: I worked my butt off. (laughs) I was working out of my houseand I worked my butt off, and you work weekends and you work into the evening and, you know, fortunately you can take time off to go down to the sales. But you work and you write and you write and you work, and it was a lot of fun but it was, uh, it was very stressful at times. I mean, there was always the need to, to meet the bills and, and, you know, you'd take on any task because pedigree consulting is, is not a, a widespread industry, you know. You take the money, you take the jobs 53:00where they are, you take all the writing jobs you can because you gotta get, you, to, to--I mean, I was making a living, but it was, it was--I was paying the bills, but I was working my ass off to do it.
PETERS: So, uh--
SMITH: Now who were some of your clients have been as a consultant?
PETERS: Um, one of my best clients and favorite clients is, uh, DickOtto out of Chicago. I had, I believe--I'm trying to think. I can't even remember how we got in contact--but, uh, he had a nice mare named, uh, Smiling Neatly. She was a stakes-winning mare in Chicago, but she had the really odd Florida pedigree, really not a good Florida pedigree. But she'd already produced a nice stakes winner and, um, seemed to be, um, going somewhere, so we just, I worked with Dick on, uh, on bloodlines and we, he also used a biomechanics guy named Randy 54:00Tremble. And together, the three of us, uh, worked out a system of, of mating his mares, and it started kicking out some really nice stakes performers, mostly out of Smiling Neatly and then out of her daughter Julie Mis. So, uh, that was fun. We got a graded stakes winner named, um, Summer Mis from the combination, so, and success seemed to be coming really quickly once I got into that equation so I was excited about that. And I still do some work for Dick, but he's, it's, it's, it's, I'm not as accessible to him as I was. You know, he used to call me all the time and now we, we don't--we're not in touch--but we had some good success there. Um, a lot of small, uh, Maryland breeders I dealt with. Well, King Leatherbury, the trainer, called me and had me do some work for him, and I didn't find out until several years later- -he, he called, he was trying to get a hold of me. He called me when I was here back at the farm to, to get hold of me, and I called him back- -and he said, "Yeah, you bred that nice horse for me." And I'm thinking, 55:00Who? And it's a, it was a horse named Odd Day who's won quite a few stakes in the Maryland circuit, mid-Atlantic circuit, that was, uh, by a horse named Malibu Moon when Malibu Moon was standing in Maryland for nothing. And now Malibu Moon's standing here in Kentucky. He's moved up quite a bit. I think his fee's thirty thousand or forty thousand, so, uh, you know, so they do remember that I helped them breed some nice horses.
SMITH: Hmm. Uh, do you have any challenges, uh, I may not ask thisright because I, clearly I'm not from that asp-, not from the industry and don't know this aspect of the industry very well--but, um, when people are looking for something that you might not recommend in terms of what they want the outcome to be? I'm not saying this right--
PETERS: How do you mean?
SMITH: --am, I?
PETERS: How do you mean?
SMITH: They might want breed a horse that could, um, um--well, you may56:00just turn these things down--but if they want to breed a horse that has some, uh, genetic quality that you don't think needs to be--
PETERS: Well, on a very basic level--
SMITH: --but could be a good horse--
PETERS: I, I have been known to tell people, your mare's not worthbreeding.
PETERS: I've had--I, and one of my clients, um, Don Dean--probably thefirst client that I ever had that I said, "Don, you're never going to make"--he wanted to make, he wanted to breed this mare commercially-- and I said, "Don, this mare's never going to be a commercial mare. I, you know, I don't want to hurt your feelings, but you're never going to breed a commercial horse out of this. She just doesn't have a very good pedigree. She's just not well-bred enough to keep putting money into on a commercial level. Uh, you know, breed to race. If you want to breed to race out of her, fine, but she's not even that great." So, uh, you know, I have had cases where people have had mares, and I've 57:00tried to talk them out of breeding them because we don't need more horses being bred that, that are just going to be cheap claimers.
PETERS: And, and I, and when I see a family that's just producingcheap claimers or not even cheap claimers, just nothing, it's hard to encourage someone to breed no matter how much, how many good intentions they have. Uh, if they're not going to, if they're not breeding runners that are going to be competitive then we just get into this loop of they're breeding an additional horse that's going to need a home, you know, and, and no matter how much you can up, up, an owner wants to promise they'll take care of this horse all their life, at some point bills get ahead of them, horses go to the market and if the horse isn't worth anything at the market, God knows where they wind up. So I've always tried to tell people, you know, breeding--we always have this dilemma of breeding to race and breeding to sell, you know, and breeding to race is fine but I still talk to, try to talk my, uh, breed to race people into thinking on a commercial level to some point 58:00just because you give your horse value. If you, if you are no longer taking care of it, if you lose it in a claiming race, at least it still has some intrinsic value by the nature of its quality pedigree than if it were just bred on some free season you got because your neighbor stands the stallion, you know, which I've heard a lot. I, I can get to this cheap son of Mr. Prospector for free, and that's what I want to do. I can't advise you to do that because you horse has no value. Your horse, horses at that level are worth a thousand bucks or the meat price, you know--
PETERS: --depending on what they are as riding horses. So, uh, yeah.I've had a lot of hard decisions trying to encourage people to breed up, not just to spend their money. I'm just not thrilled with spending their money, I wasn't getting commissions off, off these mating suggestions, but I want these horses to have liv-, valuable lives. You know, you want them to go on and do something. I've had people 59:00that say they want to just breed stayers on the grass. They love grass racing and they want to breed stayers, and that's, that's wonderful. There aren't enough of those good stayers out there, but you don't make any money breeding stayers on the grass and you usually wait a long time. And, again, you're dealing with an animal whose intrinsic value is minimal in the end, and you're better off breeding for a little more speed and a little more, you know, versatility. Maybe some more--at the time, you know, we didn't have synthetic surfaces when I was initially consulting so it was either dirt or turf. Period. That's, those are the choices, and if all you wanted to do was breed grass horses, one, you really limited your opportunities because grass racing is such a limited opportunity compared to dirt racing and then you limited the outer, the market on the other end who wanted a horse that was bred strictly for the grass. So I, yeah. It's been hard. It, it's sometimes you have to, to give a reality check to some of 60:00these people and say, "I know you love this mare and I know you want to, you know, do right by this mare, but sometimes doing right by this horse is not breeding it." And people don't want to hear that.
SMITH: No. I'm sure they don't.
SMITH: That's uh, but, uh--
PETERS: Or geld it. Geld this colt. Say that to a male client--(Smithlaughs)--and they, they get very antsy. They don't want to talk about gelding their colts. It's a very hard thing to discuss--
SMITH: --I'm sure, I'm sure--
PETERS: --so those are hard decisions, too.
SMITH: Well, it sounds like you have a concern for, um, improving thebreed not just for the industry but also for the sake of the horse.
PETERS: Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, like I said, I'd encourage anybodyto make--people are always apologizing to me. I want to breed a Kentucky Derby winner, and I say, "Don't apologize." That should be everybody's goal. That keeps your standards high. If you shoot, if you shoot to breed claimers at, at, uh, you know, Ellis Park or 61:00Charles Town or Suffolk Downs, you might as not well, you might as well not even be breeding because you're, you're, there's no, there's no pleasure in breeding a cheap claimer. You know, they're not making money. The idea is, there's a whole lot more fun to be had making money--(laughs)--than standing in the winner's circle for a cheap claimer. You know, uh, no. It's important to be improving the horse. If you're not improving it, then you're not doing right by it. Uh, the, that's what breeding, the breeding has been all about for three hundred years is breeding the best runners to the best runners and trying to always get a better racehorse. And if you, if you have a horse that was a nice racehorse but he's got some problems, that's the next challenge. Fix the problems. Even though it's a good racehorse, he might have bad feet. He might not have enough stamina. He might not, he might be little and you want to have and you want to add some size, same thing with the mares. So the next thing is to fix what's 62:00wrong with the problem, uh, so you're always trying to breed a better horse. If you're not trying to breed a better horse, there's no point in trying to breed. You might as well just throw them all out in a field and let them do it, you know, because there's, there's no point if you're not trying to breed a better horse.
SMITH: Hmm. Now how much attention, um, does the industry pay topedigrees? Has that changed since you began?
PETERS: Um, a lot of attention is paid to pedigrees; in fact, I thinkit's shifted away. Um, it used to be--I think there was much more of an emphasis on pedigrees than there is now. I mean, there is still a huge emphasis on pedigrees, but right now in the commercial market the buyers are concentrating much more on conformation. They, they want that perfect horse. They don't want the horse that has any problems. I mean, they always, you, when you alway-, whenever you read the, uh, the description of how is the sale going they, they talk to the buyers and the sellers, and the buyers are always saying, "Oh, there's, there's some great looking individuals out here." You know, you 63:00know, you can buy, you can buy a good looking horse here, and they're always talking about the, the, the physical aspect of the horse; the conformation and, and the balance and the athleticism. And a lot of these sales--uh, for instance, I was just up at the Saratoga sale, and the sires were good. The stallions represented were very high quality and the physical aspect, these were very high quality individuals physically, but a lot of the female sides of the pedigrees in that catalogue were a little weak. It was, it was an interesting catalogue because you had really strong sires, kind of weak female lines and incredible physical individuals. So it, um, if you were looking for a racehorse, you could find one. You were going to pay a little more, uh, because of the sire involved, but if you were looking for a future broodmare or stallion, it wasn't quite the place to be because the female lines were a little light.
SMITH: How important are the female lines?64:00
PETERS: In breeding stock, they're very important. Uh, if you're, ifyou're in the business to breed, if you're breeding your mare to get, to get a, you know, if, to breed, to win a Kentucky Derby or if you're breeding--I have some clients that, that are like, they sell their colts and they keep their fillies--or they're specifically breeding fillies to be future broodmares, um, the female line is very important. You need that strength, that underlining--underlying flow of quality from generation to generation. If the female line is not consistently producing quality stakes horses every generation, you have to figure out why. Sometimes you can get away with one generation of the family falling off a little bit, and you can resurrect it by going back to something that, that's worked with the family. But the strength of the female line is very important in, in the breeding stock side of it. You see very few--it, I, I can't even think. It's, among stallions it's 65:00almost impossible to name a good stallion who didn't come from a good female line, and, and it's almost impossible to name a good stallion who didn't come, wasn't sired by a high quality sire. The pedigree is so important, uh, on the breeding end of things and the breeding end of things goes over into the commercial side of things, and the strength of the female line is, might be the most important thing. You can always find good stallions but you can't always find good female lines.
SMITH: Okay. Yeah. I've heard somebody--I can't even remember who saidthat--they, they described it as it's three-quarters mare. (laughs)
PETERS: Well, I don't know what the number is. There, there is somevalidity in saying that the mare is more important than the stallion just because, you know, you, you look at the catalogue like the Saratoga catalogue and you see A--maybe not A.P. Indy because he's always bred to very good mares--but you see a Malibu Moon who's a very high quality stallion with a high quality pedigree, uh, and the off-, 66:00the dam side of it is something that's not impressive. So already, you've already lost. That's an individual. If you're looking for a next generation, if you're looking to buy that as a breeding stock, you've already lost that. Um, the other thing is the foal is raised by the mare in most cases. Sometime they go on nurse mares, but generally speaking if the foal is raised by the mare, they learn the behaviors of the mare. They learn their, their position in the, in the, uh, pecking order from their mare, from their dam, but frequently that is also a genetic characteristic; the, their position in the pecking order, their dominance in a herd is very important when it comes to the racetrack. The dominant individuals dominate on the racetrack, not only through their athleticism but through their, the way they can psych out their competitors. Um, I don't know if you ever saw Cigar race.
PETERS: I don't know if you ever saw Cigar go to the post. Cigargoing to the post--now he was a great racehorse and clearly one of 67:00the best athletes of his era--but Cigar walking to the post to me was the perfect example of a horse psyching out his field because when he walked to the post he swaggered with this attitude like, "You can't touch me. Who are you?" You know. "I'm Cigar. I'm the king here, and you're not getting anywhere near me," and I think his personal attitude and his personal dominance is, is one thing that made him be such a great racehorse. And I think that--and if, if that applies to mares, uh, a, a, a, a--not a submissive mare--a mare that's low on the pecking order is going to produce babies that are low on the pecking order which, almost by definition, can't succeed on the racetrack because they're going to be dominated psychologically by these other horses.
SMITH: Right. Right. Hmm.
PETERS: So, uh, you need--mares are important. Genetically, it'sfifty-fifty. You know, there are some mares that can be a little more 68:00dominating and it's not always--that's just theoretically fifty-fifty. You know, there are some mares that can throw a little bit more genetic influence than their sire, but, uh, the--and, and then you have horses that are raised on nurse mares that don't get anything from their mare, from their dam, uh, behaviorally speaking. Uh, Alydar was raised on a nurse mare, and that didn't seem to slow him down so, you know, there's, there's, there's, uh--I stick with the fifty-fifty just because I've seen some stallions manage to pull their--
SMITH: Pull the mare?
PETERS: --pull the mares up significantly when they, you know. So Ithink it's fifty-fifty, but it's--
SMITH: Sounds like, uh, your work is quite a bit of detective work insome ways.
PETERS: It absolutely is.
SMITH: Solving a mystery.
PETERS: It is, well, you, you have to find all the information. To, uh,I, I tell a lot of people it's not just, pedigrees are not just names 69:00on the page. The name symbolizes everything about that horse. When I look at the name of a horse in a pedigree, when I see Seattle Slew's name in a pedigree, I see a pic-, I have a picture of him or I find one if I don't know what he looked like, and I try to find two or three pictures of him, of the horse if I don't know what they looked like because sometimes one picture is a static image. It doesn't give you a complete view of the horse. Um, so I know what he looked like, I know what his bearing was, I know what his--to some degree--what his faults were, but that's the other thing. You have to look up the horse's faults. You have to look up the race records. You have to find out what they were good at, what they weren't good at, so there's all sorts of details that you need that come behind that name. And the name itself is just a, just like a bookmark for all the other information you need.
SMITH: That's right.
SMITH: Well, let's go back to your, uh, fifteen years in Pennsylvaniaand freelancing. What did you learn from that period that might--makes 70:00you better at what you do?
PETERS: Well, one thing I did, I started doing that, in that period wasI started giving seminars. I remember the first time, um, I was asked to give a seminar was for the Maryland Horse Breeders, and, uh, I was always one of those kids that when you had to give your oral report in school I was the one that waited until the end because I was so nervous and my hands shook and my voice shook because I was terrified of speaking in public, terrified. Uh, and so when I was asked to give this pedigree seminar, I was terrified, but I said, "Anne, you have to do this. You absolutely have to do this professionally." And I did it. It seemed to go okay. I got good reports, and then I started getting asked to do more, and I kept getting more good feedback. So that was the most important thing is I have to put myself out there, and I think the reason why I was successful at it, is because once I got up there 71:00and started talking about something I knew and I knew well, I was okay. My voice still shook and my hands still shook, but I could answer the questions and, and I knew that they couldn't catch me in any trick questions because--it's not that I knew everything--but I was confident enough in my knowledge that I wasn't going to get backed into some strange corner. You know, I wasn't going to be the, heck, I wouldn't have to worry about, about making, uh, coming off sounding like an idiot because I was, I was confident enough in what I knew. And that's helped me a lot is--and, and here, when I consult people on the phone or meet with clients here--I just sort of wait for the questions because I, I don't know the answers all the time, and I, I, you know, learn something every day. And I'm st-, learn, every new horse that retires to stud is something to learn, but I'm confident I can give a good, solid, sound answer to any of their breeding questions. So 72:00that's what I learned is, uh, uh, to gain confidence in my knowledge. It wasn't just, it wasn't just I, I read a lot as a kid and I know some information. It's, no, I can actually put this stuff to use.
SMITH: What did you enjoy doing most of all those things, uh, whenyou were freelancing? You were writing, you were putting together Web sites; you were--wasn't that, isn't that when you started the Herit-, Thoroughbred Heritage Web site?
PETERS: Thoroughbred Heritage site. Yeah. Getting online. I, I,bump, met some people also interested not only in the pedigrees. See, the pedigrees with me leads me back in time in the horses. I, you go back. Every generation you're back another five, ten, fifteen years, and, and in learning about horses, I kept coming across stud farms and owners and breeders and breeding programs. So I, I got involved in loving the history of it and especially in an area like Kentucky where, you know, it's all around you; the history, the breed. So I got, I hooked up with some friends online and--in particular, Pat Erigero- 73:00-and we started the, uh, the, uh, Thoroughbred Heritage Web site, tbheritage.com, uh, with a third partner, but she, she, um, jumped ship on us at one time which was fine. We were happy doing it, and, and, uh, uh, just, and that Web site right now is focused on the English origins of the breed although we do talk about some American horses. But the, the origins of the breed are always just, just fascinating for that. That's, that's really cool. Um--
SMITH: You also worked on a book, co-authored. Now this would have beenafter you--no, you still hadn't come back.
PETERS: It was in the early nineties. It was, yeah, Alan Porter whoI'd worked with at Highflyer, um, and I'd known for a long time. I'd met when I started working here. Um, Alan Porter and I worked on a book. Uh, he had written the first volume. He had written Patterns of Greatness which was about European horses, and I said, "Alan, do one on American horses. And I'd really like to help you with my own 74:00added dimension on the American horses because I'd like to add more information about the physicalness, the conformation of the horse and what they passed on and their temperament and personal things, not just their names and their race records." And he said, "Oh, well, that'd be great." So we worked on that, and, uh, that was a lot of fun. Um, I do love the writing and I love the history, and if I could do that, you know, in my retirement is probably--if I ever get to retire, that'll be what I want to do. I, I love the writing and exploring in history, and in the evenings when I'm bored and can't think of anything else to do or tired of doing something else I will, uh, uh, either pull out one of my books on history or Google online trying to find, track things down that aren't even, that are online but not even for the reason of a horseracing thing. I love the, the, where horses, the horse cemetery thing is something I'm kind of known for. The horse graves, grave matters which is on that Thoroughbred Heritage site. Um, I, it started 75:00out as a Halloween joke because I'd found a bunch of descriptions about horses, mounted skeletons and mounted heads in exhibits and everything and then putting that together with my interest in the history of breeders I came to realize that where, where these famous horses were buried were at the great stud farms. And the cemeteries were the, the honorable mentions for the farms. These were the foundation horses for a lot of the farms was what was buried in the cemeteries, so when you had these cemeteries you sort of had someone's life, life's work. They were paying tribute to these particular horses. So putting the, tracking down the cemeteries became an interesting sleuthing job because a lot of the farms have disappeared that these cemeteries are built around, so sometimes all you have left is the horse grave. There's a horse grave down in, uh, downtown, uh, out on Harrodsburg Road in the 76:00Southpark Office Plaza. You know where Sullivan University is?
PETERS: There's a horse grave in the middle of that parking lot for ahorse named Ornament who was buried there by Hal Price Headley back in--oh, what was it--1915 something like that, you know, and the farm is long gone but Ornament's still there. And if you go back in Coldstream, back at UK's Coldstream, uh, Project that's now being completely developed, uh, back by Carnahan House, there's a grave of a stallion named Bulldog who is a hugely important stallion who lived there when that was Coldstream Stud. Coldstream Stud's gone. Bulldog, by the grace of God, is still there. I don't know. His stone is still there. I hope that they can keep his stone there without it disappearing some night in a construction frenzy.
SMITH: Yeah. Um, I interviewed Alice, uh, Chandler, and she, uh, grievesto some extent over the horses that are buried under the concrete. 77:00
PETERS: Yes. Yes. I, I worry about them, too, and that's one reasonwhy I keep the, the project alive. And a lot of people love that side of things because they want to, you know, they want to see. They want to pay their respects to the horses, too. But, you know, to me the graves, the graves are the, are the history of the breed really are in the graves, and the more I go back reading through and find--oh, I found another one--you know, somebody's buried in--I've been tracking a horse named Glencoe who was a hugely influential horse from the mid- 1800s. He is, probably I can safely say he is in the pedigree of every Thoroughbred alive, and, uh, because he started his career in England and sired a tre-, a really important broodmare named Pocahontas, hugely important broodmare, and then he came over here and became a hugely important stallion here. And he ended his days over in Georgetown, and I had read that he was buried in the garden of A. Ke-, A. Keene Richard's house in Georgetown. And I got to thinking, Well, now that I'm here, where was that? And so I'm working on gradually, gradually 78:00coming lot by lot closer to where Glencoe's buried, and the people that the, at the, uh, as far as I know the people at the Scott County Historical Society, they don't know where he's buried and they want me to find him. And we're, we're almost, we're close. If I can find the stump of a large oak tree on a certain lot in downtown Georgetown, I've found him, but, uh, and nobody else has done that. So tracking down these horses that, that will be lost--and a lot of these graves are a verbal history as well--uh, and once the verbal history of where these horses are buried is gone, they're gone. So the more I can track down that verbal history of, does anybody know of any horses who were buried on this property that may or may not be marked--
SMITH: All right. I'll keep that in mind.
SMITH: In my interviews, I'll see what I come up with because a lot ofthem do talk about that.
SMITH: Um, okay. Well, tell me, um, why you came back to Three Chimneys.79:00
PETERS: I came back to Three Chimneys for health insurance and because Iknew--I was in Pennsylvania, and even though the Pennsylvania breeding program is making a big turnaround or a turnaround, um, the best horses in the world are here in Kentucky, and I've always needed to, loved the best horses. And I knew that I really needed to be back here ultimately, and I was ready. I was at a time in my life where I was ready to move back. I was sort of done as much as I could do up in Pennsylvania, and, uh, uh, so I e-mailed my friend, Dan Rosenberg, at Three Chimneys farm who I had stayed in touch with, and I said, uh, "Dan, I'm ready to move back. Uh, do you know of any farms that are hiring somebody like me," meaning, you know. I, I knew it was a long shot that somebody, you know, that a pedigree position would open, but maybe he knew something what some of these new farms that were coming up, you know, maybe. And he e-mailed back and said--it must have 80:00been in April of, of 2004--and he said, "This is really strange. Our pedigree person just gave notice. Your position is open again. Don't talk to anybody else."
PETERS: So I said, "Well, that's just weird, but okay." (laughs) SoI came back and, and interviewed with Robert and Dan and got the job again so, um, now I'm in a new office. My original office was in this old part of the building, and since they've expanded the office in my absence I'm way over on the other side of the building in a nice, big office and, uh, uh, so I, I moved back for the horses and, and getting the opportunity to work. Because I, when I first talked with Dan, like I said, it was April and then May came and Smarty Jones won the Kentucky Derby, and between May and, and between the Derby and the Preakness, Three Chimneys made an offer on, on, uh, Smarty Jones or put their bid in on Smarty Jones. And then I discovered after my interview 81:00that, uh, they, they wanted me to come down and help them make their final pitch for Smarty Jones. So in June of that year, they, they had me come down for the day when they made their final sale pitch which to me was fantastic just to be part of the process of hoping that the farm gets this horse and maybe something I say has, has helped them get the horse. And, uh, so I found out after, afterwards that--the announcement came around the Belmont Stakes time--that Three Chimneys was getting the horse. So when I told people, "Well, yeah. I'm moving back to Kentucky," and, "Well, where are you going?" "Well, have you heard of Three, have you heard of Smarty Jones?" So we had a family reunion, um, that July and everybody in the family just sat down at the table and were asking me questions about Smarty and the horse industry, so it as, it was, it was cool. But it was, I moved back because I needed to be back with the best and it doesn't get any better than this, and I 82:00needed health insurance. (laughs) So--and now I have health insurance.
SMITH: Oh, most anybody that, uh, freelances, that's a concern.
PETERS: Yes, it is.
SMITH: That's a concern. Yeah. I understand Three Chimneys, um, fromthe people I've talked with, takes pretty good care of its employees.
PETERS: There's, there's a good package. Yeah. Yeah.
SMITH: Now, um, pedigree consultants or specialists at a farm, is thatcommon for farms to have their own?
PETERS: It is now. It wasn't when I started doing it. I'll, I'll,there's a difference now, between now and then. A lot of, some farms breed their own pedigree consultants. The Hancocks have been breeding their own pedigree consultants for years. They're bred into it. They live it every day. They, you know, they've, they've grown up with it, uh, you know, so a lot of those farms, a lot of those family farms--you know, the Taylors. They've been bred and, born and bred into this industry. Uh, Brett Jones down at Airdrie, up at Airdrie Stud is Governor Jones' son, and, and, so but there are some farms like Robert 83:00here with Three Chimneys, here, um, he, he knew pedigrees but he didn't have the time to do all the research that would be required to follow through with a proper pedigree program. And so, um, there, and that's what a lot of pedigree people at farms now do. I, I know of--there's about five or six farms that advertise somebody specifically as their pedigree person, but a lot of farms have just have like a, a stallion, uh, seasons division and they do, they'll just look up basic pedigree stuff. But there are a few farms that advertise specifically a pedigree person.
SMITH: Okay. So, um, how would you describe your job here? Describewhat your job is now exactly.
PETERS: Um, right now, um, well, my, my busy time of year starts afterthe September sale, and what happens then is people start thinking 84:00about who they're going to breed their mares to and so, uh, and that coincides with about the time that we announce the stud fees for the upcoming breeding season and, uh, which we normally do at the end of September or early October. So in the fall, um, I, my phone rings with people wanting to breed to one of our stallions, and it comes in, it, it, the call comes in many different forms. It can be a client of ours who wants me to tell, advise them who to breed their mare to and, of course, I look at our boys first and see if, if, uh, they fit any of our boys, and if not, I'll go, I'll look at other stallion rosters and see which stallions, where, you know, if it's a stallion on another farm that suits the mare better, I'll recommend that--but, uh, so that's the one call; a client call wanting general mare matings. I'll do the farm mare, mare matings as well with that same thing in mind. If any of our stallions are good choices for them, we'll do that. If 85:00not, we do breed some off farm. I think we bred maybe 30 percent of our mares off the farm.
SMITH: Now when you say "our mares" is that owned by Mr. Clay?
PETERS: Three Chimneys. Yeah. The Three Chimneys' owned mares. Um,the, the calls--some people will call up and say, "I have this mare. Which of your stallions should I breed her to?" And so I'll, I'll look up the mare's pedigree, cross section it with, with any of our stallions and see which, which ones for the price that they're willing to spend, uh, which one it suits best. Some people will call up and say, "I want to breed my mare to Smarty Jones." Period. "Can I?" And, and then I'll s-, review the pedigree, make sure she suits on the quality and, and make sure her reproductive record is good. If there, if she's a mare that's hard to get pregnant sometimes we turn them down if they're, if it really looks like it's going to be, uh, a difficult mare to get pregnant and it's just going to pull the stallion's fertility statistics down, uh, we won't do it. Some, some of them we will take a chance on, but we screen them that way, too. Uh, so, uh, uh, I get 86:00any number of calls and have any number of actions to do, but, uh, uh, you know, sometimes I'll just get an e-mail from Juddmonte Farm that says, "We want seasons for these mares to these stallions," and I just prepare the contracts. You know, I don't even--like with Juddmonte or Overbrook or, you know, Lane's End Farm, I don't even presume to, to review the pedigrees. They know what they're doing. They're people that, uh, that are at the highest level, so I just send the contracts out. You know, the mare is approved. Let's send the contract out, so it comes in any number of forms. The calls I like best are calls that, uh--well, of course, I like to do general matings where I'm not limited to just our horses--but it is a fun challenge when they have a nice mid-range mare and they're willing to spend a little bit of money, which of our stallions suits the mare best. That's fun.
SMITH: Yeah. Yeah. I would think so. Now are you involved in helpingdetermine a value of a foal based on pedigree? 87:00
PETERS: Um, to a minor degree. A lot of that gets done over at ourauction sales division when they, when the babies are being nominated for the, for the November sale. They do a lot of that, but, uh, I've done, I've done appraisals on, on babies or any kind of horse, I've done appraisals. But appraisal calls are kind of rare from my end.
PETERS: I'm sure they get more of them at the auction sales and theydeal more with that directly when it comes down to sale day and people determining what kind of, uh, reserve price they want to put on their baby if, if they want to put a reserve price on.
SMITH: Um-hm. Um-hm. Okay. Um, there are some, uh, challenges facingthe industry today with, uh, Eight Belles--
SMITH: --and now these are issues that I know have come around time andagain with the industry, but right now you seem to be, uh, caught in the line of fire when it comes to breeding. 88:00
SMITH: So how does that impact your work?
PETERS: It's very hard. Uh, in fact I just gave a, a seminar up atSaratoga. I was asked to give the, uh, Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders has, uh, a full day seminar, pedigree and conformation seminars, and I've done several of their, the pedigree component of those seminars. And I did the one up at Saratoga on last Tuesday morning, and I decided, uh, uh, that I would address the issue of soundness in Thoroughbreds in particular because Three Chimneys was co-breeder of Eight Belles. We stand Dynaformer who sired Barbaro. Uh, we have Big Brown who's the, you know, the steroid poster boy allegedly, so, uh, you know, there were a lot of issues directly related to Three Chimneys that I wanted to talk about. And, uh, uh, so it's, it's as far, with pedigrees, um, I had, I had an incident when I was up at Saratoga that I used as my opening statement at the seminar. When I was, uh, I 89:00was at the races on Monday at Saratoga, and there was a, uh, race for maidens, maiden two-year-old colts, uh, at a mile and a sixteenth on the grass. And I was looking down the entries and there was a colt in that race by Dynaformer who, who gets middle distance grass horses, and I thought, Well, this, this race is perfect for him. You know, that's- -and I said, you know, my friends were asking me who I liked in the race, and I said, "Well, I like the Dynaformer out of the Danzig mare. That sounds perfect for me at this distance and these conditions." And a woman in the crowd leaned back and said, "Dynaformer out of a Danzig mare? Well, that sounds like a recipe for a breakdown." And I, I was stunned, and I said, "Excuse me?" And she said, "Well, Dynaformer sired Barbaro, and Barbaro broke down." And I said, "Um, Dynaformer is one of the soundest horses in the business, and you, you seem to be misinformed on something here." And she went, "And Danzig broke 90:00down, too." And I said, "Well, Danzig has sired over two hundred stakes winners, and, you know, he's a really good stallion." "Well, that's just breakdown all over that pedigree." So, you know, I was wearing a Three Chimney's shirt at the time, and I'm really sure she didn't know, she didn't put that together much less even know that Dynaformer stood at Three Chimneys or who I was as the pedigree person at Three Chimneys and considered one of the leading pedigree people in the world. I'm sure she had none of that in mind, but what she did know was what she'd read in the popular press and that was--what she'd read in the popular press is, I certainly don't get my breeding advice from the popular press and that's what she was getting all her breeding information from the popular press. So in this seminar, I tried to address the things that were coming out of the press and I, I talked about Eight Belles' pedigree, and Eight Belles' pedigree is a good mating. It's a good mating. It's a good pedigree. There's a lot of good things in there, 91:00and I tried to explain that and point out that the mating was designed to balance soundness and unsoundness and speed and stamina. That's what a good mating is all about, to get that balance, and my concern is that people are presuming we're just breeding these ridiculously fast horses that, that are just sticks, flying sticks that break down. And that's not what the breed has been for three hundred years, and when you breed running, sp-, when you breed a horse to do that for three hundred years, running on those legs, you--the ones that can't do it are bred out pretty darn quickly. So, you know, and you're breeding, you're breeding--when you're breeding for speed, you're really breeding for athleticism. So we've been breeding strong, powerful, athletic, agile, intelligent, high energy, fast horses, not just fast horses. 92:00We're breeding horses that have good legs; that after three hundred years they better have good legs, you know. And, uh, so the, uh, the issues with the breed, I think there are other issues. I don't think the breed is inherently unsound. I think there are other things that are affecting the breed now, and I think to some degree the commercial sales that I described earlier, uh, where the, the concentration is on the physicalness of the horse. Of course, everybody wants a well-made horse with perfect legs, uh, but the, uh, the sales have put an undue emphasis on a certain physical type that in any other breed we would call a halter class horse. I don't know if you're familiar with the Quarter Horse breed. The Quarter Horse breed, they've got several different disciplines. You have halter class which is where you're showing the horse in hand as a physical specimen. How close is he to 93:00the breed perfect-, perfect standard? Just like AKC dogs. How close are they to the breed standard? And then you have the performance horses that don't have to line up to the breed standard physically, but they have to perform at the highest level. And, uh, that's what, you know, the horse is bred for p-, for performance, not for conformation whereas in the sales ring nowadays, people are selecting the best conformed horses. They're selected for a standard of conformation that is artificial and not necessarily equivalent to speed and performance.
SMITH: Okay. But, um, the breeders that are putting these horses outhere--
PETERS: Are presenting--they're breeding to that type. They're breedingto--
SMITH: --because they'll sell--
PETERS: --to answer that question. Yes. And, and there are, there isthat danger of only breeding that type and, but, but you can defeat 94:00yourself when you do that if all you do is take the fancy stallions that, that produce that type. Like with, uh, with, uh, Eight Belles for instance. She was by Unbridled Song who's a big horse, but he throws that sale type. He throws the big, beautiful body. He throws the size. They want yearlings that look like two-year-olds. He throws that size, that leg, but, uh, if you hadn't, if you just breed for the body ultimately, the next step is they have to get to the track. They have to stand training. They have to break their maiden. They have to become stakes winners. If they can't pass those additional steps then you not only have hurt your sale consignment, you've hurt your mare. You know, you can only do that for so many years before it comes back to bite you. It's a very short-term way of breeding, um, because if you're, if you're just breeding to produce that yearling that looks 95:00fantastic in September of his yearling year then you're, then you're not gearing your mare's production, and pretty soon the, your mare is just going to have unraced, unplaced, placed, is not going to produce the high quality runner that you, that you should be striving for if you're trying to breed for the racetrack instead of the sale ring. So there are, there are consigners that are breeding for that, and to some degree your matings have to be with that in mind. You know, there are certain stallions that everybody knows as much as you want to use them you can't use them commercially because the market won't pay money for them no matter what they look--no matter how much you love it and no matter how many good races. Cryptoclearance is a stallion like this right now. Cryptoclearance has produced Belmont Stakes winners. He's produced Breeders' Cup champions. Uh, he's, he's a tremendously good stallion, but his yearlings barely bring the stud fee because for 96:00some reason their physical type in September of their yearling year is not what the buyers are looking for yet he produces these tremendous runners. So you know, even though you might love Cryptoclearance and know that you can get a runner by him, you know that you can't use him commercially. So he gets killed, he gets killed commercially and less and less good breeders use him, and his stud fee now is--you know, it's gone down from twenty. I think it's sixty-five hundred dollars for a horse that gets really good racehorses but commercially he just takes a beating. So there are horses like that, and there are horses that get, that get that fantastic looking yearling, uh, and their yearling averages are great but when they hit the races they fall apart and then gradually their, you know, the breeders that use them realize, how many times do we need to get kicked in the teeth? We're going to stop using him because he's, because he's losing his reputation on the track. 97:00
PETERS: You know, they have to ultimately come through on the track nomatter what they look like. They have to ultimately come through on the track.
SMITH: But now Eight Belles you felt had been bred very sound--
SMITH: --but has this very, very unfortunate millions of people watchingit break down.
PETERS: Unfortunately, unfortunately millions of people were watching.It wouldn't have been nearly as awful if millions of people hadn't been watching.
SMITH: And coming right after, well, almost right after Barbaro whosebreeding was also associated with this farm--
SMITH: --which has a reputation for excellence with breeding.
SMITH: Um, and now there's all the questions about, uh, Big Brown.
SMITH: And now, how does the farm handle--
PETERS: It's a, it's hard. It's a, it's a PR challenge. Our PR personis, is, uh, you know, we, when, w hen Big Brown made his first start back from the Belmont Stakes last Sunday, let me tell you. (laughs) That was just, that was horribly anxious moments, but he won. He 98:00came back and he won. Now the theory is that he is off the steroids. Whatever steroid level he was on--and we're not even sure what level he was on. It might have just been an absolute minimum dose. He did not look like a big, pumped up, steroid horse. He's a big, muscular horse, but he did not look or act like a big, pumped up, steroid horse. They're usually kind of nut-, kind of nutty on steroids just like humans on testosterone. It's, it's not a good mix mentally. It makes you aggress-, super aggressive and kind of nutty, um, so we don't know what level he was on but they're telling us he hasn't been on steroids since after the Preakness which might have been why he lost the Belmont, might not have been why he lost the Belmont. But he did come back to win a grade one in a very gutsy performance free of steroids, and hopefully he can reclaim his reputation if he continues to run at that level for the rest of the year. Then the steroids will be behind him and we can see him for what he is. This is what he is drug-free. 99:00You know, he was really good with drugs. He's still really good without drugs, so the drugs were not a factor. That's what we need to prove. That's what Big Brown needs to prove to us, that the drugs were not a factor in his performance.
SMITH: Um-hm. How do you know, um, I mean, you know this now with BigBrown to look at this because he went off, but what about the horses where you're dealing with their pedigrees and you don't really know what kind of medical history?
PETERS: That's hard. That's hard to do. Um, it's a problem with, with,uh, to a large degree--you know, you hear about horses that, that, that have bled significantly, bleeding, bleeding from the nose after physical exertion. Um, that slows a lot of horses down. That's why a lot of horses race on Salix now. Um, you, you hear, those, those horses when that happens, you usually hear about it, uh, but you don't hear about whether they're racing on steroids. You just have to, 100:00it's, it's one of these things that you have to know who trained them. You have to know what that trainer's daily practices were, uh, and guess that he's probably not going to make an exception on his daily routine for one horse. There are some trainers that are known to use these, use these medications a lot and, and as a habit, and so you just presume. Um, the only thing you can do is, is, uh--I, I don't think any horse that races on steroids for instance is going to race at a high level only because of the steroids. I think there always will have been outstanding, fantastic horses. I think it gives them an edge, but I don't think it gives them that much of an edge. So I don't, I think if you have a really high-class horse, uh, that wins even though he comes from a barn, trained by a man known to use the needle quite a bit, I think you have a pretty good idea that the horse 101:00is probably high-class. Uh, it's a gamble, you know. You only will know the, the, uh, you only will know when their babies go to the races or when, when they throw their, when their babies hit the ground. Do their babies look pumped up or not? Some horses will throw pumped up looking babies, and, you know, those babies aren't on medication so you know that's in the genes. And, and that look is in the genes of a lot of horses. Secretariat throws that look. Secretariat in a pedigree- -we have a horse down here called Sky Mesa who's inbred to Secretariat, uh, and he looks like he was born on steroids, man. I mean, he is, his nickname is Diesel. He's just huge, muscular, massive, thick neck horse, really masculine looking horse, and, and he looks like a steroid baby if there ever was one but he never raced on it. He passes that on. He, he throws that without having anybody, you know, without having that. So to, to some degree, you know, you can't tell just by 102:00looking at a horse. You can only tell by, the only way to do it for sure would be to ask the trainer, and we can't always do that. Same thing with the horses that are getting corrective surgeries on their legs as babies, the only way you know whether they had the corrective surgery or not is to ask. And hopefully, uh, what we hope to do is be able to tell people, um--and I think right now we're at the point even with Big Brown--none of our horses have had corrective surgery. What you see is what you get. You know, these horses have won grade one races without racing on medications. What you see is what you get. You know, there's, there's nothing, we're not hiding anything here because genetically, if we are, the horses, the corrective surgeries, have ra-, uh, really hurt genetically, uh, in the short-term because there were a lot of horses that, uh, looked fantastic, had fabulous pedigrees, great race records and, uh, when they went to stud they were 103:00complete and utter flops. And there will always be a high percentage of horses that do that. There's one in ten horses that go to stud in Kentucky that succeed as stallions. That's a huge attrition rate, but of that one in ten, those horses are almost always really well-bred, really nice looking horses with high quality race records. So when you have one of them fail, when everything said he should succeed, uh, oftentimes it, it's suggested by the, by their babies coming out crooked as can be that they probably had a little, little bit of correction when they were young themselves, and the information was never passed along when they went to stud.
PETERS: But that's, that kills one generation. That's, that's--butunfortunately it hurt everybody that bred to the horse thinking he was correct.
SMITH: Right. Of course.
PETERS: So in the short-term, but, but, those, those bad experimentsdon't get passed on to the next generation because the horse has made such a dreadful reputation for himself, you know, nobody wants to even 104:00see his name in a pedigree.
SMITH: Hmm. Okay. Well, what you're saying is, makes some thingsthat I've observed make a lot more sense, and, uh, um, let me, uh, kind of take you back just a little bit. As you, uh, looking at all the matings that you've helped achieve, uh, is there any outcome that you're most proud, any particular horse that came from a mating you recommended or were involved with?
PETERS: Yeah. One of my very first was a filly that was raised righthere, um, and it was a filly named Gorgeous who was from the first crop of Slew o' Gold out of our farm mare, Kamar, which we owned in partnership, uh, with Warner Jones and Robert's father, Albert. Um, she was, uh, the breeding was kind of a no-brainer. It was our, the first year with Slew o' Gold. Kamar was one of our best mares, and 105:00it was like you put these two together. But on paper, it made sense from a lot of angles considering Slew o' Gold's pedigree and Seattle Slew's pedigree and Kamar's pedigree. She was by Key to the Mint, and Key to the Mint was a great broodmare sire but he should have, he should have worked well with Slew o' Gold for a number of reasons. And I recommended that mating and she came out, and she was stunning from the beginning. And, uh, they bred the mare back to Seattle Slew, and, uh, that fall, uh, Warner Jones died and had to sell off all his stock which meant we had to sell, um, Kamar and any of these babies and which ones did we want to keep. And, uh, I was asked which ones to keep, and I said, "Keep the Slew o' Gold filly. That's one you want as a broodmare." And, uh, so they kept the Slew o' Gold filly, they bought out the partnership at, at the July sale, bought out the partnership, kept her and she went on to win four or five grade one races; just a 106:00really great race filly. She was like the second best filly of her crop as a three-year-old and as a four-year-old. Just missed Eclipse Awards, but just fantastic race mare. And, uh, she's buried out at, in the stallion division cemetery because she was just such a wonderful mare for the farm. And we've got several of her daughters that, uh, uh, unfortunately while she as a good looking filly and correct, she threw Slew o' Gold's bad legs or rather his genetic bad legs because he had been one of those babies that had been corrected as a foal and we never knew that he had bad legs until he started throwing all these bad legs. And she throws on Slew o' Gold's bad legs, so we're working very hard, tweaking, finding the right combination to keep those bloodlines, those tremendous bloodlines, but correct the, the crookedness in them.
SMITH: So when you do find that out and didn't, didn't Dynaformer havebad feet, too? But I read that he, you worked with that so that he 107:00doesn't, you don't throw--
PETERS: Yeah. Um, he doesn't have bad feet. He's, he's got specialfeet now, special shoes on now, but, uh, um, um, I'm trying to think who you're thinking of that had bad feet. We don't--
SMITH: Well, I could have that confused.
SMITH: Believe me. But, um, but so a part of your challenge is to findthat mix that will, will take that genetic risk, make it less?
PETERS: Absolutely, yeah, and one of the thing with this Gorgeous familythat we've found over the last couple of years, uh, is, uh, breeding these daughters to Yes It's True who's a horse we have down here who throws, who doesn't have, who was a brilliant sprinter but doesn't have the greatest pedigree in the world, um, but he throws tremendously correct babies. He can fix crooked mares. So we've sent these beautifully bred mares who don't need any more pedigree themselves-- they're bringing all the pedigree to the, to the table--to this horse who's going to be the fix-it, fix-it special, and we're getting good 108:00babies. And Dynaformer's doing it, too. Dynaformer's a very correct horse and, and in adding bone and we're getting, I mean, there's size involved in there, too, but we're getting good, correct babies sending these mares to those two guys to fix that family. So, you know, that's, that's part of it. With, with, when I came here, that Gorgeous family, all those daughters we had were sort of falling apart because they kept throwing these wrecks and many of them were wrecks, but now if we can get that back up, we gotta, and, and bring that family back to the high level--
SMITH: You figure these things out just by keeping close track of whateach horse--
PETERS: Observations. Yeah. Going out and looking at horses. A lotof people think, again, pedigrees are just names on paper. I learn more about pedigrees when I go out and look at horses and see what the pedigree has produced every generation, and you don't get the same shake every time. You can get, you have two full sisters that look completely different but they usually look like something in their pedigree, and if they look like something in their pedigree then maybe they're throwing back to that and you can use that information genetically. Uh, that's what I do when I look at stallions. I, you know, I look at do they look like their father or do they look like something else in their pedigree, and if they look like something else 109:00in their pedigree, that's what I'm going to pay attention to because if they look just like their father then they have a lot of those genetics, but if they look like something else in their pedigree then those genetics are turned on. And you can ignore that if you're just thinking about sire lines, so--yeah. You have to go out and look at horses or at least look at photos of horses or read descriptions of horses or talk with people who have seen these horses, and I use all of those. But you have to, you have to know the horses as well as the names to, to put it all together. It's like a big puzzle.
SMITH: Yeah. It is. It sounds fascinating, actually. Quite achallenge, uh, all the time.
PETERS: It's fun. Yeah. It's, it's, every year there's a whole newshake to, to go through. Um-hm.
SMITH: So now that you're back at, uh, Three Chimneys are you involved110:00in helping make the decisions about what stallions do come here?
PETERS: I, I, my input is asked for, yes. Uh, Robert and I see eye toeye on a lot of things. Um, he wants to have a high level of pedigree in his stallions. He believes in the high level of pedigree just like I do on a stallion, and a lot of times stallion prospects come to us, uh, we're asked to review them as stallion prospects and they might not have the greatest pedigree or they might go back to some weak female lines or, you know, there's something about them. And, and I will try to, to give as, uh, as objective an opinion on it as I can, but when it comes right down to it on a stallion prospect, I get pretty picky about the quality of the pedigree.
SMITH: So what did you like about Big Brown?
PETERS: The--what I liked about Big Brown was the patterns built upin his pedigree. He doesn't, he's not by, his sire is not a huge sire like A.P. Indy or Storm Cat. He's by Boundary, and, uh, his female line was a little light. But when you looked at the pattern 111:00built up in this horse's pedigree it was striking and, and when you see the outcome of that pattern--he's got, like, what you call a B+ level pedigree. You know, it's not an A+. It's like a B+. It's not bad, but it's not, it's not star quality pedigree. But when you look behind it, he's, he's got a lot of inbreeding in his pedigree and, um, usually highly inbred horses from--there's certain genetic principles that kick in with inbreeding and linebreeding and outcrossing--and in-, inbred horses usually don't make the greatest racehorses but they usually make great breeding stock. Inbred mares produce a really high level of classic winners and stakes winners, um, but when you see super horses, they're very rarely inbred horses. They're usually outcross horses because they're like the hybrid result of, of a mating. They're usually the result of an outcross mating, but when you see a great 112:00racehorse with an inbred pedigree, that tells me that that inbreeding is going to be significant to them as a breeding horse. The inbreeding makes a horse a pretty potent breeding animal. It means they're going to pass on more of their genetics as a breeding animal because of the inbreeding. It's concentrating certain genes, and Big Brown is inbred three by three to Northern Dancer who's one of the greatest stallions of all time. And the fact that he is a inbred at that pretty close level and an outstanding racehorse tells me that the Northern Dancer genes are there, they're turned on and they're turned on and the volume's up.
PETERS: So it seems like--and he's got two other lines of inbreeding inhis pedigree, too, that you can see in him physically--and that tells me that as an inbred animal, he should be a pretty potent horse. The only other stallion that I can think of that was that--well, two other 113:00stallions--that were inbred, A.P. Indy's inbred to Bold Ruler and he's been a great racehorse and a great stallion. Uh, A.P. Indy's sire, Seattle Slew, was inbred; great racehorse, great sire. Uh, a lot of, lot of other great racehorses have not managed to come through as great sires as well; Secretariat for one, uh, Nijinsky. You know, good stallions but not great and that's because they were outcrossed, but when you get that inbreeding built up in there and, and Big Brown's inbred on his female side to a great broodmare named Rough Shod and she has been the fountainhead for stallions like Sadlers Wells and Nureyev and Fairy, uh, uh, Fairy King and, uh, Topsider and Stormy Atlantic. I mean, some really important stallions have come from this broodmare that he's, that his dam has been bred to, so that tells me there's a lot of stallion potential in that pedigree. So those were the things I 114:00liked about him is the pattern behind the names in his pedigree.
SMITH: Well, I was wondering if Seattle Slew was going to fit that asyou were talking, and, uh--
PETERS: --Seattle Slew has a--
SMITH: --and he wasn't considered much of anything when he--
PETERS: No. And it's kind of funny because you look back--I, I liketo look back at that and, and he was, he was by a, from the first crop of a sire who was not a high-level stallion himself. He was out of a stakes winning dam. His fee was, his, his price as a yearling was fif-, only fifteen--or was it seventeen five--
PETERS: --and, you know, the sales average that year was fifteen so, youknow, he really did sell above the average but it sounds better when you say he only sold for seventeen five. But still, he was an inbred horse and his dam was inbred, and it's a very similar pattern as we're seeing with Big Brown and as we're seeing also with A.P. Indy. The inbred, inbred, inbred. It's like, it's like the train is building mo-, is building up speed. So--
SMITH: That will be interesting to watch. Now what about his, his hoof115:00problem. Is that a concern?
PETERS: His hoof problems are a concern, and we know his, it's genetic.It's not just an accident because his sire had hoof problems. And the only thing we can do is hope that they're not as bad and, and that he doesn't pass them on to his babies consistently. It's the only thing you can hope. Uh, if he does pass them on to his babies consistently there's going to be problems, but, uh, uh, hopefully they'll run on to such a degree that, that people will be able to patch them up and, and, and it's worth patching them up. It's worth taking care of those, just taking care of them a little bit better. There's a couple of bloodlines that he actually doesn't have that pass on bad feet, and you, you see them in pedigrees and they keep popping up in pedigrees which means people keep using these bloodlines because they produce at a high level despite the bad feet. So it is the biggest negative that I see with him is the potential that he passes on these bad feet, but if he passes on high quality and bad feet, we'll bite our tongue and live with it. 116:00
SMITH: And you can look for those mares that might help that.
PETERS: Exactly. Look for the mares with good, strong, tight feet.Yeah. That's, that's part of the thing. If somebody--I think we're going to make sure people know don't send us a mare with bad feet or one that's inbred to a horse that has bad feet. Use your brain. This is just common sense, you know. It's not magic. There's no magic formula here.
SMITH: Um-hm. Okay. Well, we--I don't want to keep you much longer,but I have a couple of things. All right. Tell me how did you get the nickname Pedigree Goddess?
PETERS: (laughs) That came from a discussion group online. Uh, I wasin one of the early, uh, uh, pedigree discussion groups online. It was called The Breeder's Digest, and, uh, uh, somebody was talking. They were, we were talking about different breeding theories, and one of them was somebody wanted a filly. They wanted a filly from this particular mating, and we were bouncing around old wives' tales we'd heard about how you get a, what, how you get a, guarantee a colt and how you guarantee a filly--of course you can't guarantee either--so I, 117:00I remember saying something like, uh, "I, I heard that the second cover of the day in the afternoon if the mare's facing east, you know, will get you the filly and, uh, and you're going to have to say a prayer to your favorite god and goddess, you know, when you do that." And somebody e-mailed back and said, "You're my favorite pedigree goddess. I'll say my prayer to you." So I thought Pedigree Goddess, I like that. And, and when, uh, my friend Pat Erigero made up my Web site, uh, she, she, she put just as a for instance "The Pedigree Goddess" across the top of it, and I said, "I like that. That's going to offend some people, but I like it." (laughs) So--
SMITH: Well, I noticed that on your Web site. Anyway, actually Sandyhad referred to you as that, but I didn't know if that was something internal and then I read it on--
PETERS: No. I'm internationally renowned. (laughs)
SMITH: And you do have a, an international reputation. What, what doyou think is, what have you done that has made that happen? 118:00
PETERS: I think because I don't talk in riddles and numbers. Uh,there's a lot of, there's a lot of people that put their reputations wrapped up into a specific theory; uh, the dosage theory, uh, you know, Rasmussen factors, um, nicking theory. They're all one theory that boiled down to a number and, or they, they, they, they talk--it's like talking to the hookah-smoking caterpillar in, in Alice in Wonderland. You can't really tell what they're saying but they seem to think, seem to know what they're talking about. I think I, I try to explain things in a way that make sense genetically, and I've always said if, if the theory doesn't make sense genetically, if the concept doesn't make sense genetically it's not going to be valid. You know, a mathematical equation about dosage doesn't make sense genetically to me, so I don't use dosage theory. I try to use a well-rounded, uh, consensus of 119:00general breeding theories that seem to work. Nicks seem to work in a general sense, but I don't say my prayers to them.
SMITH: What are they?
PETERS: I think I try to--uh, certain bloodlines, certain male linescrossing with other certain male lines specifically like, uh, A.P. Indy on Mr. Prospector mares is one of the best nicks in the business, um, but they take them to extremes and they, they, they take them to extremes and they don't take into account the rest of the pedigree. And I'm always saying, "You have to take into account the whole; the whole pedigree, the whole horse." And I think, I think because that clarifies things, it takes some of the voodoo out of what I do. Uh, ew. I didn't want--mean to make it sound like that.
SMITH: No. It's fine.
PETERS: A lot of pedigree consultants have a lunatic fringe reputationand a voodoo reputation where they know secrets, and I think what I do makes it real and gives it a genetic basis. And I think people grasp 120:00hold of that as, yeah, that kind of makes sense.
SMITH: Are there a lot of superstitions around breeding and pedigrees?
PETERS: Not superstitions so much as, as bad theories, you know. The,the, just a bad nick for instance. You now, the nick ratings have been generated, are generated now by a couple of different computers and computer programs, um, and, uh, you know, people call me up and say, "Uh, uh, I want to use this stallion of yours, but the nick rating is bad." And I'll say, "Listen, if you want to use the stallion and it makes every sense, good sense from every other point of view, don't let a bad nick rating pull you down. The whole idea is it makes sense from as many points of view as possible." So I think, I think there's, the numbers that all the mathematical equations like a bad dosage number-- this has a bad dosage number. This has a good dosage number. Dosage is a, is a mathematical equation that's supposed to tell you how far your 121:00horse can run, and everybody wants to go to the Derby so, oh, my horse has--this is a great dosage number. I don't care about the dosage number. I don't need, I, numbers to tell me what these horses mean in a pedigree. So, I think the numbers, uh, all the numbered theories wind up being, um, people tend to say their prayers to these numbered theories when they shouldn't be. So it's not so much superstition as just too much reliance on a, on mathematical equations.
SMITH: Um-hm. Um, I'm going to ask you this before I, uh, forget it.Um, have, has the fact that you're female ever impacted your work?
PETERS: Oh, yes. Oh, yes.
SMITH: (laughs) Knew that was an important question.
PETERS: It's a very important question. Yeah. It's, it's been veryhard. In fact, I'm--it's amazing I got as far as I've gotten. It's, I've, I've joked around a lot--and I'll clean up my language--but I've 122:00always said, "If I had a foreign accent and I were a man, I would be king of the world right now, but because I am a female, and an English- speaking fem-, American--
SMITH: --from Pittsburgh--
PETERS: --and not particularly fancy, uh, it's very hard"--it wasvery hard to get people to, to listen to me. Uh, so it's--yeah. I'm from Pittsburgh. I'm not related to anybody. It's been very hard as a female in particular, extremely hard. In fact, I'm very proud to work with Sandy here just because we're two exceptional women in the business who, who never should have gotten here. Thank goodness the old standards fell down because neither one of us should have the positions we have if those guys would have their way.
SMITH: Did you ever feel like you had to work harder?
PETERS: Absolutely. I still have to work harder. I'm still workingharder to, just to maintain my reputation because a lot of, uh, being a woman is so very hard even in this day and age. People want to get advice from men. Even some women wan-, would rather have a man telling 123:00them something than a woman. I've run into that, too. So--
SMITH: Hmm. Are there people who just--have you had instances wherepeople have just chosen to ignore your advice, your advice?
PETERS: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. And, and in fact one of the thingssomebody was, uh--a big discussion in an internet group was, uh, where pedigree advisors should be able to give statistics on their success rate, uh, you know; how many, how many, show how many good horses you've produced and what's your strike rate. And I said, "That's impossible because I give a lot of advice and I, and I hand over my recommendations to the breeders and then they, a lot of them just ignore it and do what they were going to do anyhow." And that's--or they'll, you know, they may--my first choice, the horse might be infertile. My second choice, the horse or the mare didn't catch with that horse. My second choice the horse, you know, isn't a good physical fit. You know, there are any number of reasons why my choices aren't being used, but to a large degree, yes. They just turn around and do whatever 124:00they want to do whether they--it doesn't happen as much if they pay for it, but if the advice is free they'll turn around and do whatever they want. If they pay for it, they're more likely to, to use the advice.
SMITH: Now pedigree consultants, what would be the gender, uh, theprimary gender of pedigree consultants? Female? Male?
PETERS: Mostly male.
PETERS: Mostly male. There's a few females out there, but it's hard.Um, I'm trying to think if there's--uh, I can think of one or two in Kentucky right now that have any kind of reputation.
PETERS: Yeah. Yeah. And the rest are males, and I think it's, part ofit is getting into the good ol' boy network, uh, getting, getting, uh, uh, and, and, getting--because they don't want to listen. They don't want to listen to a woman, and my age, too, I'm not old enough. I had 125:00somebody tell me I'm not--that was years ago, but I had somebody tell me, uh, it was, in, when I was in my forties--"Anne, you don't look old enough to be an expert at anything." (Smith laughs) "Thank you very much. I'm not sure if that's a compliment or not."
SMITH: (laughs) It is a back-sided compliment.
SMITH: Um, okay. Where do you see--you are fairly young. You're, whatfifty?
PETERS: I'm fifty.
SMITH: Um, so where do you see yourself ten years from now?
PETERS: Hopefully if all goes well, here having the time of my life, youknow, watching Big Brown and Smarty Jones' babies go to the races and, and helping manage some other new, nice new stallions and, and, uh, having the Three Chimneys broodmare band grow and expand into a really top-class broodmare band.
SMITH: So you want to stay here?
PETERS: I want to stay here. Yeah. I'd like to be able to do morewriting and that may happen as time opens up, but I find I don't have time for writing like I used to so--writing as opposed to riding. 126:00
SMITH: But you still contribute to, um, magazines and journals andyou've got your Web site.
PETERS: I, it's been very inactive, uh, I've written a little bit formagazines. Sometimes the Blood-Horse calls up and wants me to write a little something or, or give them a quote. I'm asked for quotes a lot, interviewed a lot especially around Derby time, so but I don't do a whole lot of--I haven't done a whole lot. Um, I was working on a book and, uh, that's fell to the wayside because I just don't have to time to, to put it all together, and I, I--books are long-term projects and every time I'd get to a point, boom, I'd hit September and then I'm busy September through May and then I'd have to pick it up again. So it's, uh, yeah.
SMITH: Well, writing does take some time.
PETERS: Yes, it does.
SMITH: Um, well, okay. What about the business itself particularly fromthe breeding perspective? What do you think the challenges are that, that the industry needs to deal with? I mean, what do you see?
PETERS: Well, I think this business with the Eight Belles is going to127:00change some things. It's not going to be as dramatic as we'd like, but I think it's going to demand some changes in breeding, in, in--not so much breeding practices--but transparency on what horses are and what they aren't. Like I mentioned about the, uh, corrective leg surgeries on young horses, I think there's going to be something that's going to have to be done. Uh, what I would like to see with our farm and what I would hope to be a model for everybody else is, uh, we need to be able to know what horses have had what surgeries either on their throats or on their legs or wherever else they need to have corrective surgeries. We need to know what horses are racing on what medications and ultimately they won't be racing on any medications. Then we won't have to worry about that, but, uh, I think there's going to be some, uh, more concentration on, on, uh, the horse as an animal and, you know, as a, as a biomechanical creature and not just a way to place bets. 128:00I think a lot of times when I watch racing shows, they talk about the one horse and the five horse and the eight horse, and I think, Who is that? Who's his father? You know, what, this is not just the one horse. This is the whole, this is a whole story here--yeah--about this horse. So I think when we get down to--and I think that's going to help the, the national level of the sport, uh, is we're deluding the interest in the sport by making it all about the betting. The horse is an amazing animal, and, and humans by nature love horses. And if we can get people to relate to the horse not as the one horse but as Big Brown again or not as the five horse but as Smarty Jones' baby, they will get interested in racing again. Uh, we've made it, we've made it more about the money than the horses and we need to make it about the horses again, and I think when we do that we'll see the turn back.
SMITH: Now are you personally involved in any of these task forces and129:00programs?
PETERS: No, I'm not.
SMITH: Don't want to be?
PETERS: No. I'd like to be, but I don't think my voice is, would beheard. I don't think it has enough clout to be heard.
PETERS: Robert and, and, uh, Case are involved, and as I see eye to eyeon many of the things there, I leave them to speak for the rest of us.
SMITH: Okay, but you do have the opportunity, like you just were inSaratoga speaking on--
SMITH: --pedigree, so you still have a voice out there--
PETERS: Absolutely, yeah. And I will be, and if anybody asks me, I'llgive them my opinion. And I've given my opinion in the paper. I mean, you know. (laughs)
SMITH: Well, that's good.
SMITH: Okay. Is there anything else that we haven't covered that youwant to talk about?
PETERS: I can't think.
SMITH: Well, if you do, um, we'll be giving you a copy of the interview.
SMITH: And, uh, and I'll be around.
SMITH: Uh, I'm certainly going to continue to work on anything I'vestarted, so, um, if you want to sit down and talk again, we'll do that. 130:00
[End of interview.]