May 1, 2012

A horse of a different color

My Taki's Magazine column is about some broad questions raised by Hansen, a longshot in this Saturday's Kentucky Derby:
Still, the interesting thing about the color of thoroughbreds is that it’s really not that interesting. Sure, some folks bet on their favorite color of horse, but that’s looked down upon by serious plungers.  
Among American humans, however, color is widely thought to be the essence of race.

Why is color less important at the race tracks than when the EEOC tracks race?

Find the answer here.

16 comments:

Truth said...

White is considered a genetic defect in horses (and dogs).

vyus said...

albino is a genetic defect. this is very different than, as an example, white w brown eyes.

Anonymous said...

And in humans too, Sport. In consideration of which, I think you and your People should give us free stuff forever.
Gilbert P.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure that all horses have the same color skin - which is dark pink. They come with different color hair though.

Anonymous said...

Uhm, because it's kind of a non-issue. Nobody cares anything about a race horse except how quick it can cross the finish line and does it produce fast offspring.

Pleasure and work horses are another matter but of all the breeds of horses few have been distilled down to one trait as 'thoroughly' as the Thoroughbred.

Ex Submarine Officer said...

albino is a genetic defect. this is very different than, as an example, white w brown eyes.

Not so fast there. White coloration (not albinism) is associated with a number of other problems in various dog breeds. White Bull Terriers, for instance, are a lot more likely to be deaf.

Harryu Baldwin said...

My wife, the lifelong equestrienne, tells me that when put together in a field, darker horses tend to dominate the light colored ones. There's always a pecking order established and evidently horses pay attention to color.

BTW Steve, are you going to comment on Obama's admission
that the white girlfriend in DFMF is a composite of several girlfriends (and probably some made-up stuff)?

Anonymous said...

What is the color of the horses' skin? Is it just hair color or skin color with horses?

Anonymous said...

One thing that's true of all horses. They are all well hung.

TGGP said...

We already knew that Obama's black friend in Hawaii was a composite and the real guy differed significantly from the book.

TGGP said...

That does remind me though that anonymous commenters would pop up here saying that his white girlfriend didn't exist either because it was actually Ayers' girlfriend or because Obama is gay. We know have the name of the primary component of the composite who has spoken to the press and contributed her journal to a new book, so hopefully that will end some of the conspiratorial distraction.

Steve Sailer said...

TGGP,

Right, we now know of two girlfriends in New York and one in Chicago (via Remnick's book), all white. So, he seems like a pretty average heterosexual guy.

Eric Rasmusen said...

For horses, and perhaps for aliens breeding superhumans, inbreeding is a good thing. It concentrates genes, and presumably concentrates talent too. The problems that arise are that bad genes get concentrated too-- but if you're willing to discard most of the horses or people, it works out.

Anonymous said...

Now that a chestnut won this year's Kentucky Derby, I was curious to see if color truly does not matter. May be it still does. Approximately 8% of thoroughbreds are gray or roan (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/11/sports/derby-dreams-ride-in-on-a-white-horse.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all). 5.9% (8/136) winners of Kentucky Derby are gray/roan (http://horseracing.about.com/library/weekly/aa042101a.htm plus since 2003 there was one gray out of nine). 8 vs 11 expected - not a huge disparity. So, the color does not matter that much, it at all.

Steve Sailer said...

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Martin vs Zimmerman turned into cartoon.