Dosage. What? Like medicine dosages? Nope. The concept of dosages can be intimidating to someone who is just discovering it, but understanding it can actually help turn the cards in your favor.
I have been a fan of racing since infancy and I’ve been playing this game for over a decade, but I only learned about the existence of dosage last month. Yep. My mind was blown and seeing all the charts, equations, and graphs gave me flashbacks of my evil statics professor in college. I took a deep breath and dove head first into Google and the Sim forum archives. To be honest, the first 2-3 sites I started researching from only deepened my pool of confusion, but just like in college, snippets of info slowly began to stick as I keep reading. Though I still have much to learn I thought it might be helpful to get my foundation out there in layman’s terms for the beginners and other long time oblivious fans, like me.
To start off we need to go back to the creation of Dosage. Back in the last century there was a great debate of ‘influence’ among some of today’s pedigree pioneers. The ultimate question was which one of the three founding sires was the most influential. Lt. Colonel J.J. Vuillier, a self studied pedigree authority, took it upon himself to study the pedigrees of English and French sires. He eventually found his answer their ultimate question (Herod) but what the research did was create the Chef de Race (Chiefs of Racing) and the equations of Dosage.
Chef de Race is a list of sires that are labeled as the most influential according to this theory. A link to the list can be found at the end of this article. They are categorized into 5 groups named B, I, C, S and P, though some sires cross into more than one group. The groups are as follows:
B: Brilliant (Extremely Fast, No endurance)
I: Intermediate (Very Fast, very little endurance)
C: Classic (Balanced speed and endurance)
S: Solid (Good endurance)
P: Professional (All Endurance)
As you may have noticed the list is very selective and some of today’s most popular and currently influential sires are not a ‘Chef’. There may also be some on there you would not expect. Now before you stop reading this in midsentence and start share hunting, I must warn you not to throw caution to the wind. It’s incredibly easy to ‘over dose’ a pedigree, which is what I discovered I had done to many of my homebreds unknowingly. Even using the top sires of the sport, you can breed for ‘quit and laziness’ just as you can breed for a champion with heart and bone. A good rule of thumb is a little of 2. Speed x Speed might make a decent claimer but a Stamina x Stamina will be too lazy and quit. Some of the best horses are a bit of 2 groups. Curlin, for example, is a bit of speed with a lot of classical stamina.
Now, let’s get to the nitty-gritty of it all.
Dosage is a mathematical explanation of a horse’s pedigree. Take a deep breath, we can do this. Now in layman’s terms a horse’s dosage is created by locating the Chef De Race stallions in their pedigree. It does not depend so much on ‘who’ the sire is but where he is located on the pedigree (1st or 5th generation) and what group that Chef sire falls under. The closer they are in generation the more they are worth. A 1st generation is the horse’s sire and a 4th generation is great great grandsire. Obviously the sire has more influence on the pedigree so he is worth more to the dosage than the great great grand sire. I’m not going to get into the dosage calculation because it’s not that important in the Sim but you can find it easily explained on my links below. I will show you how to read hypomating pedigrees and your own horses’ dosages. As you learn more, calculating and creating your own dosages will be easy. This can also help you handicapping races in real life.
Let’s take at an example and I will describe the numbers one at a time.
Curlin 9-11-17-0-1 (38)
Yes, it looks strange but its priceless information you will understand very shortly. The first set of numbers is a like a chart or graph of speed and endurance. It is called the Dosage Profile, or just ‘Profile’. Do you remember the Chef de Race groups we talk about earlier: B-I-C-S-P. This is what those numbers represent, so let’s break down Curlin’s.
Brilliant: 9 (Speed)
Classic: 17 (Balanced)
Professional: 1 (Stamina)
Recalling that closer to Brilliant is all speed and no endurance, the closer to Professional is all endurance and Classic is balanced between the two, this is a great sum up of Curlin’s breeding. As we can see, Curlin’s dosage suggests he is bred with speed at a Classic distance. He has a 9 & 11 in the speed groups and a 0 & 1 in the endurance groups. His highest is in the Classic with a balance of speed and endurance.
The total at the end is generally the more the merrier, though like I stated before, you can ‘over dose’ a pedigree. Many horses have benefitted from having both Chef de Race sire lines and Non-Chef sire lines like Storm Cat for example. But back on topic, a horse with a total of 4 Chefs is more likely not to perform as well as a horse with 30+.
Now for those other numbers! CD stands for Center of Distribution. The CD is a like a speed summary of the B-I-C-S-P. It will always fall between 2 and -2.
Brilliant Intermediate Classic Solid Professional
2.00 1.00 0.00 -1.00 -2.00
This is a more numerical summary. You look at Curlin’s Dosage Profile and wonder, “Well he has lots of Brilliant and Intermediate points but that’s a lot of Classic points, but then how much weight is the 1 Professional point hold? Is it worth anything?” Well this sums all those questions up in one figure. Curlin has a CD of .71. It’s a positive number so he is a definitely a speed horse but since it is less than 1 he is a speed horse that favors a little distance. A horse with a 0.0 would be a Classic horse with an even balance of both. A horse with a negative number would likely be a true router with lots of stamina and prefer longer distance.
Brilliant Intermediate Classic Solid Professional
2.00 1.00 0.00 -1.00 -2.00
DI stands for Dosage Index. The Index is a speed ratio of the profile: A 2.0 has two times as much speed than stamina points. A horse with a .50 has half as much speed as stamina points. In layman’s terms: The higher a number the faster the horse will be. Curlin has a 3.0 so he will be a speedy horse. If he had a .25 , he would have been a slower router.
That’s it. Well, now that you can read a pedigree dosage (hopefully) here is the suspenseful twist you never saw coming. The Sim does not use the theory of Dosage at all. WHAT? Sparrow, how could you! You just wasted 10 minutes of my life I will never get back!
Before you throw your laptop into the other room, let’s see how this basic knowledge can help you in the Sim that doesn’t use it.
Being able to read and understand dosage is a great rule of thumb when breeding and claiming in the Sim. What I gathered from a great BTB article posted by mavrkzx7r is that Mike, the game’s creator, uses more of past performances and average win distances/speeds to create a genetic template for sires in the Sim. If you are not familiar with a sire, it can be a bit of a pain to dig through the Google catacombs to fine past performances, especially if he is not a prominent race horse. Also, unlike the dosage theory, the dam sire in the Sim can be just as influential as the sire, especially for scratchbreds. Being able to pull up the 5x pedigree and instantly see the dosage will can help supplement some knowledge of the sire along with the sire’s Sim offspring chart and bloodlines. It is certainly not wasted knowledge and some of the general rules can and do still apply in the Sim. The main thing to remember is not to over think it and use it as a rule of thumb or guidelines.
Here are some of the links that can further your understanding of Dosage, as well as the BTB Article by mavrkzx7r that I think you should seriously consider reading.
Dosage & Breeding in The Game by mavrkzx7r
Chef De Race (Listed By Group)
Chef De Race (Alphabetical List)