In a survey of champions from 1935 to the present that included horses who were raced at 2, 3, 4 or older, 80 percent of the animals showed greater speed (miles per hour) averaged per race than they had as 2-year-olds.
per race than they had as 2-year-olds. This highlights the business side of the track---handicappers and bettors are not particularly interested in speed. Instead, they are interested merely in contest---in determining who comes in a nose or a neck in front of the other horse. This was the only way to identify the best horse in Charles II’s time, in the 17th century when Thoroughbred racing first began, an era when accurate timing devices did not exist. It is not the best way now!
Over the years I have shocked many an audience filled with owners of Thoroughbred racehorses by informing them that a 2-year-old horse is not only not physically mature, it is four years away from maturity. This relates not