It's a tough game
To return to my home page click here                                     Order race card subscriptions here.
Download Frequently Asked Questions

The Daily Double! 
GRASP and GSV [Updated February 22, 2009]
  1. GRASP: The BEST Tool for Measuring ACTUAL Genetic Strength of a Thoroughbred.  
  2. GSV: A tool for PREDICTING the Genetic Strength of a Thoroughbred.   The GSV score is the average of the Male and Female half GSV scores. This Matchmaker tool has been especially designed for all track surfaces.  It is easy to use by all involved in the thoroughbred business. Updated stats on GSV ranges of over 33,000 horses in the GSV databank can be found at the bottom of this page.  This information will give you a much better idea of how a GSV number compares to other GSV numbers by location, class and type. The GSV includes all horses within 5 generations: sires and mares in the 2009 product.  
  3. GSV2: The GSV2 is also hypothetical score, not necessarily reflecting the actual genetic ability of a particular individual.  The GSV2 is the GSV score plus the UP score [up to a maximum of 5.00 points.  It is commonly used in broodmare  analyses, etc.
  4. UP: The UP score measures whether the GSV  is higher [a positive number] or lower [a negative number] than the average GSV score produced by that sire.  Since the sire's half of the pedigree stays the same, the more Genetic Strength in the female half, the more positive the UP Score.  An UP Score of 0.00 indicates that the sire appears only once in the databank and hence no average sire value. 

GRASP: A Must for Breeders, Buyers and those who Breed-To-Race
G =Genetic: Measures performances of males & females within 5 generations, pedigree construction, tail-female line strength, etc.
25%
R
A
=Racing Ability: Measures individual racing brilliance, class, earnings, blacktype events, speed vs stamina, type, etc.
25%
S
P
=Stud Performance: Measures success as a sire or broodmare, % of runners, winners, SW's, 2yo winners, Average Winning Distance, etc.
50%
GSV: "A Must for Handicappers, Stud Farms, Owners and Breeders"
G
S
V

The GSV predicts thoroughbred performance before the foal is born based on the Genetic, Racing Ability and Stud Performance (GRASP) of all horses in its 5 generation pedigree. Prior to 2009, the GSV omitted the first five dams in tail-female line, which made it a great tool to be used with a sales catalog page as the GSV measured the rest.  The GSV can change according to the recent stud performance of individuals in its pedigree and is updated yearly.
UP: How the GSV score compares to the average GSV score produced by that sire
U
P
Another breeding and handicapping tool has been added to my GSV numbers.  I now generate an UP score based on how the GSV number of a horse or hypothetical foal compares to the average GSV number of a sire's average foal.  An UP score of +2.00 indicates the generated GSV number is 2 points higher than GSV average by that sire.

Originator: George William Smith:

#12, 9630  82nd Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6C 1A1, 780-439-2577 email  thematchmaker@shaw.ca
.....
Understanding the GSV and GSV2

Do you believe that the pedigree of a thoroughbred can be an indication of it's potential?
If you answer "NO ", then the GSV/GSV2 can't help you.   Thank you for your interest.
If you answer "YES", then you will be able to use the GSV & GSV2 to help you.  Keep reading to learn all about the GSV & GSV2.  The answers to your questions about the GSV & GSV2 that led you to this page should be found below or linked to this page. 

Brief Review:
GSV & GSV2 are numerical scores developed by George William Smith, known for his pedigree analysis skills that led to two Eclipse Champions, Farda Amiga and Vindication; European Horse of the Year, St. Jovite; and connected to hundreds of stakewinners.

Throughout my career I have constantly been asked about the strength of pedigrees.  Clients ask if they should purchase or sell a certain horse, breed this mare to that stallion to produce a certain type of foal, etc.  I usually answer that I need to take an in-depth look at the pedigree, race record and stud performance so that I might be as accurate as possible about the potentials of the pedigrees involved. 

For over 25 years I have been generating a score for their thoroughbred so that my clients may more easily be made aware of the strength of the throughbred I am researching for them compared to other thoroughbreds.  It is called my GRASP score.  GRASP stands for Genetic, Racing Ability and Stud Performance. 

The Genetic score arrives with the foal at birth, but may change throughout its lifetime as its parents and 5 generations of ancestors do better or worse at stud as time goes by.  The change can be dramatic if both parents are in the early stages of their stud career or slight if both have been in the stud a long time. Usually, the foal can not do a thing about it's Genetic score, but if the foal is very, very good it might have some impact on the stud career of its parents. 

The Racing Ability score is earned during it's racing career and once retired does not change.  The Racing Ability score can help you understand you whether the horse got its fair share of the good genes or not.  If a horse has a high Genetic score but cannot outrun a fat man, the Racing Ability score will reflect that it did not get much of the 'good stuff' from its parents.  On the other hand, if the foal has a high Genetic score and runs like the wind, the Racing Ability score added to the Genetic score will be very high, predicting that there is much potential in this horse when sent to stud.  Thus, I use the GRA score as a guide on how much potential there is in the horse before it produces a foal.  I always publish the GRA scores of potential stallions so that my clients know ahead of time who I predict will succeed and who are likely to fail.

The Stud Performance score is earned during the stud career of the horse and until it no longer has foals from its producing daughters racing on the track.  Depending on how many foals and the length the horse stood at stud, this score often changes even after the death of the horse.  The older a horse is or would have been, the less this value changes.

The GSV & GSV2 are derived from the GRASP scores of the 31 thoroughbred sires found within 5 generations and weighted according to how close up they appear, but is not male dependent like dosage, etc. The GSV actually measures the Genetic Strength of 57 of the 62 horses within those 31 sires, beginning with the sire of the horse and the next four generations.  The horses currently not measured are the 5 dams of the tail-female line and these can be found on a catalog page. The GSV & GSV2 is a perfect supplement to catalog page of a horse for sale as the GSV & GSV2 objectively measures the genetic strength of the horse, whereas a catalog page is highly biased toward the best ancestors in a horse's tail-female line pedigree.

The Daily Double: GRASP and the GSV

My GRASP databank has over 400 fields of data, of which some are not weighted or weighted according their apparent benefit in producing better thoroughbreds while racing and/or later in the stud.  The GRASP score is earned by actual performance.

My GRASP databank now generates two scores, which I call GRASP1 and GRASP2.  My GRASP1 score is used when the stallion appears through a son and my GRASP2 score is used when he appears through a daughter. 
The GSV/GSV2 is now role specific.

GSV stands for Genetic Strength Value.  It is based on five generations of GRASP1 or GRASP2 scores.  It is a hypothetical score.  The horse does not earn its GSV score.  It is the score that an average hypothetical mating between a stallion and a broodmare generates. The actual horse might be far better or worse than what the GSV score indicates depending on the combinations of genetic material actually received in the mating.  The GSV2 now includes a small compatibility factor called the UP score.  If the GSV score is 65.00 and the UP score is 2.00, the GSV2 score is 67.00.  Note: The UP score has a maximum positive score of 5.00.  Minus scores are not subtracted from the GSV to get the GSV2 score.  In the above example, if the UP score is -3.12, the GSV2 score is still 65.00.

The GSV scores are calculated by adding the GRASP scores of each generation and getting an average for each generation for the male half of the pedigree and then doing the same for the female half of the pedigree. 
I then average the male and female scores to get the GSV score.  By calculating both halves of the pedigree separately, using both sires and mares, the GSV of 2009 is more reliable than the old GSV score, which used to be calculated by averaging each generation separately, thus giving the sire of the horse more weight as it is the only sire in the first generation. 

Through February, 2000, the GSV is proving reliable as a handicapping and breeding tool.

Remember
1.  You have to think of the
GSV & GSV2 as a hypothetical mating.

2.  It only measures the genetic strengths of a 5 generation pedigree.

3.  Think of it as the sperm is still in the stallion, the egg in the broodmare.

4.  The GSV & GSV2 theoretically combines them, but just as two bays may produce a chestnut what is wishful thinking may not happen.  The foal may get a certain set of genes and its full brother might have received a lot of different ones.  But the GSV & GSV2 score will be the same for both.  It is a theoretical score.
   a.  The GSV & GSV2 score is produced before the birth of the foal, but may change as the stud performance within 5 generations changes.
   b.  A yearling with a high
GSV & GSV2 and legs that go in each direction should be ignored.  
   c.  A yearling with a low
GSV & GSV2 and correct legs with a balanced individual may be a good buy.
   d.  A yearling with a high
GSV & GSV2, correct and a good walk should never be ignored.

5.  Once the foal hits the ground, the foal begins to accumulate points toward its own GRASP score.  Thus, full brothers may have radically different GRASP scores achieved in their lifetime and thus generate entirely different GSV & GSV2 scores for their foals.

6.   Only GRASP values are handed down to the next generation, never the
GSV & GSV2!

So what is the value to you of the
GSV & GSV2?
It allows you to make better decisions using hypothetical matings, etc., all other things being equal, in choosing the right broodmare, stallion for your mare, weanling, yearling and 2YO's-in-training sales, along with normal conformation checks, etc. 

The GSV & GSV2 is showing good value as a handicapping tool, regardless of the class of field or race track.  However, using Graded/Group Stakes and Stakes at major world-wide tracks may yield the most value.  A validation study that was done on the GSV2 that showed the higher the GSV & GSV2, the greater the likelihood of a better stakewinner.  This study used over 10,000 thoroughbreds and races from throughout the world.

Updated stats on GSV ranges of 18,043 horses in the GSV databank thru January 22, 2008
Of the 18,043 horses in the databank: ~3000 are fully researched good sires from all areas of the world born after 1875; ~2000 horses that have raced in at least one graded/group race; ~ 1000 maidens that raced in Great Britain; ~2000 horses that raced in England; Ireland, France, Germany, South Africa, South America, Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia; and ~8000 horses that have raced in North America at the major tracks in Southern California, KY and New York, but not in Group/Graded races; and ~2000 that raced at the minor tracks. 

Clearly, from looking at the stats above, the GSV databank is skewed to horses that race in better class company and at major tracks.  It is important to know where a horse is racing and in what company to fully understand how a particular GSV score measures up.

1. The average score of all thoroughbreds in my GSV databank is 68.01.
2. The median score of all thoroughbreds in my GSV databank is 68.12.
3. The GSV average of horses at minor tracks racing around the world ~61. Those that don't get to the races throughout the world average around ~59.  The GSV average of horse racing at the better meetings in South America is ~ 63 and throughout the rest of the world is ~65.  Those that race in Group/Graded races average ~70 on all surfaces.  Those that race in Graded/Group Races on turf average ~72.00.

GSV databank thru January 22, 2008
GSV	#horses		GSV	#horses		GSV	#horses		GSV	#horses		GSV	#horses
40 2 50 67 60 610 70 924 80 230
41 1 51 69 61 681 71 815 81 218
42 2 52 89 62 735 72 836 82 130
43 1 53 140 63 752 73 729 83 86
44 4 54 92 64 864 74 728 84 36
45 4 55 250 65 875 75 649 85 39
46 14 56 239 66 866 76 571 86 23
47 14 57 262 67 965 Most 77 442 87 12
48 23 58 464 68 951 78 414 88 5
49 33 59 537 69 953 79 339 89 3
90 2
Interpretation:There are 2 horses that have a GSV between 40-40.99. The range from 67-67.99 contains the most horses [965].  Most of the scores above 75 come from the ~3000 good sires that I have researched from around the world.  Examples >85 below:

Mill Reef		85.02
River Special 85.03
Arazi 85.05
Spinning World 85.05
Sauce Boat 85.06
Yell 85.07
Stravinsky 85.11
Yukon 85.15
Obligato 85.18
Always Fair 85.19
Local Talent 85.19
Aptitude 85.20
Boldnesian 85.26
Atan 85.28
Key To Mint 85.28
Key To The Mint 85.28
Northern Flagship 85.30
Abernant 85.30
Venetian Jester 85.30
Bold Lad (U.S.) 85.32
Lyphard 85.33
Chieftain 85.35
Staff Writer 85.39
Brogan 85.45
Magesterial 85.46
Helmsman 85.55
Alycidon 85.57
Citation 85.60
Raja Baba 85.61
Naval Issue 85.75
Slew Dancer 85.79
Minshaanshu Amad 85.86
Cornish Prince 85.89
Ali Oop 85.92
Rio Verde 85.92
Dancing Wizard 85.93
Hero's Honor 85.93
Polish Numbers 85.94
Be My Guest 85.97
True Colors 86.01
Northern Horizon 86.02
Key To The Kingdom 86.10
Raja's Revenge 86.16
Nordic Legend 86.19
Mashaallah 86.29
Sportin' Life 86.29
Mambo 86.31
Slavic 86.33
Plugged Nickle 86.41
Impressive 86.44
Petingo 86.48
Compliance 86.50
El Gran Senor 86.50
Try My Best 86.50
Court Martial 86.51
Turn-To 86.66
Helioscope 86.68
Settlement Day 86.76
Creme Dela Creme 86.77
Wolfhound 86.94
On-And-On 86.96
Northern Dancer 87.07
Francis S. 87.09
Turn To Reason 87.12
Outing Class 87.17
Owen Tudor 87.22
Tell 87.27
Poker 87.33
Red God 87.44
Pas Seul 87.48
Gulf Stream 87.74
Sovereign Dancer 87.84
Silver Buck 87.92
Aureole 88.24
Iron Ruler 88.32
Topsider 88.36
Tom Cat 88.42
Tumiga 88.65
Nearctic 89.17
Al Hattab 89.37
Royal Charger 89.76
Rasper II 90.08
Jaipur 90.31

The GSV Use Is Only Limited By Your Imagination And Application
Email The Matchmaker for use of his services.     
The Matchmaker is the originator of the UP, GSV & GSV2 and GRASP scores. 

To go to my home page click
here
Order race card subscriptions here.