I am incredibly bullish on Zed Run. I have grown my stable from 2 horses I purchased on OpenSeas after a missed drop in April to currently 47 horses today. I have a “value” driven stable, with a base of Genesis horses (5 male / 11 female) that I got mostly at floor prices as people sold off after breeding didn’t come “soon”.
I am an equal opportunity stable builder and have bought, bred, and traded to build my stable. While I have invested a few ETH (about half of which I moved over from TopShot), the majority of my stable has been built from buying, selling, and winning races that I’ve invested back.
The majority of my stable is Buterin, but I strategically have built up some Finney & Szabo blood through buying discount legendary & exclusive females. I am always on the lookout for a deal on non-buterin blood. I also have one exclusive Naka Stallion (grandson of billions) that is a cautionary tale on jumping in the deep-end without understanding the game. He’s a very nice horse, but doesn’t fit in what I’m trying to accomplish and was my most expensive purchase by a fairly large margin.
So lets jump into the breeding side. I will walk through a few of my interesting additions (both good and not good yet haha) and finish with insights from this round of breeding.
The belle of the ball? The filly was named after the GOAT, the sheriff, the Colt Hall of Famer Peyton Manning.
Peyton (Z18 Legendary Buterin) — White Smoke (Rare Coat)
- Parents: Penny Fling (Z9) / Manic Management (Z9)
- Record: 3/4/1 in 21 races (14.28% win / 38.1% show)
- 52.42% ROI
- 9.8–11.78 Odds — Low across the board
- Winner in Class IV & V
It’s early, but I think Peyton is my best-bred horse since Go Golden Go. This is what happens when things go right. My best male genesis horse mates with my best female genesis horse and out pops a rare coated monster.
Oddly (no pun intended) this type of stud-horse can be the hardest to figure out because they have good odds across the board. After about 15 races, I’ve been able to start narrowing down where she’s having success vs. just getting good odds and I believe that will continue to improve the overall results.
Shigure (Z14 Legendary Buterin) — Azure Mist
- Parents: Axle (Z5) / Fam (Z9)
- Record: 2/0/1 in 13 races (15.38% win / 23.08% show)
- 4.21% ROI
- 9.72–16.94 Odds
Here’s a lesson in being open to what comes available. I was on Hawku when I saw Shigure pop up. She has 1–2 races, good odds, low z# (14, meaning she has a Finney parent), and was listed for only .09eth. I instantly did the BIN on OpenSeas without doing any additional research and after saw that about 20 others also bid, as OpenSeas was having some issues and not accepting the bid right away. About 25 mins later, she appeared in my stable, as I was the first to grab her.
I loved the Finney (Z5) blood & took a chance on low odds. So far, it’s paid off nicely. She is not quite as consistent across the odds as Peyton, but the results speak for themselves. And as I continue to dial her into her preferred distances, I think this is a nice ROI horse.
And even without the results, she’s a prime candidate for a good breeding horse. Good blood, good odds, good results… I’ll take my chances on that producing a winner over the next few cycles.
Brown Sugar Bae (Z19 Legendary Buterin) — Brown Sugar
- Parents: Free State (Z10) / Winchester Bob (Z9)
- Record: 5/9/4 in 57 races (9% win / 32% show)
- -1% ROI
- 11–12 Odds
My favorite horse I bred this round! This horse lives on the podium, finishing in the money in almost 1 in 3 races. She’s kept that up in class IV and I always expect her to be in the money.
Her only flaw? She needs to win more, turning some of those 2nd places into wins. Because of this make-up, she’s always going to live around ROI neutral and likely won’t be one I race in high dollar races because 2nd/3rd don’t pay the bills.
That said, she will be an amazing tournament horse and has so much promise as the game progresses. In addition, because she is so even, it’s hard seeing patterns this early in her career. My goal is to re-evaluate her after about 100 races and get a better sense of where she should be racing.
BSB doesn’t have championship parents and is a good lesson in finding the solid, fun play. If this was my only horse in Zed, I’d be having a great time. Even with 46 others, she’s one of my favorites.
Extra bonus: my wife named her, so I don’t have to tell her I sold another one of her horses haha.
Go Golden Go’s Offspring (Elite Buterin)
I had the highest of hopes for the offspring of my best racer, Go Golden Go (KYH Link). But a combination of stuck-bred horses & impatience on my part led to a less than optimal breeding cycle.
I had a perfect breeding plan that went belly up as horses started getting stuck without producing foals. I was holding out Golden to ensure I didn’t get snipped, so by the time his cycle came up, I only had 1 horse to breed with. They produced Welp See You Later, a Z38 Burlywood Elite Colt.
Immediately after, my cycle refreshed and I was able to breed 3 more, 2 daughters and one more son.
All 4 of the offspring are similar. 18–28 odds. Little success (0/1/1 total across about 20 races) and overall average results. I sold one, sent another to a friend, and held the other two. I’m interested to see if the genes will be passed on after skipping a generation and/or if there are hidden talents that I have not uncovered because of light racing.
Next round, I will be much more deliberate on the breeding. Overall, I think this is fairly inconclusive, but I was hoping for at least one of the 4 to pop a bit more. I think I will have a better idea of true results after 3–4 months of breeding.
Future Ex Wife — Z14 Cross Buterin
I wanted to catch lightning in the bottle with this pairing but ended up getting a quick sprinkle. Future Ex Wife was foal to a Z5 Elite Nak and a Z9 Genesis Mare.
Over 7 races, she is 0/1/0 with 15–45 odds and wildly inconsistent results. But again, with only 7 races, I don’t really know what I have. This is the negative of breeding so many horses… You can’t get to them all, and other horses on my list have shown more promise.
This is a horse I would love to do something creative with, whether renting or leasing to a new player or something. Because of the cross designation, I can do some creative breeding moving forward without worrying about ruining her, so should be a fun one moving forward.
Exclusive Szabos & Finneys
While the majority of my stable is Buterins, I have been buying interesting Szabo and Finney exclusive horses at or near floor prices. With these, I’ve been finding the best inexpensive genesis breed to keep their bloodline.
So far, the results have not been outstanding, but I believe this is a longer play. This is a relatively inexpensive way to get Szabo & Finney blood into the stable with the chance for a massive hit over a number of breeding cycles.
Here are my Finney & Szabo horses in my stable. I did sell a Szabo to help fund more breeding after a few sub-par races (Mrs. Ed).
Others Successful Breeding Horses
The Golde is another of my favorite horses. As a legendary filly, she’s had great success and is another top horse in my newly bred fillys. Little Miss Wentz has shown some good promise as an exclusive buterin. And The Maniac started off with a bang, winning his Griffy, only to struggle in his next few races after being kicked into Class IV (the downside of winning a Griffy without a star horse).
You can see my full stable here: Naptown Colts.
Lessons Learned from Breeding
Overall, I had a very successful breeding season, especially since I have mostly Buterin genesis horses with solid but not elite statistics for the most part. My strategy was to get multiple shots of hitting top-notch horses, and I believe I did that fairly well in the first attempt.
Lesson #1: Odds are Only a Start
Before this breeding season, I basically ran one horse most of the time. He got great odds (6–10 mostly) and won a lot. He’s in the top 100 profit horses in the game. So I was like most here and believed that odds were almost the cheat code to finding the right horse.
After running 25 horses and nearly 250 races for brand new horses? I am less convinced. Now, odds are great at the beginning. If you’re getting under 10, run the hell out of the horse. 10–18? You have some work to do to figure out what they mean. 18–25 or 25+? Probably worth checking other distances to see, but maybe not a priority.
But people giving up on horses after one race? Seems crazy to me. As you can see above, I have really, really good horses that have one distance with higher odds.
Lesson #2: Racing Results Matter
This is a crazy thing to need to say, but consistent results are more important than good odds. Odds show you where to look, but you’re going to have to look into the data to maximize your horse’s ability.
Let’s take Peyton as an example. Here are her odds by distance:
I took a look at that and started running her in 2000 meter races. That’s the distance she’s got by far the most races. But here are her results if we just look at 2000 meter races:
Okay, so almost half of her races have been run at a distance she isn’t performing in. Now, will that get better over time? Maybe. But I want results now.
Now let’s look at 1400 meters:
Wow! She’s a monster! So the distance with lower odds is getting significantly better results. And these are all in Class IV, whereas most of the 2000 meter are class 5 before I figured her out.
So my big tip? Run your horse 15–20 times at multiple distances using odds then dig into the results.
One last thing on results, they can be biased also, especially at small sample sizes. So don’t totally give up on a low odd distance because they haven’t won in their first few races, but be mindful of it and watch these results closely.
Lesson #3: Breeding is Random but that doesn’t mean it’s Random
Okay, let me explain. Breeding two winning horses doesn’t mean you’re going to get a winning horse. Each breed has lots of variances and I think it’s safe to say getting a less optimal horse has a much higher likelihood than breeding a champion. But the better your genes, the better odds you have. I believe that to be true also.
Here’s my full theory (link), but just because breeding seems random, doesn’t mean it’s totally random. Just like playing Roulette or Poker, there are many outcomes. You just want to put yourself in the best position to get a positive one.
Sometimes it works (see Peyton), other times it’s harder to explain, but the key is giving yourself the best chance each breed and moving down the line.
While I think there are lots of lessons to be learned in this first breeding cycle, I think there is still so much we don’t know. I’m very interesting in how these decisions being made now at the legendary level will trickle down to creating championship horses at the Elite+ levels.
Overall, I had great success and hit my #1 goal: Have multiple horses I feel comfortable entering into races and expecting to be ROI positive. I think I have 4–5 fillies that fit that bill at the Legendary level, which I’m super excited about.
So how about you? What worked? What didn’t? Tell us on Twitter!