Breeding Plans Topic of 10th Panel

December 7, 2023

Final 2023 Thoroughbred Owner Conference 

The Jockey Club Press Release

LEXINGTON, Ky.—The 10th and final panel of the 2023 OwnerView Virtual Thoroughbred Owner Conference was held Tuesday, December 5, and covered breeding plans. Panelists were Carrie Brogden, owner of Machmer Hall Farm; Alan Porter, founder of TrueNicks; and Mark Toothaker, director of stallions at Spendthrift Farm. The panel was hosted by OwnerView’s project manager, Gary Falter.

The conference is hosted by The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and sponsored by Bessemer Trust, Stoll Keenon Ogden, and The Green Group. This panel was sponsored by New York Thoroughbred Breeders.

Attendees were able to ask questions through Zoom’s Q&A feature, sponsored by West Point Thoroughbreds.

Mark Toothaker, Spendthrift Farm. (Jockey Club Photo)
Mark Toothaker, Spendthrift Farm. (Jockey Club Photo)

The start of the conference showed a video of the OwnerView New Owner of the Year award recipients, Jim and Dana Bernhard and Alexander Bregman. The award is sponsored by 1/ST RACING.

Topics for the breeding panel included matings, nicking, conformation traits, inbreeding, broodmare preferences, and stallion selection.

Carrie Brogden, Machmer Hall Farm. (Jockey Club Photo)
Carrie Brogden, Machmer Hall Farm. (Jockey Club Photo)

The first question to the panelists referred to the saying, “breed the best to the best and hope for the best.” Toothaker replied, “I can’t afford beautiful and pedigree, so I’m always going to lean more on the pretty side on my mares, and they may be just a little bit lacking on pedigree. Buy the prettiest mare that you can afford.”

Brogden considers conformation to be extremely important when making breeding decisions. “It is the most important thing,” she said. “After years and years and years of being on the farm now, we started to see a trend where every single graded stakes winner off our farm, on the dirt, every single one was in the top 30 percent of physicals of our yearling crop.”

Alan Porter, Pedigree Consultants. (Jockey Club Photo)
Alan Porter, Pedigree Consultants. (Jockey Club Photo)

In a discussion about inbreeding, Porter said, “Historically, too much close inbreeding is a negative. We got some statistics on this when we were upgrading TrueNicks. The grade 1 winners had a slightly higher than average inbreeding coefficient, but they existed within a narrower range.”

The Thoroughbred Owner Conference virtual panels will continue in 2024. A full schedule will be available at in early 2024.

A replay of all previous panels can be viewed at

There is no registration fee for the virtual conference series, but registration is required. For more information about the owner conference, please visit or contact Gary Falter at 859.224.2803 or

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