Goldencents, Biomechanics, and Oxygen Debt
Goldencents is the 2013 Thoroedge Derby favorite, which can unfortunately be the kiss of death. There is no handicapping reason behind this choice, I just personally like the connections – especially jock Kevin Krigger, who I hope can be the next Mario Gutierrez.
Very cool articles this month from North American Trainer magazine on Goldencents and the biomechanics behind stride length and gait analysis. Right now you can read for free here:
This piece describes how the stride length number can be misleading; it’s also which style of gallop in use and how much the stance and flight phases contribute to the overall figure.
Lastly, you can read about the concept of oxygen debt – which is also touched on with respect to stride – as horses galloping can only breeze once per stride cycle, termed Locomotor-Respiratory Coupling.
For example, when the gallop pace becomes too fast for purely aerobic metabolism to fuel, anaerobic glycolysis kicks in and lactic acid is accumulating. After completion of exercise, the magnitude of this debt can be estimated by measuring heart rate recovery. The heart must be fast in order to ‘pay back’ the debt and:
-remove lactic acid
-replenish the blood with oxygen
On a more practical side, the more work (pace) your horse can accomplish without going into significant oxygen debt – the better. Stakes quality horses can breeze 6F in 1:12 and exhibit recovery heart rates under 120bpm within 2min past the wire – while maiden claimers can only do 3F in :38 or thereabouts under the same recovery parameters.