02/21/2009 12:00AM

Texas: Valid Expectations remains a force


Valid Expectations might be the most dominant stallion ever based in Texas. He was the state's leading sire for the sixth time in 2008 and also was the leading 2-year-old sire. Previously, Valid Expectations was the top sire in Texas in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2007.

"He's real consistent," said Danny Shifflett, manager of Lane's End Texas in Hempstead. "He keeps turning over runners.

"The horse has been phenomenal for Texas."

Valid Expectations, a multiple Grade 3 winner on the track who is now 16, had progeny earnings of $2,194,217 last year, with his chief earner being Bridesmaid. She won $146,642 in her initial season of racing, helping to lift her sire to the top spot among 2-year-old stallions with juvenile progeny earnings of $660,131. Among the other 16 juvenile winners Valid Expectations had from 28 such runners last year was Valid Stripes, who earned a 100 Beyer Speed Figure for his win in the $125,000 Texas Stallion Stakes at Retama Park in December, and Valid Message, winner of the $100,000 El Joven at Retama.

As a whole, Valid Expectations had 80 winners from 130 runners last year in North America. It was yet another successful year for the stallion, who gets mares from throughout the Southwest and occasionally even Kentucky. Valid Expectations began his stud career in 1999 in Florida, then moved to Lane's End Texas in 2001.

"He's not a bit different than the day he got here," Shifflett said. "This is probably the smartest horse I've ever been around. He takes care of himself and knows what he wants and he knows how to get it. He's an unbelievably intelligent horse."

Shifflett estimates Valid Expectations will breed his typical 60 to 80 mares in 2009.

"He's getting a good response still, even with the economy the way it is," Shifflett said.

Shifflett said that in light of the economy, Lane's End Texas has reduced Valid Expectations's stud fee for 2009, from $17,500 to $10,000. The farm, also home to Too Much Bling and Midway Road, is offering a 2-for-1 package on all of its stallions this year, Shifflett said.

Breeders can either send two mares to the same stallion, or mares to two different stallions with the same fee. In either scenario, they will get one breeding with a live foal guaranteed and the other with no guarantee.

The second leading general sire in Texas for 2008 was Magic Cat, with progeny earnings of $873,866. He had 36 winners from 71 runners and stands at Valor Farm in Pilot Point.

The leading first-crop sire was Supreme Cat, who stands at Bullard Farms in Weatherford.

True Cause makes stud debut at Key Ranch

True Cause, who is from the female family of Grade 1 winner Balletto, will launch his stud career at Key Ranch in Salado. He will stand for $5,000, which is tied for the second-highest stud fee in the state behind the $10,000 commanded by Valid Expecations. Others at the $5,000 level, according to the Texas Thoroughbred Association Stallion directory, are A P Valentine and Festive.

True Cause, 6, was a graded-stakes-placed winner of three races and $211,960. He is a son of Storm Cat and the Rahy mare Dearly, who is a half-sister to Balletto.

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